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<a href="/news/hand-of-thief-trojan-poses-risk-to-linux-users" title="Hand of Thief Trojan poses risk to Linux Users">Hand of Thief Trojan poses risk to Linux Users</a>
Posted on: 05 Sep 2013 

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Hand of Thief Trojan poses risk to Linux Users


The Linux operating system has long been seen as a safe alternative to Windows and recognised for being virus-free. However, a new discovery by a Russian-based cybercrime team may bring an end to the no-malware existence of the OS.

According to RSA analyst Limor Kassem, a new Trojan, dubbed ‘Hand of Thief’, has been designed to steal information from machines running Linux and is currently doing the rounds on cybercrime communities for $2,000 (£1,279) with free updates.

The Trojan currently includes grabbers and backdoor capabilities, said Kassem, but she warned that web injections could follow which would push the black market value up by around 50 per cent.

“These prices coincide with those quoted by developers who released similar malware for the Windows OS, which would make Hand of Thief relatively priced way above market value considering the relatively small user base of Linux,” she said in a blog post.

Not stable

Since finding the Trojan, the RSA has had a chance to run additional analysis on its capabilities and has concluded that Hand of Thief is not stable, and has trouble stealing the data that it is meant to. The RSA also says that deleting the Trojan could simply be a case of deleting the files. However, the malware’s developer is thought to be actively updating and improving the Trojan, making it foolish to write off as a non-threat.

Cloud web security for Linux

Due to the small number of people using Linux, the operating system has remained mostly free of malware and its users generally run systems such as Ubuntu, Fedora, and Debian without any sort of security software in place.

Whether the Hand of Thief Trojan proves to be a false alarm or not, it serves as a timely warning that Linux malware is being developed and, judging by the price, demand for such Trojans is high amongst hackers.

Hand of Thief is likely to be the first of a growing number of malware attacks on Linux systems, and it is important that cloud web security is used to protect your important data from prying criminals. By blocking all malicious threats at cloud level, ITWiser’s cloud web security will help you continue to reap the benefits of Linux and keep the OS as it always has been: virus-free. 
The Register