File-encrypting ransomware starts targeting Linux Web servers

Ransomware authors are expanding their pool of victims by adding Linux systems to the mix

Ransomware authors continue their hunt for new sources of income. After targeting consumer and then business computers, they've now expanded their attacks to Web servers.

Malware researchers from Russian antivirus vendor Doctor Web have recently discovered a new malware program for Linux-based systems that they've dubbed Linux.Encoder.1.

Once run on a system with administrator privileges it starts traversing the whole file system and encrypting files in specific directories, including the user's home directory, the MySQL server directory, the logs directory and the Web directories of the Apache and Nginx Web servers.

The malware program encrypts files with certain extensions, particularly those associated with Web applications in different programming languages, images, media and documents. It then leaves a ransom note in every directory that contains encrypted files.

Linux.Encoder.1 uses a strong encryption algorithm and public-key cryptography, making the files hard to recover without backups or paying the ransom.

Unlike consumer PCs or business workstations, Web servers are more likely to have a backup routine configured. However, this ransomware program also encrypts archives and directories that contain the word backup, so it's critically important to regularly save backups to a remote server or offline storage.

It's not clear how the malware is installed on servers, but attacks against Linux systems typically involve brute-force guessing of remote access (SSH) credentials or Web application exploits, such as SQL injection or remote file inclusion, combined with local privilege escalations.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?