A new worm is targeting x86 computers running Linux and PHP, and variants may also pose a threat to devices such as home routers and set-top boxes based on other chip architectures.
According to security researchers from Symantec, the malware spreads by exploiting a vulnerability in php-cgi, a component that allows PHP to run in the Common Gateway Interface (CGI) configuration. The vulnerability is tracked as CVE-2012-1823 and was patched in PHP 5.4.3 and PHP 5.3.13 in May 2012.
The new worm, which was named Linux.Darlloz, is based on proof-of-concept code released in late October, the Symantec researchers said Wednesday in a blog post.
“Upon execution, the worm generates IP [Internet Protocol] addresses randomly, accesses a specific path on the machine with well-known ID and passwords, and sends HTTP POST requests, which exploit the vulnerability,” the Symantec researchers explained. “If the target is unpatched, it downloads the worm from a malicious server and starts searching for its next target.”
The only variant seen to be spreading so far targets x86 systems, because the malicious binary downloaded from the attacker’s server is in ELF (Executable and Linkable Format) format for Intel architectures.
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