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Linux Kernel Exploit Affecting Linux 3.3 To Linux 3.8

Linux Kernel

Published on 25 February 2013 02:36 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel
66 Comments

A Linux kernel exploit was made public this weekend that affects versions of Linux going back to the 3.3 kernel. This exploit allows for user-space programs to gain root access through a bug in the kernel's networking code.

As reported on Sunday with a CVE request, "An unprivileged user can send a netlink message resulting in an out-of-bounds access of the sock_diag_handlers[] array which, in turn, allows userland to take over control while in kernel mode."

It appears that individuals have been exploiting this kernel bug for some time. The bug was known to exist privately going back to mid-2012 but wasn't corrected until Saturday with these net patches.

The issue will be addressed in the Linux 3.9 kernel and should make it back to the latest stable point releases of the affected Linux kernel series.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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