This article will explain the ACSIA alert called "software package manipulation".
Explaining the software package manipulation
In the context of cybersecurity, "Software package manipulation" refers to the unauthorized alteration or modification of computer software packages for LINUX systems. This manipulation can involve making changes to the software's code or contents with the intent to cause harm or gain unauthorized access to a user's computer or system.
More generally, it's also referred to the installation or uninstallation of packages, with the intent to alter the operating system, regardless of the operating system you're running on your machine.
Imagine we want to download a popular and legitimate software application from the internet. We find a website that claims to offer the software for free, which seems like a great deal. However, the website is not an official source for the software, and the download link leads to a different version of the software package that has been altered by a malicious actor.
When we install the software from this unauthorized source, we unknowingly download a manipulated software package. This manipulated version could contain malicious code, such as viruses, spyware, or other forms of malware. Once installed on a computer, the manipulated software may perform harmful actions, like stealing your personal information, monitoring your activities, or even granting unauthorized access to hackers.
In this example, the "Software package manipulation" refers to the unauthorized alteration of the software you intended to download. The manipulation can occur in various ways, such as inserting malicious code into the software's installer, modifying its functionality to carry out harmful actions, or repackaging it with a different, malicious version.
But, just to underline it again: it also refers to the installation or uninstallation of packages to manipulate the operating system.
ACSIA alerts you when a software manipulation is being performed. Here's all the information that ACSIA shows you in the Live Notification (note the
New dpkg (Debian Package) installed in the "Description" field, showing an unauthorized package installation):
Also, on the right of the above screen, we can see the actions that a user can perform in such cases.