How to check for, and clean Ebury SSH Rootkit

What is Ebury

Ebury is a SSH Rootkit, and password sniffer which steals SSH login credentials from incoming and outgoing SSH connections, and also steals private SSH keys stored on the infected system.

Ebury can replace SSH binaries, and shared library files used by executables like sshd, wget, curl, …

How to detect Ebury on a system

From version 1.5 Ebury uses Unix domain sockets for interprocess communication.

Malicious process can be seen using netstat -plan | grep atd.

This command should not return any results on clean systems.

[email protected] [~]# netstat -plan | grep atd 
unix 2 [ ACC ] STREAM LISTENING 103713 8119/atd @/tmp/dbus-ZP7tFO4xsL

Atd should not be listening on any network port or socket.

Ebury will also place additional shared library files, and patch installed libkeyutils file to link to those files.

Files usually found on Ebury infected machines can be one or more of the following:

/lib64/tls/libkeyutils.so.1.5
/lib64/tls/libkeyutils.so.1
/lib64/libns2.so
/lib64/libns5.so
/lib64/libkeyutils.so.1.3
/lib64/libpw3.so

If any of those files exist, check if the files were provided by any rpm using rpm -qf command.

[email protected] [~]# rpm -qf /lib64/tls/libkeyutils.so.1.5
file /lib64/tls/libkeyutils.so.1.5 is not owned by any package

On clean system command should return the name of the rpm package which installed that file.

[email protected] [/lib]# rpm -qf libkeyutils.so.1.3
keyutils-libs-1.4-5.el6.i686
Script to check for suspicious files, and processes

Here is a small script that can be used to check for possible Ebury infection.

#!/bin/bash

if [[ `netstat -pan | grep -w atd` ]]; then
    printf "This server appears to have atd process listening on Unix socket or network port\nCheck server for possible Ebury infection\n\n===\n`netstat -pan | grep -w atd`\n===\n\n"
fi

declare -a file_list=("/lib64/tls/libkeyutils.so.1.5" "/lib64/tls/libkeyutils.so.1" "/lib64/libns2.so" "/lib64/libns5.so" "/lib64/libkeyutils.so.1.3" "/lib64/libpw3.so"); 

for file in "${file_list[@]}"; do 
    if [[ -f $file ]]; then
        if [[ `rpm -qf $file` == *'not owned'* ]]; then
            printf "===\nFile $file is not owned by any RPM package, and there is a possible rootkit infection\nCheck server for possible Ebury infection\n===\n"
        fi
    fi
done

Save a script like check4ebury.sh on your system, and run with bash check4ebury.sh

On an infected system, command will return something like this:

[[email protected] ~]# bash /root/check4ebury.sh
This server appears to have atd process listening on Unix socket or network port
Check server for possible Ebury
infection

===
unix 2 [ ACC ] STREAM LISTENING 1278995234 127563/atd @/tmp/dbus-BmCahxCc3k
===

===
File /lib64/tls/libkeyutils.so.1.5 is not owned by any RPM package, and there is a possible rootkit infection
Check
server for possible Ebury infection
===
===
File /lib64/tls/libkeyutils.so.1 is not owned by any RPM package, and there is a possible rootkit infection
Check
server for possible Ebury infection
===
[[email protected] ~]#

NOTE: Suspicious processes and fileS might not be visible over SSH connections


Some variants of Ebury will hide suspicious processes and files, if you are checking the system over SSH connection (link).

In cases like that, checks will need to be done over local terminal, remote management console, or through screen session, for all processes and files to be visible.

If you are unable to connect to the server without SSH, install screen with yum -y install screen, and run check4ebury.sh from screen session, to double check for any possible infection.

In some cases when checks are done over SSH, you might be getting different result if you check for processes and files over screen session.

In this example script doesn’t return any signs of infection when run directly from SSH session, but shows running processes and files when run through a screen session.

[[email protected] ~]# /root/check4ebury.sh
[[email protected] ~]# screen -dmS ebury bash -c '/root/check4ebury.sh >> test'; sleep 30; cat test
This server appears to have atd process listening on Unix socket or network port
Check server for possible Ebury
infection

===
unix 2 [ ACC ] STREAM LISTENING 1278995234 127563/atd @/tmp/dbus-BmCahxCc3k
===

===
File /lib64/tls/libkeyutils.so.1.5 is not owned by any RPM package, and there is a possible rootkit infection
Check
server for possible Ebury infection
===
===
File /lib64/tls/libkeyutils.so.1 is not owned by any RPM package, and there is a possible rootkit infection
Check
server for possible Ebury infection
===
[[email protected] ~]#
How to clean Ebury infection

Most important thing to note is, that in case of root level infections like these ones, the only safe way is to do a complete server rebuild after you clean the infection, and make any necessary backups.

In order to clean Ebury infection, you need to kill the processes you found with netstat, remove suspicious library files, and reinstall keyutils-libs* rpm package. It would be also advisable to reinstall SSH packages.

Steps that can be taken to clean the system:

Check the actual keyutils-libs RPM packages you have installed on your system, and download them before removing any files from the system, as it is possible in some cases that some of the infected files are used by yum, curl, wget, and that you won’t be able to do install with yum after removing the files, or use curl, or wget to download RPMs for install.

  • Kill all SSH connections with killall sshd.
  • Kill the atd processes listening over Unix socket with kill -9 `lsof -Pt /usr/sbin/atd`.
  • Remove the suspicious files you found, that were not connected with any rpm package.
  • Reinstall keyutils-libs and SSH packages, preferably with rpm -ivh --replacefiles --replacepkgs on the predownloaded packages, but in most cases you can use yum:
    yum -y reinstall openssh* libssh* keyutils-libs*

After you have reinstalled necessary packages, change your root password, and all SSH keys on the server, and reboot the server to check if suspicious processes and files will return after it.

If possible, always do a full server rebuild, even if no signs of infection exist after reboot.

Avoid cleaning the infection over SSH connection

It would be advisable to kill all SSH connections that exist on the system you are about to clean, so you should be doing it while connected to the server some other way, but if you need to clean the server over SSH, a script like this can be used to accomplish that (you need to replace the files being referenced in the script, with the files you have found on your own system)

#!/bin/bash

killall sshd; 
kill -9 `lsof -Pt /usr/sbin/atd`; 
rm -f /lib64/tls/libkeyutils.so.1.5; 
rm -f /lib64/tls/libkeyutils.so.1; 
yum -y reinstall openssh* libssh* keyutils-libs*; 
service sshd start
References:

https://www.cert-bund.de/ebury-faq

https://www.welivesecurity.com/2014/02/21/an-in-depth-analysis-of-linuxebury/

https://forums.cpanel.net/threads/ebury-rootkit-backdoor-trojan.396081/

https://documentation.cpanel.net/display/CKB/Determine+Your+System’s+Status

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