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Thread: Linux targeted by vulnerability?

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    Very good friend of the forum Virchanza's Avatar
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    Jan 2010

    Default Linux targeted by vulnerability?

    (I meant to write "targeted by exploit" but I can't change it now!)

    I went to bed lastnight with my laptop running Ubuntu and the following programs:

    Firefox web browser
    Seamonkey web browser
    Thunderbird e-mail manager
    VLC media player

    VLC was playing an audio clip on repeat throughout the night.

    When I woke up, the audio clip was no longer playing... in fact all that was on the screen was my desktop wallpaper, nothing else. No desktop icons, no panels, nothing. I pressed ALT+TAB to see if I could get at any open programs but it had no effect.

    So I did Ctrl+Alt+F1 to get to a terminal. From there I did "shutdown -r now".

    When my laptop booted back up into Ubuntu, everything worked fine. But I noticed an extra launcher on my panel, a little icon of the Earth. If clicked, the launcher opened up a web browser to an adult site.

    I certainly didn't put that launcher there......... so I can only figure that there was a vulnerability exploited in Firefox or Seamonkey (given that these were the only 2 programs accessing the internet). I suppose there's also a chance that a background service such as Update Manager was targeted.

    I'm not saying it's strange that a vulnerability was found in a web browser, but this is the first time I've seen Ubuntu targeted so precisely. Who knows what else the exploit code did, maybe it copied all my saved passwords from Firefox too?

    Anyone else here ever seen Linux targeted like this?

    Anyone got any advice to figure out what exacty went wrong? How can I investigate the root cause of the crash, and possibly investigate what the hell happened?
    Last edited by Virchanza; 05-06-2011 at 04:15 PM.
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