Skidmap, a Linux malware that we recently stumbled upon, demonstrates the increasing complexity of recent cryptocurrency-mining threats. This malware is notable because of the way it loads malicious kernel modules to keep its cryptocurrency mining operations under the radar.
These kernel-mode rootkits are not only more difficult to detect compared to its user-mode counterparts — attackers can also use them to gain unfettered access to the affected system. A case in point: the way Skidmap can also set up a secret master password that gives it access to any user account in the system. Conversely, given that many of Skidmap’s routines require root access, the attack vector that Skidmap uses — whether through exploits, misconfigurations, or exposure to the internet — are most likely the same ones that provide the attacker root or administrative access to the system.
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