Blind Operator Mode - A Defensive Rootkit

Greg KH gregkh at
Wed Nov 15 18:21:32 CET 2017

On Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 04:18:54PM +0100, Jason A. Donenfeld wrote:
> Hey folks,
> One of the strengths of WireGuard is its visibility. wg(8) is a tiny tool
> that's easy to use, and you can configure and reconfigure everything at
> runtime, examining the current configuration, and doing other various things.
> It works well and for the most part people seem to like it.
> It turns out that this strength might actually be a weakness for some. A small
> commercial VPN provider approached me recently about the fact they could see
> the allowed IPs mapping easily with WireGuard, whereas with OpenVPN it was
> hidden deep inside a process they didn't know how to debug. "Great," I
> thought. Not so fast. They were concerned that when compelled to retrieve this
> kind of information, they would no longer be able to claim, "we don't know
> how," since WireGuard makes it so easy. So, they hired me for a day to develop
> and open source a small solution for their unique use case and odd scenario.
> Before reading further, do you have the same bizarre requirement? Probably
> not. In that likely case, please keep reading only under the scope of,
> "something somebody else thought they needed, but I don't need myself." In
> other words, don't use this code.
> Not wanting to hack up WireGuard or add configuration nobs -- or really
> compromise any of what the project is about in response to these kinds of
> requests -- I thought I'd write a small "defensive rootkit," which most
> certainly kills both your kitten and your neighbor's parrot.
> It started out by just hooking the Netlink API to zero out the endpoints and
> allowedips for each peer. Then I disabled tcpdump. Then I disabled /dev/mem,
> /dev/kmem, /dev/port, /proc/kcore, and module loading. Things were looking
> fairly clean, until I needed to add compatibility support for old kernels, and
> then I reverted to some cthulhu-style x86 opcode parsing and writing to proc
> from kernelspace and other atrocities. It seems to work relatively well on
> the kernels I've tested, but of course there are no guarantees with this kind
> of stuff. In any case, there aren't very many public rootkit examples like
> this, so at the very least it might be an aid to a college freshman doing an
> assignment for his "Intro to Computer Security" course.
> Keep in mind that there are several ways to subvert each and every defense
> that this thing introduces. Several ways! All of the defenses! Subverted! For
> that reason, you shouldn't use this if you're relying on the impossibility of
> subversion. It's only meant as a confinement based on your own lack of
> knowledge on how to subvert it. As you learn more, the software becomes less
> effective.
> If it's of any interest, it's online here:
> $ git clone
> Enjoy! Please don't run this monster at home!

Ouch, my eyes!!!

That's a great kernel module, thanks for publishing it, lots of fun
things in there :)

greg k-h

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