Linked by Jordan Spencer Cunningham on Mon 14th Jun 2010 23:58 UTC
Bugs & Viruses Recently, the Linux version of UnrealIRCd was discovered to have had a Trojan worm its way into the source code. Even more embarrassing for the developers of Unreal is that the Trojan's been holding open the backdoor in the source code since November of 2009-- not very recently. And, of course, bloggers and press in general are taking the opportunity of another breach in Linux security to point out doomsday devices that don't really exist.
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Ouch, but maybe this is good too
by darknexus on Tue 15th Jun 2010 02:48 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

Ouch, and that seriously sucks for Unreal IRCD. They'll probably have a bad rep for a while, perhaps even a deserved one if they weren't securing their servers properly. Now, I think this could also be a good thing. How many times have I heard that just because something is open source that it's automatically more secure than closed software? I can't even count how many times that particular story gets tossed about, and this at least should put an end to it at least for those who can think critically. It doesn't matter if your software is foss or not if someone gets into your server and puts a backdoor in it, pure and simple, and for the casual user there is no security difference between open and closed source.
As for the bloggers, well I find a good majority of the internet blogs aren't worth the electrons they waste. If anyone even says this is related to Linux, that's reason to immediately disbelieve them. It wouldn't have mattered if this were to be installed on Linux, *BSD, OS X... if the trojan was in the source, it would hit you no matter what.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

How many times have I heard that just because something is open source that it's automatically more secure than closed software? I can't even count how many times that particular story gets tossed about, and this at least should put an end to it at least for those who can think critically. It doesn't matter if your software is foss or not if someone gets into your server and puts a backdoor in it, pure and simple, and for the casual user there is no security difference between open and closed source.


I don't know who was actually telling you that, but if they did they got the story wrong.

The method that distributions employ to provide a guaranteed malware-free set of packages involves not only inspection and testing of the source code as it is accepted into Linux distribution repositories, but it also involves GPG signing of packages and package managers on the user's computers to install packages.

None of the latter were involved in this UnrealIRCd incident. Being open source alone is not enough, and this incident highlights that fact very well indeed.

The only system with an impeccable record of delivery of malware-free software to end user's systems is open source software delivered via distribution repositories and package managers.

Edited 2010-06-15 02:59 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Imagine being the criminals who injected the backdoor code. Nobody want's to be permanently branded as the guy that tried to (and successful to some degree), push malware into the major distributions. UnrealIRCd developers will take a while to live this down but if they find the people responsible for the break in; oh, I don't want to be them.

Reply Parent Score: 2