Anyone who makes regular use of a computer in today’s day and age is familiar with the concept of malware, although the specifics are somewhat less widely understood. The average internet user is unlikely to be familiar with such particulars as mumblehard malware, and it’s that unfamiliarity that is allowing this malicious new breed of software to spread.

In the world of modern computers, including mobile devices and resource-intensive websites, any software that is designed to disrupt or take advantage of a computer or networked system is considered malware. This includes software which is designed to eat up memory, preventing operating systems from functioning properly, as well as software which is intended to turn target computers into automated spam-robots.

Mumblehard malware stands apart from other types of malware, because it targets computers running the Linux operating system, as well as operating systems derived from common forms of Linux. This is a threat to a classically malware-resistant platform, one that users working from other operating systems can unwittingly contribute to spreading.

What does Mumblehard Do?

In addition to preferentially targeting computers that run Linux or BSD operating systems, which have traditionally avoided the worst of computer viruses, trojans, and other traditional forms of malware, the Mumblehard strain takes over infected systems and computer networks without a lot of fanfare. Instead of crashing them, or consuming their resources uncontrollably, it uses them as low-key spam-bots. Infected computers are used to spread the malware to other systems, creating an escalating cascade of hijacked computers which can be used to launch devastating cyber-attacks that are difficult to trace back to their point of origin.

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Why is Mumblehard Dangerous?

There are several reasons why Mumblehard is a pervasive threat today. The Linux world was first made aware of Mumblehard in 2015, but it may have been a growing presence within the community for 5-6 years before that. This malware strain mutates over time, making it difficult to trace after going undetected for so long. It exploits loopholes in the security of extremely popular and reputable software platforms, such as Wordpress and Joomla, which provide the basis for the majority of new websites created on the internet today. This means that computers which aren’t running a Linux OS can still contribute to the spread of the malware, without their operators ever being made aware.

How to Mitigate the Effects of the Malware

Mumblehard’s primary strength lies in its ability to go undetected, but if you know where to look for it, its effects can be prevented. Mumblehard typically plants itself within the /tmp or /var/tmp directories of a software installation, and mounting those directories with the “noexec” option in place will prevent the malware from functioning. When allowed to operate, Mumblehard will install a pirated copy of a mass-email software application, then surreptitiously send out massive amounts of spam, which can be put to a variety of malicious purposes.

Additional countermeasures for Mumblehard malware are in development, but a server administrator can check for automated activity and cronjob requires to potentially identify infected user accounts. Understanding what goes into the Mumblehard strain of Linux malware can better equip experienced Linux users to identify and remove the Mumblehard malware from their systems.