Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Cloud

1/27/2020
09:07 AM
By Itai Tevet, CEO, Intezer
By Itai Tevet, CEO, Intezer
Sponsored Article
50%
50%

The Forgotten Link Between Linux Threats & Cloud Security

While the majority of security solutions are focused on detecting Windows threats, a greater emphasis needs to be placed on mitigating threats in the Linux platform.

In the antivirus industry a large emphasis is placed on protecting Windows endpoints, and rightfully so—Windows desktop users comprise nearly 87% of the total desktop market share, in comparison to the 2% share held by Linux desktop users. Because of this disparity, and the fact that we rarely see malware targeting Linux end users, some people argue that Linux is the safest and most secure operating system.

However, when discussing threats to the Linux platform, we must understand that Linux desktop usage is a very small piece of the puzzle. Linux makes up about 70% of the web server market share, according to Web Technology Surveys, and, according to CBT Nuggets, 90% of all cloud servers. Even among Microsoft’s Azure Cloud, Linux is the most popular operating system, according to ZDNet.

Over the last year, we’ve seen the emergence of Linux threats as evidenced by the recent discoveries of HiddenWasp, QNAPCrypt, and Evilgnome. The industry’s quick migration to the cloud, coupled with a lack of awareness about Linux threats has contributed to low detection rates reported by a majority of security vendors.

Mitigation Recommendations
Organizations can implement the following security best practices in order to mitigate cyber threats targeting Linux systems:

  1. Keep your systems patched and updated across all Linux servers and devices
  2. Implement a runtime protection product and an application control (whitelisting) solution.  For better results and easier configuration, apply a Genetic Malware Analysis approach to detect unauthorized or malicious code to reduce the amount of false positives you usually encounter from such runtime protection solutions.
  3. Secure SSH login with a key. For remote control standpoint with SSH login, remove the option to login with credentials. Otherwise, you could be the victim of a brute force attack. It’s much safer to login via an SSH key.
  4. Perform a routine review of important system files. It’s important to remember that once installed on a server or device, malware will likely attempt to achieve persistence. In Linux servers especially, it’s crucial to look at the different suspicious cron jobs or systemV, systemd initialization scripts and services
  5. Disable root accounts. The root account has access to all files and commands on a Linux system, with full read, write, and execute permissions. Errors by the root user can have critical implications on the normal operation of a system. This article from TecMint explains four ways to disable the root account in Linux

While the rise in Linux and cloud-focused threats is alarming, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to many. Enterprises are increasingly shifting their biggest assets to the cloud, leaving their infrastructure exposed and more susceptible to data breaches. Pre-runtime security vulnerability checks are excellent, but not enough to cope with modern cyber threats. It is time to gain visibility and take control of the actual code that is running on the cloud infrastructure.

About The Author:  Itai Tevet, CEO, Intezer
Itai Tevet carries out Intezer’s vision of improving organizations’ security operations and accelerating their incident response. Tevet previously served as head of the Israeli Defense Force’s cyber incident response team (IDF CERT), combining technical expertise and leadership experience to mitigate state-sponsored cyber threats. During this time, he led an elite group of cybersecurity professionals in digital forensics, malware analysis, incident response, and reverse engineering.

 

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
News
Inside the Ransomware Campaigns Targeting Exchange Servers
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  4/2/2021
Commentary
Beyond MITRE ATT&CK: The Case for a New Cyber Kill Chain
Rik Turner, Principal Analyst, Infrastructure Solutions, Omdia,  3/30/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-30481
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-10
Valve Steam through 2021-04-10, when a Source engine game is installed, allows remote authenticated users to execute arbitrary code because of a buffer overflow that occurs for a Steam invite after one click.
CVE-2021-20020
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-10
A command execution vulnerability in SonicWall GMS 9.3 allows a remote unauthenticated attacker to locally escalate privilege to root.
CVE-2021-30480
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-09
Zoom Chat through 2021-04-09 on Windows and macOS allows certain remote authenticated attackers to execute arbitrary code without user interaction. An attacker must be within the same organization, or an external party who has been accepted as a contact. NOTE: this is specific to the Zoom Chat softw...
CVE-2021-21194
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-09
Use after free in screen sharing in Google Chrome prior to 89.0.4389.114 allowed a remote attacker to potentially exploit heap corruption via a crafted HTML page.
CVE-2021-21195
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-09
Use after free in V8 in Google Chrome prior to 89.0.4389.114 allowed a remote attacker to potentially exploit heap corruption via a crafted HTML page.