Criminal hackers are actively exploiting the critical shellshock vulnerability to install a self-replicating backdoor on a popular line of storage systems, researchers have warned.
The malicious worm targets network-attached storage systems made by Taiwan-based QNAP, according to a blog post published Sunday by the Sans Institute. The underlying shellshock attack code exploits a bug in GNU Bash that gives attackers the ability to run commands and code of their choice on vulnerable systems. QNAP engineers released an update in October that patches systems against the vulnerability, but the discovery of the worm in the wild suggests a statistically significant portion of users have yet to apply it.
"The attack targets a QNAP CGI script, /cgi-bin/authLogin.cgi, a well known vector for Shellshock on QNAP devices," Johannes B. Ullrich, dean of research at Sans, wrote. "This script is called during login, and reachable without authentication. The exploit is then used to launch a simple shell script that will download and execute a number of additional pieces of malware."