SpeakUp Trojan Targets Linux Servers

Researchers at Check Point have found a new Trojan called SpeakUp that’s infecting Linux servers. SpeakUp exploits known vulnerabilities in Linux and is targeting servers in China.

According to Check Point, “SpeakUp acts to propagate internally within the infected subnet, and beyond to new IP ranges, exploiting remote code execution vulnerabilities. In addition, SpeakUp presented the ability to infect Mac devices with the undetected backdoor.”

The Trojan has spread beyond China and is fast spreading across East Asia and Latin America. It’s not sparing even AWS-hosted Linux servers. Check Point said six Linux distributions and macOS are vulnerable, but they didn’t name exactly which six Linux distributions.

SpeakUp’s initial infection vector targets a known vulnerability in ThinkPHP and then uses command injection techniques for uploading a PHP shell that serves and executes a Perl backdoor. After executing the script to install the backdoor, it deletes the file to remove any evidence.

Check Point warns that while the initial payload of SpeakUp is mining, it poses a much bigger threat. “The threat actor behind this campaign can at any given time deploy additional payloads, potentially more intrusive and offensive. It has the ability to scan the surrounding network of an infected server and distribute the malware.”