OutlawCountry: ‘CIA hacking tool’ targets Linux operating system (IMAGE)
An apparent user guide bearing the symbol of the US Central Intelligence Agency was published on the WikiLeaks website Thursday.
“OutlawCountry allows for the redirection of all outbound network traffic on the target computer to CIA-controlled machines for ex- and infiltration purposes,” WikiLeaks said in a statement.
A type of malware, the virus targets a very specific version of the Linux operating system.
“The target must be running a compatible 64-bit version of CentOS/RHEL 6.x (kernel version 2.6.32),” the program’s user guide says.
The reasons for installing the bug are not explained in the OutlawCountry engineering guide, other than it gives users the opportunity to alter a computer’s security settings.
OutlawCountry is made up of a file that creates a “hidden netfilter table” or new set of firewall settings, the user manual states.
“With knowledge of the table name, an operator can create rules that take precedence over existing netfilter/iptables rules,” the document reads.
All evidence of the virus is destroyed when the netfilter table is removed by the operator.
Red Hat, a provider of Linux open source software, told RT.com that its security team has “crafted a knowledgebase article about OutlawCountry.”
“The article explains that this is not a vulnerability in any Red Hat product. The manual outlines the details of a tool that can be used once an attacker already has local and root access to a system,” a Red Hat spokesperson said.
The article, which appears on the Red Hat website, advises people using a Linux system that has been targeted by the exploit to upgrade to a newer version. A guide on how to manually upgrade can be found here.