I have crontabs running as the default ubuntu user. Just today I noticed that my entire crontab was deleted and replaced with the usual boilerplate, as what happens if you execute crontab -r

Some log entries of note:


Mar 15 14:45:18 localhost crontab[4732]: (ubuntu) DELETE (ubuntu)


Mar 15 14:46:02 localhost sshd[4793]: Connection closed by [preauth]
Mar 15 14:48:16 localhost sshd[4901]: Connection closed by [preauth]

This is a EC2 server behind a security group. SSH is key restricted to only my IP.

I have support staff who perform some actions using webmin. There are logs of one staff member executing cronjobs manually around 11:00, but nothing between 11:00 and 14:45

.bash_history for ubuntu user doesn't show anything.

How could I find out what deleted the crontab? Could it be a bug in webmin that caused a long running cron execution to corrupt the crontab file? I didn't have file system auditing enabled in webmin.

  • It would seem I was a victim of CVE-2017-5638 – user2819573 Mar 16 '17 at 15:38

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