ESET researchers examined the inner workings of 21 different Linux malware families all operating as trojanized versions of the OpenSHH client.

Researchers noted 12 of the malwares were previously undocumented, 18 had credential-stealing features and 17 featured a backdoor mode, according to the company’s “The Dark Side Of The FORSSHE: A landscape of OpenSSH backdoors” report.

In addition, researchers discovered that an SSH backdoor used by DarkLeech operators is the same as that used by Carbanak a few years later and that threat actors had developed a wide spectrum of complexity in backdoor implementations, starting from off-the-shelf malware to obfuscated samples and network protocols.

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