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A LKM rootkit for most newer kernel versions.
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A linux kernel module for hooking and exploiting kernel functions and user data.

Note: This loadable kernel module was developed using linux kernel version 4.4.13. Should you have problems compiling this module, please check for your kernel version first.

Rootkit functionalities:

Kernel module build and install


To compile this module, just run the Makefile with the make command in your terminal (requires root privileges). The generated rootkit.ko kernel module is added to your folder.


Kernel modules are installed using the insmod command. In this project we also install two other modules (nf_reject_ipv4 and nf_reject_ipv6) which are neccessary to enable and use all functionalities this rootkit offers. To install all modules at once, just use

$ make load


To properly uninstall this rootkit along with the other two kernel modules, use the

$ make unload

command. Make sure the rootkit module is not hidden when unloading.

Rootkit functionalities

Covert communication channel

When loading the rootkit, so is an UDP server inside this module. This UDP server acts as a server and a client together (more information later). To send commands to this kernel module, run the nc command on your machine. The port is always 8071, which can be changed in the include.h file on line 28 (UDP_PORT). An example would look like this:

$ nc -4 -u localhost 8071

To send a command to this rootkit module, enter a valid command from the list of functionalities below and press Enter.

System call table hook

The system call table is located at the beginning, reading from the MSR_LSTAR register. The address then is stored in an extern pointer which every file can access, if the files includes the include.h file. This address is then used to alter specific system call entries, like the getdents/getdents64 function for file hiding.

File hiding

This functionality allows the user to fide files starting with the rootkit_ and .rootkit_ prefix. Also, all file descriptors refering to a hidden file will be hidden too but the file is still accesible to those who know that the file is there (i. e. opening the file via terminal is still possible if you know the path to the file). To enable file hiding from your machine, use the covert channel and send the command


To show the files again, send


In the future, variable prefixes are supported.

Kernel module hiding

All kernel modules are being listed when typing lsmod. To prevent this module from being detected, send


to your rootkit via UDP. To show the module again, send


Note: The module has to be visible (i. e. not hidden) when unloading.

In the future it should be able to hide any module by passing the name as a param to the hidemod command.

Network keylogging

Note: This functionality requires a syslog-ng server on the users machine. The destination port for receiving keylogger data is 514, which can also be changed in the include.h on line 29 (SYS_PORT).

When enabling the keylogger with


This command hooks the /dev/ttyS0 read function on the victims machine, storing all data typed in a terminal. The rootkit module allocates a buffer for every terminal (i. e. multiple PIDs when multiple terminals) and sends them to the user (you). The data is then stored in your log file (path of the file depends on how you configure your syslog-ng server on your machine). To disable the keylogger, send


Currently the receiver of the log messages is the user sending the keylog command. In the future the user can choose a remote server where the data is stored.

IPv4/IPv6 packet hiding

The rootkit also offers a function to hide packets from specific senders. That is, an IPv4 or an IPv6 address passed via UDP command hidepacket. This time, we need to specify a transportation protocol and a senders IP address as a param, for example:


or for IPv6 addresses, either the full or shortened way:


The rootkit automatically detects the IP version, so there's no need for more information. The supported transportation protocols are: udp4, udp6, tcp4 and tcp6. To test this functionality, start a packet analyzer on your victims machine (for example: WireShark) and look for the senders IP address. If you send a hidepacket command to your rootkit, WireShark should not be listing any packets from or to your specific IP address anymore. To undo this, send a


command to your rootkit. The IP address should be the same address you sent to the kernel module when hiding all packets from and to this specific address.

Port knocking

Port knocking allows the user to hide specific ports on the victims machine, only accesable to whom "knocks" on a specific order of different ports. First of all, you send a message to your rootkit declaring the port you want to hide:


When trying to send a message via nc to this specific port on your victims machine, the port is not accessible. You have to knock on other ports first to gain access to your hidden port. As for now, the "knocking ports" are always 2345, 3456 and 4567. Those ports can be changed in the port_knocking.c file on line 14 (knocking_ports). If you want to change the amount of ports to knock you have to alter the array size defined in port_knocking.h on line 15 (KNOCKING_LENGTH). To make the hidden port visible again, send the command:


Privilege escalation

Note: This functionality is still buggy. Please be careful with your machine when escalating a process.

Escalating a process privileges to root and also make this process adopted by the init process. To escalate a process to root, send the command escalate along with the PID of the process to your rootkit:


After this all child processes born from this process also have root privileges. If the specific process already has children, the privileges of the children don't change. The specific process is now adopted by the init process. The children of this process are unaffected by this action. To deescalate a process to its original privileges, send


Note: You can only deescalate processes you have escalated before.

Socket hiding

To hide a socket you need to specify a transportation protocol and a port (similar to the packet hiding functionality). The supported protocols are the same (udp4, udp6, tcp4, tcp6). For example:


The socket is now hidden, but still accessible. This way you can hide the communication channel between your host and the victims machine. The victim cannot detect the socket you use to send commands to your rootkit module. To make a socket visible again, send



Any contributions and ideas are welcome. For questions please contact me at

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