Symbiote: A New Malware Targeting Linux Systems

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Symbiote is a newly discovered sophisticated virus that infects all active processes on Linux computers. Since last year, the malware has been in active development.

A New Threat To Linux

BlackBerry and Intezer Labs have investigated a new danger to Linux Symbiote, uncovering various technical features of the new virus.

The virus harvests account credentials and provides backdoor access to its operators after it has been infected.

It employs a system-wide threat after injecting itself into all operating processes and leaves no evidence of infection, even after an in-depth investigation by specialists.

To sniff network data packets and mask its own communication channels from security measures, the virus uses the Berkeley Packet Filter (BPF) hooking capabilities.

This virus is used to harvest credentials from compromised Linux computers in an automated manner. Theft of administrator credentials enables for unrestricted lateral movement and access to compromised computers.

Entities that are being targeted

Its primary objectives are the Latin American banking industry and the Brazilian Federal Police. Furthermore, the Symbiote virus uses domain names that look like big Brazilian institutions.


Getting away with it

Symbiote injects itself into the inspection software’s process and utilises BPF hooking to filter out dangerous packets whenever an administrator initiates a packet capture on the compromised computer to investigate.

The virus removes connection entries, does packet filtering through BPF, and eliminates UDP traffic to disguise its network activities on the infected PC.

The virus can use the libc and libpcap routines to mask its existence by hiding parasitic processes and files provided with the infection, for example.


Symbiote is a stealthy malware that focuses on stealing credentials and allowing backdoor access. As a result, experts advise administrators to employ network telemetry to spot unusual DNS requests. To mitigate the dangers posed by such threats, implement dependable anti-malware and endpoint detection and response solutions.

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