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Exploit.Linux.CVE-2016-5195.f

Class Exploit
Platform Linux
Family CVE-2016-5195
Full name HEUR:Exploit.Linux.CVE-2016-5195.f
Examples 50F1970B9ABE5786E6310BC4351DB013
182536CD906818A66EDAE5EC58880518
9661C01AF31A41CAEF2CCD3B6BE06E60
3C9E550D41F3DE930E678776A6E018ED
18A352D33C8C01B6A196ADCE176C5A96
Updated at 2023-11-29 04:25:40
Tactics &
techniques MITRE*

TA0005 Defense Evasion

The adversary is trying to avoid being detected.


Defense Evasion consists of techniques that adversaries use to avoid detection throughout their compromise. Techniques used for defense evasion include uninstalling/disabling security software or obfuscating/encrypting data and scripts. Adversaries also leverage and abuse trusted processes to hide and masquerade their malware. Other tactics’ techniques are cross-listed here when those techniques include the added benefit of subverting defenses.


T1055.008 Process Injection: Ptrace System Calls

Adversaries may inject malicious code into processes via ptrace (process trace) system calls in order to evade process-based defenses as well as possibly elevate privileges. Ptrace system call injection is a method of executing arbitrary code in the address space of a separate live process.

Ptrace system call injection involves attaching to and modifying a running process. The ptrace system call enables a debugging process to observe and control another process (and each individual thread), including changing memory and register values.(Citation: PTRACE man) Ptrace system call injection is commonly performed by writing arbitrary code into a running process (ex: malloc) then invoking that memory with PTRACE_SETREGS to set the register containing the next instruction to execute. Ptrace system call injection can also be done with PTRACE_POKETEXT/PTRACE_POKEDATA, which copy data to a specific address in the target processes’ memory (ex: the current address of the next instruction). (Citation: PTRACE man)(Citation: Medium Ptrace JUL 2018)

Ptrace system call injection may not be possible targeting processes that are non-child processes and/or have higher-privileges.(Citation: BH Linux Inject)

Running code in the context of another process may allow access to the process's memory, system/network resources, and possibly elevated privileges. Execution via ptrace system call injection may also evade detection from security products since the execution is masked under a legitimate process.

The adversary is trying to avoid being detected.


Defense Evasion consists of techniques that adversaries use to avoid detection throughout their compromise. Techniques used for defense evasion include uninstalling/disabling security software or obfuscating/encrypting data and scripts. Adversaries also leverage and abuse trusted processes to hide and masquerade their malware. Other tactics’ techniques are cross-listed here when those techniques include the added benefit of subverting defenses.


T1564.001 Hide Artifacts: Hidden Files and Directories

Adversaries may set files and directories to be hidden to evade detection mechanisms. To prevent normal users from accidentally changing special files on a system, most operating systems have the concept of a ‘hidden’ file. These files don’t show up when a user browses the file system with a GUI or when using normal commands on the command line. Users must explicitly ask to show the hidden files either via a series of Graphical User Interface (GUI) prompts or with command line switches (dir /a for Windows and ls –a for Linux and macOS).

On Linux and Mac, users can mark specific files as hidden simply by putting a “.” as the first character in the file or folder name (Citation: Sofacy Komplex Trojan) (Citation: Antiquated Mac Malware). Files and folders that start with a period, ‘.’, are by default hidden from being viewed in the Finder application and standard command-line utilities like “ls”. Users must specifically change settings to have these files viewable.

Files on macOS can also be marked with the UF_HIDDEN flag which prevents them from being seen in Finder.app, but still allows them to be seen in Terminal.app (Citation: WireLurker). On Windows, users can mark specific files as hidden by using the attrib.exe binary. Many applications create these hidden files and folders to store information so that it doesn’t clutter up the user’s workspace. For example, SSH utilities create a .ssh folder that’s hidden and contains the user’s known hosts and keys.

Adversaries can use this to their advantage to hide files and folders anywhere on the system and evading a typical user or system analysis that does not incorporate investigation of hidden files.
* © 2024 The MITRE Corporation. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of The MITRE Corporation.
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