mailing list archives
Re: vsftpd download backdoored
From: Solar Designer <solar () openwall com>
Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2011 08:21:12 +0400
On Mon, Jul 04, 2011 at 11:04:00PM -0500, HD Moore wrote:
This copy is backdoored and has mtime Feb-15-2011. Chris didn't reply
when I asked him for a copy from his master (old/vsftpd-2.3.4.tar.gz).
This is very helpful, thank you! How did you find it?
So, I failed to get this server to give me ctime (looked at HTTP headers
and also tried several FTP commands), and the mtime is Feb 15. We could
ask the server admins for the ctime.
However, inside the archive we see 2011-06-30 14:15 UTC on the top-level
directory, and 2011-06-30 13:46 on the .o files. This suggests that the
backdoored tarball was put in place no earlier than 2011-06-30 14:15 UTC,
although that's using the intruder's system time, which might not be
... I am saying that for this to become as widespread as the mtime in
the mirror above indicates, it would be incredible for distros like
Debian to not notice it, as they verify the hash of the tarball. This
indicates that the mtime in the mirror above was forged (since the hash
is indeed wrong), but the real question is how this mirror obtained the
Was the mirror compromised? Was a rsync job used against the real
server, in which case the mtime was preserved? I couldn't find any
public copies with the backdoored checksum, but one of the metasploit
contributors pointed me to the link above.
My guess is that the mirror is automatically updated, perhaps nightly,
and not necessarily via rsync. It is possible to transfer/preserve the
mtime via ftp and http as well - typical mirror programs do that.
I would like to believe the exposure was limited to 1-3 days, but the
mirror above casts doubt on this.
Looks like it was 3 days, actually.