A 0-Day Local Privilege Escalation Bug Hits The Linux Kernel
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 19 January 2016 at 09:00 AM EST. 35 Comments
CVE-2016-0728 is being made public today: a 0-day local privilege escalation vulnerability in the Linux kernel that's been present now for over three years.

This Linux kernel vulnerability affects millions of Linux servers and the researchers believe 66% of Android devices. This exploit can be done on any kernel since Linux 3.8 that was released back in 2012.

This exploit is possible due to a reference leak in the keyrings facility and the proof of concept code was able to gain root privileges. The code for gaining root access on affected kernels was released here and is less than 200 lines of code.

About the only good news out of this issue is that local access would be needed for Linux servers. However, in the Android space a malicious app could just as well take advantage of this vulnerability. SMEP/SMAP/SELinux enabled systems though appear safe.

A kernel patch is expected today for fixing this vulnerability, so make sure you update your Linux kernel ASAP. More details by the researchers via Perception-Point.io.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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