Did you happen to download Linux Mint on February 20th? If you did there is a good chance you were infected with malware.
It appears that on February 20th the Linux Mint website was hacked and the download links were replaced to one’s on the hackers servers and were then being used to distribute malicious ISO images
“Hackers made a modified Linux Mint ISO, with a backdoor in it, and managed to hack our website to point to it,” the head of Linux Mint project Clement Lefebvre said in a surprising announcement dated February 21, 2016..
The only confirmed edition that was affected was Linux Mint 17.3 and the other good news is that it is pretty easy to detect and protect your machine against the malicious ISO.
However, if you are active on their forums it is also recommended that you reset your password as a standard security measure since the forums, and their databases were targeted during the attack.
If you have the ISO downloaded, not installed, and aren’t sure you can simply remove the ISO and download the ones from their website.
If you have downloaded the ISO and are currently running it on a machine, there is nothing to worry about you can check the ISO MD5 signature and you can compare it with the ones below.
If your signatures don’t match with the above please remove the ISO from your computer and reinstall the Linux operating system to make sure that your computer and personal information are safe from potentially malicious users.
On the bright side, the Linux Mint team is willing to take elevated action if the attacks continue.
“What we don’t know is the motivation behind this attack. If more efforts are made to attack our project and if the goal is to hurt us, we’ll get in touch with authorities and security firms to confront the people behind this,” said Lefebvre.