NVIDIA 295.40 Closes High-Risk Security Flaw
Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA on 11 April 2012 at 10:13 AM EDT. 16 Comments
NVIDIA's Linux team this morning announced the immediate release of the 295.40 Linux driver. There aren't many changes for this release compared to the recent 295.33 driver release, but it does address a high-risk security vulnerability.

The official changes for the NVIDIA 295.40 Linux stable driver release include closing a security vulnerability where attackers could reconfigure GPUs to gain access to arbitrary system memory, fixes a bug causing DisplayPort devices to occasionally fail after suspend-and-resume, a new "AllowNon3DVisionModes" X configuration option, and support for two new GPUs. The newly-supported GPUs is the GeForce GT 610 and GeForce GT 635M.

The high-risk security vulnerability that was recently discovered is described in CVE-2012-0946. This issue came down to an issue whereby arbitrary system memory could be accessed because the default file permissions on the NVIDIA GPU device nodes allows for read/write access to all users. NVIDIA classified this issue as high-risk since the read/write access is needed in order to leverage NVIDIA GPU hardware acceleration whether it be for OpenGL, OpenCL, or VDPAU. Fortunately, NVIDIA quickly identified the root cause of the vulnerability and released this new driver.

NVIDIA's also released a patch to its Linux kernel shim so that older drivers can be manually patched too. However, now with the new 295.40 driver, a new CUDA library is needed otherwise the CUDA debugger will fail against the patched library. Updated 295.40 drivers have also been released for Solaris and FreeBSD, which are also affected by the vulnerability.

The latest NVIDIA Linux drivers (and for Solaris/FreeBSD) can be fetched from the NVIDIA Unix driver portal page.

Benchmarks of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 are currently being conducted this week at Phoronix, so expect some new NVIDIA Linux benchmarks by next week.

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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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