Connect with us


Linux.Wifatch: Vigilante Hacker Infects Routers with Malware to Fight Bad Malware



router-155899_1280 A newly discovered malware, called Linux.Wifatch by security firm Symantec, has been found to compromise at least 10,000 Linux-routers. Unlike other malware, however, Wifatch protects the router from other infections, protecting victims instead.

// -- Discuss and ask questions in our community on Workplace.

Security giant Symantec has discovered a new vigilante malware that behaves like most other malware by infecting a vulnerable device, remaining undetected while operating and actively updating itself over a peer-to-peer (P2P) network.

The malware dubbed Linux.Wifatch comes with a strikingly different set of capabilities. Instead of harming the compromised router and the computers on its network, Wifatch secures it by safeguarding it from other malware.

Quite simply, Wifatch is protecting over 10,000 routers running Linux by infecting them.

// -- Become a yearly Platinum Member and save 69 USD and get access to our secret group on Workplace. Click here to change your current membership -- //

The complete report detailing the discovery of Wifatch by Symantec can be found here.

White-hat Malware

Linux.Wifatch was first discovered last year by an independent researcher. The malware now infects more than 10,000 routers predominantly in China and Brazil. Over time, Wifatch has been found to stay updated in its virus definitions through its P2P network, block other channels typically used by malware to infect routers and even delete the traces of malware that do get through.

Wifatch even has a module that is constantly updated and exists to remove “well-known families of malware targeting embedded devices.”

Mario Ballano, a Symantec researcher who wrote about the findings, points to the likelihood of a mysterious vigilante hacker being the brains behind Wifatch due to comments left in the code. Specifically, the comments include an email signature used by Richard Stallman, an advocate of free software that says:

To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies, foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden’s example.

While internet vigilantes are usually loud and boisterous in their aggressive way of operating through means such as DDoS attacks or breaches involving corporate databases, Wifatch appears far more subtle in the way it works. Ballano added:

For all intents and purposes it appeared like the author was trying to secure infected devices instead of using them for malicious activities.

routerAdditionally, Wifatch even reminds users to update the router’s firmware when there is an action triggered to access the Telnet feature, the port that controls functions on the device and routinely used other malware to infect the router.

Symantec notes that resetting the router to its default setting will remove the Wifatch malware during reboot. However, the same device may be infected by Wifatch again over time. The security firm is advising users to update the router’s software and keep its firmware up to date.

“There is no doubt that Linux.Wifatch is an interesting piece of code. Whether the author’s intentions were to use their creation for the good of other IoT users—vigilante style—or whether their intentions were more malicious remains to be seen,” notes Ballano.

What we do know is that it pays to be suspicious and, with this in mind, Symantec will be keeping a close eye on Linux.Wifatch and the activities of its mysterious creator.

Images from Shutterstock, Flickr & Pixabay

Important: Never invest money you can't afford to lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here.

Feedback or Requests?



  1. DigitalGalaxy

    October 2, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    Very cool! Inspiring! 🙂

  2. Slashthedragon

    October 2, 2015 at 11:55 pm


  3. Jim Brown

    October 3, 2015 at 1:39 am

    Call me old school, but every “stand-alone” “router” that I ever
    played with required a very precarious procedure for
    updating the firmware that usually involves “bricking” your
    device if you don’t follow the instructions to the letter.

    This article must be referring to some of the small computers
    supplied by your local cable company, that also just happen to
    contain a wireless router and a cable modem, and
    a cable TV decoder, and maybe even a hard drive,
    all in one box.
    I call that a cable TV box.
    But, since I don’t want to subject myself to continuous
    propaganda, I don’t have one of these anymore.

    I would tend to lean towards the idea that this software
    is not related to anything benevolent, and also that this
    has nothing to do with the “mysterious vigilante hacker”
    mentioned. I think this is to draw attention away from
    government censorship, and this software is being
    “test-driven” to prove it’s effectiveness.

    There is absolutely NO WAY that a cable company would
    allow something like this to be out of their control.
    They pay huge money for these custom computers.
    The computer manufacturers have some extremely
    competent people setting up these computers.
    These computers can only be accessed by codes that
    I know because I used to have to call by phone to get
    the latest access codes just for minor router tweaks on
    my cable box, and that was 4 years ago!!

    Therefore, I have to call BS on this article.

    • ramv36

      October 3, 2015 at 8:47 pm

      “and that was 4 years ago”

      Which is why most would call BS on your BS. In this arena of technology, 4 years might as well be 4 decades.

      • Jim Brown

        October 3, 2015 at 11:41 pm

        And your point is ????
        I mean, aside from being PAID to be a troll/hater.
        Let’s see you create ANY KIND of a legitimate observation.
        YOU CAN’T,
        If you could, you would have.

        Basically, if you open your mouth again, I’m quite sure
        that you will prove beyond any shadow of a doubt,
        that you are just a useless waste of oxygen.

        Here’s your challenge,
        without using any generalities or name calling,
        or “everybody knows that” type statements
        explain exactly how it might be possible to hack into
        a modern cable box designed by highly paid
        software and hardware engineers whos’ job it is
        to make it completely bulletproof.

        We’ll wait patiently.
        (Theme from the Jeopardy game show plays in the background)

        • Himi Gilbert

          October 4, 2015 at 1:31 am

          > Call me old school, but every “stand-alone” “router” that I everplayed with required a very precarious procedure for
          updating the firmware that usually involves “bricking” your
          device if you don’t follow the instructions to the letter.

          This is easier than it sounds. It can check the model, use a hook to attach itself to the image and then re flash it. Advanced kits maintain redundancy by infecting as much firmwares and machines as possible.

          Stuff like USB controllers are ridiculously easy to reprogram and they also can infect other USB controllers that are plugged in (mobiles, headsets, etc). Controllers from devices, such as certain hard drives are vulnerable too.

          Such kits have been encountered already. Good luck finding an antivirus solution for that. Some kind of white hat variant would at least be plausible here.

        • Phyl O Butoyi

          October 4, 2015 at 6:53 am

          Come one man, if the pentagon can be hacked what are you trying to say about a cable box?

  4. Jim Brown

    October 4, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    Thank You All for some at least pertinent viewpoints.

    First let me say that I am not a programmer or hacker,
    but I am a genius and have a really broad education.

    I believe that there is much more going on here than
    most people would realize.

    First, to address a couple of comments……
    —>Linux routers are usually high-end…..
    I would be inclined to believe this, although I really don’t know.
    However, in theory, the more chopped-down the OS is the more
    difficult it becomes to use it in an unusual manner.
    And yes, I would agree that your typical cable box is “cheap”,
    but this is like comparing a Formula 1 race car to “the family sedan”,
    yeah, moms grocery getter is nothing more than a glorified
    “major household appliance”, but at the same time certain aspects
    of it can be quite sophisticated, for instance, many late model cars
    can now be shut down or unlocked by satellite.
    The feature is built right into the fuel injection computer.
    By the same token, cable boxes have been the target of thousands of
    hackers for at least 30 years and many very sophisticated schemes
    have been developed to prevent unauthorized access.
    It’s not like they just came out with them last year.

    Now here’s the other half of the story,
    the part that I believe is most important.
    It’s the psychological mind-f*ck part of the equation.

    It is my contention that most, if not all, hacking that you
    read about in the “news” never actually happened.
    It’s a FUD story to keep you in fear and therefore make
    you much more susceptible to believing a lie.
    Or, it’s a trumped-up charge to bring against
    someone they don’t like.
    How many times have you heard that…..
    or the terrorist group of the day,
    has been hacking into government files (or whatever).
    This means WAR, or sanctions against some other country,
    or, we need you to give up more of your rights and tax dollars
    so we can maintain “national security” and protect you
    from these “evil forces” !!!!

    I’ve been studying this type of thing since before the internet.
    The word “government” literally means “mind control”.
    Think I’m kidding??? then why are there over 20 places on the
    internet that are trying to convince people that that’s
    just not true and you must be crazy or stupid if you believe that???

    There are literally thousands of people starting to wake up
    to the fact that they are actually brainwashed slaves and the
    government wants control over your every thought.

    So, the internet is a big problem for the government.
    If they can censor it,
    and then place the blame on “hackers”,
    no one will suspect that they ran the whole operation.

    Of course the rabbit hole goes much, much deeper than this.
    If any one here is interested in pursuing this further I’d be happy to
    provide you with a list of links to get your real education started.

  5. Laurie Baker

    January 25, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    I met Danny in 2013 , he is a professional security analyst and certified hacker. the time I met him he already was certified since 2009 and he is very good at testing securities. They hack email passwords, Social networks , Whats’app conversations, Cellphones, Any os .Clear criminal records, Change university grades, Improve credit rating , Bank transfers. You can contact him by sending a mail to [email protected], I bet he is competent and savvy enough to solve your problem whatever it might be!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Shehrin Khan

    June 3, 2016 at 7:16 am

    What can you hack ?

  7. Curtis Madison

    August 18, 2016 at 12:32 am

    Inbox [email protected] or text +12282223023 for the services of a certified and ethical hacker to change college grades,clear criminal records etc…hit me up and it’s done

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply


Automaker Fiat Chrysler Announces Bug Bounty Program



The latest bug bounty program from an automobile manufacturer comes from Fiat Chrysler, more than a year after two white hat hackers proved that they could remotely compromise and take control of its popular selling vehicle, the Jeep Cherokee.

// -- Discuss and ask questions in our community on Workplace.

White hat hackers can now start picking away at cybersecurity flaws in the vehicle software embedded in Fiat Chrysler connected cars. The bounty program is specifically focused on the automaker’s fleet of connected vehicles, including the systems used within them as well as the applications and external services that are connected to them.

The bounty reward is relatively small compared to the bug bounties offered by the likes of Google and Facebook. Fiat Chrysler’s program pays out beween $150 to $1,500 for a bug. In comparison, Tesla Motors’ bug bounty program on the same platform used by Fiat Chrysler (more details below) rewards between $25 and $10,000 for valid bug reports.

The program will be managed and operated by crowd-sourced cybersecurity company Bug Crowd. The platform claims to have nearly 28,000 white hat hackers and security researchers available on its platform.

// -- Become a yearly Platinum Member and save 69 USD and get access to our secret group on Workplace. Click here to change your current membership -- //

In a statement, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ senior manager for security architecture Titus Melnyk said:

We want to encourage independent security researchers to reach out to us and share what they’ve found so that we can fix potential vulnerabilities before they’re an issue for our consumers.

The hacking demonstration of a Jeep Cherokee occurred a year ago in July 2015, when two security researchers hacked and took total control of a car driven by a Wired journalist who penned the report at the time. Hacked reported on the incident which showed a relatively straightforward process in which hackers took control of the vehicle. Altogether, nearly half a million vehicles were revealed to be vulnerable, with multiple variants of the Jeep Cherokee, the Dodge Ram, along with other Fiat Chrysler vehicles.

For its part, Chrysler set about damage control by issuing an official recall of some 1.4 million vehicles by providing vehicle owners with a USB stick that contains a firmware upgrade and a patch to remedy the situation.

Still, that did not stop vehicle owners to launch a class action lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler, due to the hack.

 Featured image from Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest money you can't afford to lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here.

Feedback or Requests?

Continue Reading


Zero Day Offer To Attack Windows For Profit Part Of A Rising Trend



Microsoft Windows 10

SpiderLabs, a team of ethical hackers that fights cybercrime, recently posted a blog about a recent zero day offer to attack Windows that demonstrates how such offerings are marketed and becoming more common.

// -- Discuss and ask questions in our community on Workplace.

Zero day is a disclosed software vulnerability that hackers can exploit to attack computer programs, data, additional computers or a network, according to Wikipedia. SpiderLabs is a part of Trustwave, a company that helps businesses fight cybercrime, protect data and reduce security risk.

SpiderLabs notified Microsoft about the zero day offering and continues to monitor the situation. The blog is titled, “Zero Day Auction for the Masses.”

// -- Become a yearly Platinum Member and save 69 USD and get access to our secret group on Workplace. Click here to change your current membership -- //

Cyber Crime Evolves

By way of background, the blog noted cyber criminals have evolved from individuals and small groups to big networks. Small malware campaigns have become malware-as-a-service that can deliver instant revenue in the form of ransomware.

Criminal enterprises have splintered. Groups used to develop malware, seek victims, launch a campaign, and monetize the stolen data. Nowadays, they prosper by focusing on one thing and selling it as a service.

The underground malware market is profitable and the development of zero days has become a bigger part of it.

Zero Day Pays Big

Hacking blogger Vlad Tsyrklevich noted in a post on the zero day market that a Eugene Ching received $80,000 USD for a working zero day offering. The payment was split into a contract fee and a delivery bonus.

Zerodium, a cyber security company that pays premium rewards to security researchers to acquire their original and previously unreported zero-day exploits affecting major operating systems, will pay $5,000 to $500,000 USD.

Last year, Angler Exploit Kit introduced four zero-day exploits as a part of its offering, and because of the continuously refreshed list of new exploits, it became the most popular exploit kit last year, representing 40% of all exploit kit-related incidents observed.

A Current Offer

A zero day being offered for sale stood out to SpiderLabs among the other offerings in an underground market for Russian-speaking cyber criminals. The forum serves as a collaboration platform for hiring malware coders, leasing exploit kits, buying web shells for compromised websites, or renting botnets. Finding a zero day listed in between these fairly common offerings is an anomaly, the blog noted. It indicates zero days are becoming a commodity for the masses.

The zero day claims to be a Local Privilege Escalation (LPE) vulnerability in Windows. Below is a screen shot of the original offer, posted on May 11, 2016:

SpiderLabs image 1

The offer refers to a vulnerability in the incorrect handling of Windows objects. The exploit is implemented for all OS architectures from Windows XP up to current variants of Windows 10. The exploit successfully escapes all existing protection mechanisms.

What Is Offered

The buyer will receive:
1. Source code with all the source code of the exploit and a demo for the exploit.
2. Free updates to address any Windows version the exploit might not work.
3. A detailed write up of the vulnerability details.
4. Complementary consultation on integrating the exploit.
5. On request – convert the source code project to a different MSVC version.

The seller was willing to accept offers starting from $95,000 [USD]

The seller insisted on doing the deal using the forum’s admin as the escrow. In an update on May 23, the seller said the exploit will be sold exclusively to a single buyer.

The seller provided two proof videos for potential buyers who might be concerned with the offer’s validity. The first one showed an updated Windows 10 machine being successfully exploited successfully.

The second one showed the exploit bypassing all of Microsoft’s protections for the latest version of the product.

Despite indications of the offer’s authenticity, there’s no way to be certain without purchasing the exploit or waiting for it to appear.

What’s Ahead?

Local Privilege Escalation (LPE) vulnerabilities are likely next in line in popularity, even though the most coveted zero day would be a Remote Code Execution (RCE) exploit.

An LPE exploit paired with a client-side RCE exploit can enable an attacker to escape an application that deploys sandbox protection, such as Adobe Reader, Google Chrome, etc. An LPE exploit provides a way to persist on an infected machine, a crucial aspect when considering advanced persistent threats. Such an exploit can be leveraged in nearly every kind of attack.

What This Zero Day Can Do

The possible capabilities presented to an attacker purchasing this exploit are as follows:
1. Escape from sandbox if the initial compromise vector is an RCE for a sandboxed app, e.g., Adobe Reader, Google Chrome, etc. – converting a limited RCE exploit into a functional takeover tool.
2. Because this zero day exploit offers a way to execute code in ring0, the purchaser will be able to use it to install a root kit on the victim’s machine, shielding itself more efficiently. This enables the attacker to escape detection and prolong control of the infected system.
3. The seller noted the exploit was tested on Windows Server OS versions. This allows a new possibility should an attacker already have a type of limited control over a web server (SQLi, web shell with restricted privileges – as all modern web servers run under a designated user account with limited privileges).
4. Modify system properties allowing persistence on the system. An example posted by FireEye demonstrates how criminals used a zero day LPE for Windows to persist on POS systems and rob credit card data.
5. Install more malicious software – a privilege that is reserved for administrative accounts on OSs, including Windows.

There are not many public records of what the price of such exploit should be. But one can consider the prices offered by Zerodium and discussed by Vlad Tsyrklevich. While the price of the zero day was lowered 12 days following the initial post, it was only lowered 5.3% from $95,000 to $90,000. On June 6, it was lowered again, to $85,000.

Based on what prices are known, this price seems high but within a realistic range, particularly considering the return on investment buyers are likely to make using this exploit.

A base assumption for anyone who has worked with code is that all software has bugs. Trustwave SpiderLabs, having worked with Microsoft years, recognizes the lengths Microsoft takes to prevent zero days. This includes independent research, bug bounty programs and establishing the MAPP program with transparency of its patching process. Criminals sometimes find those bugs before the “good guys” do.

Also read: More Kaspersky zero days revealed by Google hacker

What Can Be Done About It?

Given all the unknowns connected with zero days, it’s difficult to give protection advice. There are use lessons learned from previous cases to provide general guidance:
1. Keep software up-to-date. LPE is one of several components that constitute a successful compromise. Break one link in the chain and you will likely thwart the attack. Consider the scenario where this LPE exploit occurs in tandem with an RCE exploit to break out of a sandbox. A machine may not be patched against the zero day LPE, but it may be patched against the RCE component.
2. A chain link can be broken in different parts of security infrastructure. Deploy a full stack of security products to improve the odds of breaking a link.
3. Use common sense. Many attacks rely on user interaction, like clicking a link or opening an attachment. Avoid suspicious links or attachments sent from unsolicited sources.

The company will update the blog with new developments.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest money you can't afford to lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here.

Feedback or Requests?

Continue Reading


FBI: Newfound iPhone Unlocking Technique Won’t Work On Newer Devices



The technique the FBI used to unlock an Apple iPhone used in the San Bernardino, Calif. terror attack cannot be used on new devices, FBI Director James Comey told students at Kenyon College in Ohio recently, according to

// -- Discuss and ask questions in our community on Workplace.

Comey did not reveal the process the FBI used to unlock the phone, but he said it would not work on the 6S or the 5S. He said the tool only works on a “narrow slice of phones.”

Will The Technique Be Revealed?

Comey was noncommittal regarding Apple’s request to reveal the method the bureau used to unlock the phone. He said he is concerned about the FBI losing the access it currently possesses.

Since announcing its success unlocking the iPhone last month, speculation about the method has focused on an “IP Box” tool that emerged last spring. The tool latches onto an iPhone’s power circuitry and enters PIN numbers over USB. The tool retails for under $300.

// -- Become a yearly Platinum Member and save 69 USD and get access to our secret group on Workplace. Click here to change your current membership -- //

When the tool detects an incorrect guess, it cuts the power to the phone’s logic board before the guess is recorded, which defeats the 10-try limit.

Some believe Apple has patched the vulnerability in older iPhones with iOS 8.1.1. Because the iPhone 5c is believed to run iOS 9, the FBI has chosen either a different method or has found an unreported software vulnerability.

The iPhone 5S manages PIN guesses in the hardware Secure Enclave, which neutralizes an attack.

Comey said he is confident both the FBI and the third party that provided the unlocking technique could keep it secret if government officials decide they want it to remain so, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Also read: FBI tests its new phone unlocking technique on other devices

FBI/Apple Conflict Subsides

The FBI’s announcement last week that it found a way to open the phone ended for the moment a legal fight with Apple about whether the government could force the company to write software that would help investigators open the phone and examine its data.

The FBI is using its newfound ability to crack the San Bernardino terrorist iPhone to see if it can open other versions of the phone, CCN reported. The American Civil Liberties Union said the FBI is taking a chance that no other entity will discover the capability. Government officials said it could take months for the FBI to decide whether and how to disclose the security gap.

Featured image from Pexels.

Important: Never invest money you can't afford to lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here.

Feedback or Requests?

Continue Reading

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

A part of CCN