/etc/inittab - The Most Overlooked Cracker Haven

Friday, 6 December 2002, 12:08 PM EST

Crackers can cause their software to be run by adding entries to /etc/inittab, a file frequently missed by administrators.

I told folks to discount any change which required kernel modifications. A change to the MBR probably doesn't qualify in that regard, but it would certainly seem out of scope nonetheless. Similarly, a change to the bootloader or initrd ram disk fall under kernel changes to some degree, and thus weren't the correct answer, based on my phrasing.

Many folks suggested that it was root's .bashrc, or global /etc/profile and similar files that was the culprit. By logging in, root's shell would execute commands that were hidden in those files. That's definately a possibility, but the fact that moniker had PID 15 meant that it had to have started before root logged in, so that's not the culprit.

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