A Mac OS X capability that injects a pthread into an OpenSSH client process creating a surreptitious sub-channel to the remote computer.

POSIX threads, or pthreads, are interfaces (functions, header files) for threaded programming. A single process can contain multiple threads, all of which are executing the same program. These threads share the same global memory (data and heap segments), but each thread has its own stack (automatic variables). It allows a program to control multiple different flows of work that overlap in time. Each flow of work is referred to as a thread, and creation and control over these flows is achieved by making calls to the POSIX Threads API.

OpenSSH is the premier connectivity tool for remote login with the SSH protocol. It encrypts all traffic to eliminate eavesdropping, connection hijacking, and other attacks. In addition, OpenSSH provides a large suite of secure tunneling capabilities, several authentication methods, and sophisticated configuration options.

Threads in the same process share:

Process instructions

Most data

Open files (descriptors)

Signals and signal handlers

Current working directory

User and group id

SnowyOwl, therefore is capable of compromising the OpenSSH process via pthread injection to gain access to whatever process information, data, files, signals, working directory, and user or group ID the OpenSSH client process is utilizing.

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