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595 comments

pwned (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29057101)

If this was Windows we'd never hear the end of it.

Now STFU.

Re:pwned (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29057217)

Rofl if you give someone a user account in windows they already own you.

Re:pwned (2, Insightful)

Bandman (86149) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057703)

Ah, I miss 1999, too.

Seriously, have you used a Windows machine at all in the past, say, decade?

A _real_ Windows machine, not the crap they sell you at Best Buy. No? OK then.

Re:pwned (1, Informative)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057981)

Yes, hardened windows is reasonably secure. After you spend an hour or two installing all the third party software and configuration settings you need to prevent being owned in under five minutes. Or you can just install Ubuntu.

And on ANY operating system, you need to accept that a user having local execution privs means that every now and then they'll have a chance to root you with a 0day. Whether it's weekly on Windows or monthly on Linux, 0days happen and there's nothing you can do about it.

Re:pwned (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29057303)

If this were Windows, we'd first hear about it when our machines get owned by some malware, and then it would take months for a patch to be released. Since this is Linux, expect a fix in a week or less.

Re:pwned (4, Insightful)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057665)

Expect a source fix with no regression testing in a week or less. Wait months for the big distribution makers (RedHat, Novell) to release it to the masses.

Expect people manually rebuilding their kernel in panic, having machines rendered unbootable because they decided the 250$ bucks for the iLO Advanced license wasn't worth it since Linux never crashes, etc. pp.

Face it: IT sucks. The OS matters little.

Re:pwned (4, Interesting)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057969)

If this was Windows we'd never hear the beginning of it. How much local privilege escalation vulnerabilities normal windows users worry about? Are the remote vulnerabilities (and the ones that don't need to escalate, as run as the current user) the ones that get lots of publicity. And you got from time to time a number big enough of remote vulnerabilities there to consider them the only ones that matters.

Of course, if you add a local privilege escalation to a some app remote vulnerability that enables to run code, even if is with low privileges, there you have a potential remote root exploit. Is something to care about, but odds are low that a lot of systems will be affected.

Ahh... (5, Funny)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057105)

So that's what the NULL pointers were for.

Re:Ahh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29057187)

Its from April of this year? Already a patch out old news

Re:Ahh... (2, Insightful)

PhilPSU (779421) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057333)

The biased /.er. It doesn't matter that it was a 8 year old really bad exploit. If it was MS this post would have been on the same day as it was found and everyone laughing at how lame Win is. Not for the /.ers. Nope focus on the fact the article didn't get posted here till today and that "hey, look its already been patched way back in april of this year no worries WE WIN!!

local... remote... (3, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057735)

As was stated before: if someone has a local account on your Windows machine, they already own you. You DO know the difference between local and remote exploits, right? I mean, NOBODY on Slashdot would go spouting off on topics they know nothing about just to score some points for their favorite OS.

Yeah, this is a serious bug. But honestly, how many people are running real multi-user systems with multiple honest to God local users? Okay, I am, but I figure I'm probably in the minority nowadays.

I'm safe! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29057121)

I use Windows!

Re:I'm safe! (4, Funny)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057553)

Once again, my 2.0 Linux kernel is safe!

Re:I'm safe! (3, Funny)

Bandman (86149) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057719)

Excellent. My old 2.2-based Slack 8 boxes should be fine, too.

Can't trust that new-fangled 2.4 stuff. USB support? Who needs it!

Re:I'm safe! (-1, Troll)

jhol13 (1087781) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057873)

Today, I updated my Ubuntu for sixth time this year . This will be seventh.

Now I just have two wishes:
1. Can't you, Gods of the Kernel, make it more stable?
2. At least make the device driver a bit more stable?

I will kill a goat if You wish, compiling and testing three device driver on three computers every month is a bit tiresome.

Please, Sirs!

Security through Obscurity? (3, Insightful)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057175)

Does this mean that Linux was never more secure than Windows--only more obscure?

Re:Security through Obscurity? (0)

ammorais (1585589) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057243)

Does this mean that Linux was never more secure than Windows--only more obscure?

No.
You could have a point if this was resolved only 6-12 months after it's discovery.

Re:Security through Obscurity? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29057297)

uh huh..and the 8 years it took to discover don't matter, eh?

Re:Security through Obscurity? (1)

ammorais (1585589) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057363)

No. If nobody knew it wasn't a security issue. I'm sure there are bugs on every OS with more than 8 years old yet to discover.

Re:Security through Obscurity? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29057647)

How do you know that nobody knew about it. It could have been a nice little tool for somebody for years.

Re:Security through Obscurity? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29057721)

Does this mean that Linux was never more secure than Windows--only more obscure?

No. If nobody knew it wasn't a security issue.

Isn't that exactly what security through obscurity means?!

Re:Security through Obscurity? (0, Flamebait)

ammorais (1585589) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057869)

I don't know what do you mean with Obscurity.
For me obscurity is closed source code. It's to try to hide vulnerabilities from the public to argue that it's more safe.
Obscurity for me definitely isn't posting a patch in the same day that the vulnerability is discovered.

Re:Security through Obscurity? (3, Insightful)

Bandman (86149) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057753)

Yeah, I can't buy this, and neither should you.

Really, just because they're not common knowledge doesn't mean that no one has found them.

Re:Security through Obscurity? (4, Interesting)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057881)

Yes, but generally exploits get discovered by others if they are used.

At some point, someone curious will get hacked, and wonder how the hell that happened, and track down the exploit.

And that's not even including discovery on the cracker's side. (People he works with, etc.)

The only way to keep an exploit a secret is to (almost) never use it. It's going to be made public within a few months of even low usage.

Re:Security through Obscurity? (5, Interesting)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057935)

No. If nobody knew it wasn't a security issue. I'm sure there are bugs on every OS with more than 8 years old yet to discover.

You veered completely off track right about here: "If nobody knew"

Seriously? Really, that's the best you could come up with? That's your apologia? How do you know nobody knew? You think the real blackhats are going publicizing their 'sploits? Blackhats these days aren't script kiddies and honest hackers, they are hard core Russian mafia doing it for cash. Your Linux systems could have been owned twelve ways from Sunday for EIGHT YEARS without you ever knowing it, and you are claiming 'it wasn't a security issue?' WTF? When did Linux get infested with idiot fanboys? Shouldn't you be slobbing all over an Apple or something? I was using Linux before you even knew what Unix was, I despise Microsoft and love open source, but a bug is a bug.

Try this one: 'No. Because it's a freaking LOCAL EXPLOIT and nearly no-one uses Linux for multi-user systems now that everyone can afford their OWN FREAKING COMPUTER.' Good lord, kids these days, gotta teach them everything.

Re:Security through Obscurity? (3, Interesting)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057281)

Well, all Microsoft OS's would fault when trying to execute code at a NULL address, merely because people needed to use something to signify an uninitialized pointer. Most operating systems do this. Apparently (I could be wrong, the article is short on details and I don't play in that part of the kernel), this is due to an optimization and not necessarily the original intention.

Re:Security through Obscurity? (1)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057921)

Didn't we just have some sort of security issue with pulseadio and a NULL pointer?

Seriously, how hard is it for the OS to just blow up whatever program is running if it tries to access the memory location NULL, period? That is not a valid memory location, you cannot put things there, if you access it in any way, you die, no exceptions.

Re:Security through Obscurity? (2, Insightful)

dissy (172727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057317)

Does this mean that Linux was never more secure than Windows--only more obscure?

It's hardly obscure since they could look and find it, evidenced by the fact they found it.

Go try that with the Windows kernels!

In addition, there is already a patch out for this, which by end of the week will be pushed down from the distro managers. We don't have to wait years after finding it for the fix to be released, as Microsoft historically does.

In fact, why just assume this similar bug is NOT in the windows kernel? Did you check? Did any reputable security company check?
I'm not saying it is there, only that you can't easily prove otherwise.

*that* is the security being spoken of.

As far as I know, only one OS claims no exploits, and that is OpenBSD.

Re:Security through Obscurity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29057575)

You're wrong BTW, they claim 2 exploits at this point, once dating from '05 was it? And the other from either this year or last year :)

Re:Security through Obscurity? (5, Insightful)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057843)

Does this mean that Linux was never more secure than Windows--only more obscure?

It's hardly obscure since they could look and find it, evidenced by the fact they found it.

Go try that with the Windows kernels!

In addition, there is already a patch out for this, which by end of the week will be pushed down from the distro managers. We don't have to wait years after finding it for the fix to be released, as Microsoft historically does.

In fact, why just assume this similar bug is NOT in the windows kernel? Did you check? Did any reputable security company check?
I'm not saying it is there, only that you can't easily prove otherwise.

*that* is the security being spoken of.

As far as I know, only one OS claims no exploits, and that is OpenBSD.

The transparent thing works both ways... it's easier for black hats to find holes too, by your own logic. And they can keep it secret and exploit it as long as they can. A similar bug existing in Windows doesn't prove anything and is irrelevant here. After all 'M$ can't code shit'. Linux and FOSS is commonly claimed to be more secure because of it's development model and bug free here in these parts. Any data that runs counter to this is routinely downplayed by commenters and moderators... just like your post got modded up.

Re:Security through Obscurity? (1)

Sinbios (852437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057863)

It's hardly obscure since they could look and find it, evidenced by the fact they found it.

Yeah, it only took eight years.

Go try that with the Windows kernels!

So if Windows kernels are more obscure, does that make them more secure?

In addition, there is already a patch out for this, which by end of the week will be pushed down from the distro managers. We don't have to wait years after finding it for the fix to be released, as Microsoft historically does.

The blog post never mentioned when it was discovered, just "recently". For all anyone knows they could have been doing Linus a favour and kept their mouths shut until Linus came out with a patch, seeing as the very post that announced the exploit already linked to the patch. In a situation like this with Microsoft, do you think they'd exercise the same grace?

Re:Security through Obscurity? (1)

gbarules2999 (1440265) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057335)

No. It means nobody noticed this flaw yet. If someone had, then it would have been used against all the servers that support the world's webpages. Wikipedia's Ubuntu servers, for example, or getting deeper, something like Amazon.

Re:Security through Obscurity? (1)

Bandman (86149) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057785)

From reading the docs, it sounds like it would be difficult to exploit via web browser, since it requires a local account.

Now, if you compromised the web server using a vulnerability, and used the web server's account, you could have escalated yourself to root and done what you wanted then.

Re:Security through Obscurity? (5, Informative)

amorsen (7485) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057349)

Generally people don't care about local privilege escalation on Windows. Like this vulnerability [microsoft.com] .

Re:Security through Obscurity? (1)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057529)

From your link, it looks like it was patched as an "Important" security vulnerability.

Re:Security through Obscurity? (3, Interesting)

molo (94384) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057801)

Important, not "Critical". And there are a bunch like that on every Patch Tuesday,

-molo

Re:Security through Obscurity? (2, Insightful)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057871)

Linux runs on a lot of shell servers, gameservers, webhosts etc. where normal user accounts are sold to customers. This happens much less with Windows servers which tend to be more owned and used by a single entity with full admin rights.

I don't get it... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29057205)

Why the bloody hell isn't page 0 hard-wired to panic the kernel / SIGSEGV the userland when accessed?

Re:I don't get it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29057831)

I think it qualifies as an oops, not a panic. Regardless I don't get how/why can you map and write to the first page.

I can hear the OpenBSD users laughing already... (5, Funny)

thenextstevejobs (1586847) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057219)

Or I would be able to, if there were any

Re:I can hear the OpenBSD users laughing already.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29057539)

I am! And I'm a DeadBSD user!

Re:I can hear the OpenBSD users laughing already.. (5, Funny)

frn123 (242374) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057645)

Sure there are. And they are both laughing.

Re:I can hear the OpenBSD users laughing already.. (1)

SevenHands (984677) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057827)

Are you sure they aren't laughing because they found some more "edible" gunk between their toes?

Re:I can hear the OpenBSD users laughing already.. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29057911)

... I don't get it... Stallman uses Linux [youtube.com] ...

Re:I can hear the OpenBSD users laughing already.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29057837)

Hey! =/

The REAL impact here (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057223)

Within a few days, patches will be released to all the OSS vendors. Admins will be inconvenienced by a reboot.

In my case:

# yum -y update && shutdown -r now;

*Yawn*

Re:The REAL impact here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29057299)

That's assuming nobody else has known about it for some time already.

Not quite. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29057321)

I use Ubuntu with Ksplice. Fixing this will be a matter of downloading a new kernel and reloading it. Suck on that Mac/PC users.

Yeah, those windows lusers will just fuck a few (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29057367)

beatches while I go compiler a kurnul. I'm so glad I am a linuxtardo.

Re:Yeah, those windows lusers will just fuck a few (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29057977)

beatches while I go compiler a kurnul. I'm so glad I am a linuxtardo.

For crying out loud... learn how to write English, please!

Re:Not quite. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29057855)

I fixed it for you:

Suck on that Mac/Win users.

Did you know that Linux can run on a PC?

Re:The REAL impact here (3, Informative)

dissy (172727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057359)

Within a few days, patches will be released to all the OSS vendors. Admins will be inconvenienced by a reboot.

Even that last bit is avoidable, if you have Ksplice [ksplice.com] installed :D

Re:The REAL impact here (4, Insightful)

Bazman (4849) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057607)

How can you trust that a user hasn't used a privilege escalation to install a rootkit already? You can't trust apt-get, or yum, or anything.

Fresh install time, surely? Back to the bare metal.

Re:The REAL impact here (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057819)

I don't have any users. And corporate IT thinks security means forcing users to change their passwords every couple of months. Most of them will probably wait for scheduled down time to update their kernels, assuming they do it at all.

Re:The REAL impact here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29057957)

How can you trust that a user hasn't used a privilege escalation to install a rootkit already? You can't trust apt-get, or yum, or anything.

Fresh install time, surely? Back to the bare metal.

Or, just boot off a CD and do some MD5 hashing. For extra paranoia take the disk out to avoid the chance of a rootkit in the bios.

The malware authors will go crazy with this (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29057261)

If they wern't so busy with windows users and their non zero-balance bank accounts.

(from the blog) (5, Informative)

An anonymous Frank (559486) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057277)

In the Linux kernel, each socket has an associated struct of operations
called proto_ops which contain pointers to functions implementing various
features, such as accept, bind, shutdown, and so on.
If an operation on a particular socket is unimplemented, they are expected
to point the associated function pointer to predefined stubs, for example if
the "accept" operation is undefined it would point to sock_no_accept(). However,
we have found that this is not always the case and some of these pointers are
left uninitialized.
This is not always a security issue, as the kernel validates the pointers at
the call site, such as this example from sock_splice_read:
[snip]
But we have found an example where this is not the case; the sock_sendpage()
routine does not validate the function pointer is valid before dereferencing
it, and therefore relies on the correct initialization of the proto_ops
structure.
We have identified several examples where the initialization is incomplete:
[snip]

Local Privilege Escalation On All Linux Kernels (5, Insightful)

sofar (317980) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057283)

sudo

Please, this is a _local_ privilege escalation. It's not like code red infecting your box remotely. A sledgehammer is also a local privilege escalation.

Re:Local Privilege Escalation On All Linux Kernels (1)

thenextstevejobs (1586847) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057525)

Please, this is a _local_ privilege escalation. It's not like code red infecting your box remotely. A sledgehammer is also a local privilege escalation.

Log in as an unprivileged user on a shared server remotely with a sledgehammer then. Oh wait..

Re:Local Privilege Escalation On All Linux Kernels (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29057923)

Actually I think OpenSSH will support that soon.

Re:Local Privilege Escalation On All Linux Kernels (5, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057579)

The thing is, local privilege escalations can become remote privilege escalations when combined with buggy services that allow for code injection. This is especially bad for people who are forced to run services that they don't trust and thus place them in jails, only to discover that if the exploit happens at the kernel level then your jail means nothing.

My guess is that rootkits are being updated as we speak, so get your kernels patched people.

Re:Local Privilege Escalation On All Linux Kernels (3, Insightful)

athakur999 (44340) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057737)

But if you have any programs that access the Internet that have a bug that allow running arbitrary code, couldn't a remote cracker could exploit the vulnerability in that program to invoke this bug, and through that gain root access to the machine? It sounds like the program being exploited could even be running as a regular user.

Re:Local Privilege Escalation On All Linux Kernels (3, Funny)

quarterbuck (1268694) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057757)

A sledgehammer is a Denial of Service - Unless you aim it at the head of the operator and threaten to use it.

Re:Local Privilege Escalation On All Linux Kernels (1)

jhol13 (1087781) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057931)

sudo

Again? Second time this year?

And I have had sooo many complaints when I have kept KISS - su is several orders of magnitude simpler (no configuration files to fubar either).

SELinux? (2, Interesting)

Shimdaddy (898354) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057287)

Is this something that SELinux would protect against?

Re:SELinux? (1)

thenextstevejobs (1586847) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057571)

Is this something that SELinux would protect against?

You could put extremely strict policies on your users that would not allow them to write to disk, open sockets, etc. But essentially without crippling your users, the answer is no.

Re:SELinux? (3, Informative)

Bandman (86149) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057849)

From http://archives.neohapsis.com/archives/fulldisclosure/2009-08/0174.html [neohapsis.com] :

-------------------
Mitigation
-----------------------
Recent kernels with mmap_min_addr support may prevent exploitation if
the sysctl vm.mmap_min_addr is set above zero. However, administrators
should be aware that LSM based mandatory access control systems, such
as SELinux, may alter this functionality.
It should also be noted that all kernels up to 2.6.30.2 are vulnerable to
published attacks against mmap_min_addr.

Re:SELinux? (4, Informative)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057587)

SELinux makes the problem worse. Without SELinux, there's a variable that specifies the lowest page in memory that a process can map. If you can't put anything at address 0, jumping through a NULL function pointer isn't as big a deal.

With SELinux on, that variable is ignored, and you can map at address 0 to your heart's content.

Re:SELinux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29057655)

Idiot karma whore.

The summary said all kernels.

Re:SELinux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29057895)

First off, I'm not sure it's fair to call SELinux a kernel. I suppose, if you half close an eye and tilt your head you could consider a project that includes linux security modules a separate kernel, I could see your point.

Second, it said "all 2.4 and 2.6 kernels" which I (maybe I'm also an idiot, though) took to mean that kernel 2.6.X.New isn't safe -- it was meant to not except certain versioned kernels.

Third, even if you're right, you're probably (angrily) mistaking noobishness for karma-whoring. Don't be so angry, it was just a question.

Re:SELinux? (1)

toxygen01 (901511) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057805)

actually grsecurity can (if configured properly) prevent this This issue could be mitigated by three things: "on IA32 with PaX/GrSecurity, the KERNEXEC feature" RTFA

World-wide Linux reboot party (2, Interesting)

adosch (1397357) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057289)

Oh how I wish 'ksplice' was more widely adopted in my deployed distro at work...

This is the first time publicized... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29057339)

This is the first time it's been publicized... not discovered.

Guys? (4, Interesting)

eexaa (1252378) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057515)

where's the source?! I want to try it. On my box.

Re:Guys? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29057765)

I already tried it on your box - works great!

Guest accounts (1)

eric31415927 (861917) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057521)

I wonder how many people are logging into guest accounts right now trying out this "bug."

Re:Guest accounts (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29057599)

Seems to work just fine on your box . . .

Patch will be out right about...now (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057577)

You could measure it with a stop watch. Pretty rare to find such a serious flaw in Linux.

In other news, I noticed my Windows box automatically restarted last night. Your computer has recently been updated. No kidding.

Re:Patch will be out right about...now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29057913)

Leave it to slashdotters to turn a bug in Linux into a bashing of Windows.

QUICK (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29057713)

everyone go hax the internets! rootkit everything!!!

Like who found this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29057897)

I like the fact that the two people who found this are from the Google Security..koodo's

Some distros less vulnerable by default (5, Informative)

Bandman (86149) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057915)

From http://archives.neohapsis.com/archives/fulldisclosure/2009-08/0174.html [neohapsis.com] :

-------------------
Mitigation
-----------------------
Recent kernels with mmap_min_addr support may prevent exploitation if
the sysctl vm.mmap_min_addr is set above zero. However, administrators
should be aware that LSM based mandatory access control systems, such
as SELinux, may alter this functionality.
It should also be noted that all kernels up to 2.6.30.2 are vulnerable to
published attacks against mmap_min_addr.

I have checked my default Ubuntu and CentOS/RHEL boxes, and both of them are set well above 0:

root@Ubuntu:/proc/sys/vm# cat mmap_min_addr
65536

[root@CentOS /proc/sys/vm] cat mmap_min_addr
65536

[root@RHEL /proc/sys/vm] cat mmap_min_addr
65536

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