Users of Linux Mint, one of the best and popular Linux Distros, witnessed a possible hacking on Saturday, after downloading and installing a copy of its operating system.
An unknown group of hackers managed to hack the Linux Mint website and affected the Linux Mint 17.3 Cinnamon edition.
Project leader of Linux Mint, Clement Lefebvre, confirmed the news of the hacking in a surprise announcement. He said, "Hackers made a modified Linux Mint ISO, with a backdoor in it, and managed to hack our website to point to it."
The issue will only impact the people who had downloaded the Cinnamon edition on February 20 as the situation happened that night. If you have downloaded the edition before 20th February, the issue does not affect you. Even if you downloaded a different edition including Mint 17.3 Cinnamon via Torrent or direct HTTP link, this does not affect you either.
On Sunday, Linux Mint also confirmed that its forums database had also been targeted in the hack of its systems. In the announcement, Clement said that the hacked ISOs are hosted on 18.104.22.168 and the backdoor connects to absentvodka.com.
Meanwhile, anyone who downloaded the 17.3 Cinnamon edition can find out if their computer has been compromised by checking the MD5 signature on the ISO file to see if it matches with the valid versions.
If found infected, users are advised to follow these steps:
- Put the computer offline.
- Backup your personal data, if any.
- Reinstall the OS or format the partition.
- Change your passwords for sensitive websites (for your email in particular).