StripedFly Malware Hiding in Plain Sight as a Cryptocurrency Miner

Nov 01, 2023

A rather deceptive piece of malware has infected 1 million Windows and Linux hosts since 2017.

Attention Linux Users: A malicious framework has been active for 5 years and has been incorrectly classified as a Monero cryptocurrency miner.

StripedFly uses very sophisticated TOR-based methods to keep the malware hidden and uses worm-like capabilities to spread its nasty payload from Linux machine to Linux machine (or Linux to Windows and vice versa).

No one is certain if StripedFly is being used for monetary purposes or straight-up cybersecurity attacks (for information gathering), what is clear is that it's an advanced persistent threat (APT) type of malware.

The earliest known version of StripedFly was in April 2016 and, since then, it has infected more than a million systems. The StripedFly payload features a customized TOR network client that works to obfuscate communication to a C2 (Command and Control) server, as well as the ability to disable SMBv1 and spread to other hosts via SSH and EternalBlue.

When StripedFly infects a Linux system, it is named sd-pam and uses both systemd services and a special .desktop file to keep it persistent. It also modifies various Linux startup files like /etc/rc*, .profile, .bashrc, and inittab.

You can read Kaspersky's in-depth analysis of StripedFly. At the moment, patches to mitigate against StripedFly have yet to be released for Linux, but you can be certain your distribution of choice will be releasing the fix as soon as it is made available.

In the meantime, do everything you can to avoid phishing or visiting known malicious websites. As well, keep your systems up to date and use a password manager.


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