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The Hacker News — Cyber Security and Hacking News Website: Linux kernel

Google Adds Control-Flow Integrity to Beef up Android Kernel Security

Google Adds Control-Flow Integrity to Beef up Android Kernel Security

October 12, 2018Mohit Kumar
Google has added a new security feature to the latest Linux kernels for Android devices to prevent it against code reuse attacks that allow attackers to achieve arbitrary code execution by exploiting control-flow hijacking vulnerabilities. In code reuse attacks, attackers exploit memory corruption bugs (buffer overflows, type confusion, or integer overflows) to take over code pointers stored in memory and repurpose existing code in a way that directs control flow of their choice, resulting in a malicious action. Since Android has a lot of mitigation to prevent direct code injection into its kernel, this code reuse method is particularly popular among hackers to gain code execution with the kernel because of the huge number of function pointers it uses. In an attempt to prevent this attack, Google has now added support for LLVM’s Control Flow Integrity (CFI) to Android's kernel as a measure for detecting unusual behaviors of attackers trying to interfere or modify the contr
Google Hacker Discloses New Linux Kernel Vulnerability and PoC Exploit

Google Hacker Discloses New Linux Kernel Vulnerability and PoC Exploit

September 28, 2018Mohit Kumar
A cybersecurity researcher with Google Project Zero has released the details, and a proof-of-concept (PoC) exploit for a high severity vulnerability that exists in Linux kernel since kernel version 3.16 through 4.18.8. Discovered by white hat hacker Jann Horn, the kernel vulnerability (CVE-2018-17182) is a cache invalidation bug in the Linux memory management subsystem that leads to use-after-free vulnerability, which if exploited, could allow an attacker to gain root privileges on the targeted system. The use-after-free (UAF) vulnerabilities are a class of memory corruption bug that can be exploited by unprivileged users to corrupt or alter data in memory, enabling them to cause a denial of service (system crash) or escalate privileges to gain administrative access on a system. Linux Kernel Exploit Takes an Hour to Gain Root Access However, Horn says his PoC Linux kernel exploit made available to the public "takes about an hour to run before popping a root shell."
New Linux Kernel Bug Affects Red Hat, CentOS, and Debian Distributions

New Linux Kernel Bug Affects Red Hat, CentOS, and Debian Distributions

September 26, 2018Mohit Kumar
Security researchers have published the details and proof-of-concept (PoC) exploits of an integer overflow vulnerability in the Linux kernel that could allow an unprivileged user to gain superuser access to the targeted system. The vulnerability, discovered by cloud-based security and compliance solutions provider Qualys, which has been dubbed "Mutagen Astronomy," affects the kernel versions released between July 2007 and July 2017, impacting the Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, and Debian distributions. The Mutagen Astronomy vulnerability tracked as CVE-2018-14634, is a type of a local privilege escalation issue—one of the most common issues with operating systems as a whole—and exists in the Linux kernel's create_elf_tables() function that operates the memory tables. To successfully exploit this vulnerability, attackers need to have access to the targeted system and run their exploit that leads to a buffer overflow, thereby resulting in the execution of malici
Linus Torvalds Apologizes For His Rude Behavior—Takes Time Off

Linus Torvalds Apologizes For His Rude Behavior—Takes Time Off

September 18, 2018Wang Wei
What just happened would definitely gonna surprise you. Linus Torvalds—father of the Linux open-source operating system—finally admitted his behavior towards other developers in the Linux community was hurting people and Linux. In a surprising move this weekend, Torvalds apologized for insulting and abusing other developers for almost three decades and took a break from the open-source software to work on his behavior. In an email to the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML) on Sunday, Torvalds said that he was confronted by people of the Linux community this week about his lifetime of not understanding emotions, and apologized for his personal behavior that has hurt people and possibly has driven some of them away from working in kernel development altogether. Torvalds wrote, "I need to change some of my behavior, and I want to apologize to the people that my personal behavior hurt and possibly drove away from kernel development entirely." "I am going to take
Huge Flaws Affect Nearly Every Modern Device; Patch Could Hit CPU Performance

Huge Flaws Affect Nearly Every Modern Device; Patch Could Hit CPU Performance

January 03, 2018Swati Khandelwal
UPDATE: Researchers have finally disclosed complete technical details of two kernel side-channel attacks, Meltdown and Spectre — which affect not only Intel but also systems and devices running AMD, ARM processors —allowing attackers to steal sensitive data from the system memory. ____________ The first week of the new year has not yet been completed, and very soon a massive vulnerability is going to hit hundreds of millions of Windows, Linux, and Mac users worldwide. According to a blog post published yesterday, the core team of Linux kernel development has prepared a critical kernel update without releasing much information about the vulnerability. Multiple researchers on Twitter  confirmed that Intel processors (x86-64) have a severe hardware-level issue that could allow attackers to access protected kernel memory, which primarily includes information like passwords, login keys, and files cached from disk. The security patch implements kernel page-table isolation (KP
Yet Another Linux Kernel Privilege-Escalation Bug Discovered

Yet Another Linux Kernel Privilege-Escalation Bug Discovered

October 16, 2017Wang Wei
Security researchers have discovered a new privilege-escalation vulnerability in Linux kernel that could allow a local attacker to execute code on the affected systems with elevated privileges. Discovered by Venustech ADLab (Active-Defense Lab) researchers, the Linux kernel vulnerability (CVE-2017-15265) is due to a use-after-free memory error in the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) sequencer interface of the affected application. The Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) provides audio and MIDI functionality to the Linux operating system, and also bundles a userspace driven library for application developers, enabling direct (kernel) interaction with sound devices through ALSA libraries. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability requires an attacker—with local access on the targeted system—to execute a maliciously crafted application on a targeted system, which allows the attacker to elevate his privilege to root on the targeted system, a Cisco advisory warned
2-Year-Old Linux Kernel Issue Resurfaces As High-Risk Flaw

2-Year-Old Linux Kernel Issue Resurfaces As High-Risk Flaw

September 28, 2017Unknown
A bug in Linux kernel that was discovered two years ago, but was not considered a security threat at that time, has now been recognised as a potential local privilege escalation flaw. Identified as CVE-2017-1000253, the bug was initially discovered by Google researcher Michael Davidson in April 2015. Since it was not recognised as a serious bug at that time, the patch for this kernel flaw was not backported to long-term Linux distributions in kernel 3.10.77. However, researchers at Qualys Research Labs has now found that this vulnerability could be exploited to escalate privileges and it affects all major Linux distributions, including Red Hat, Debian, and CentOS. The vulnerability left "all versions of CentOS 7 before 1708 (released on September 13, 2017), all versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 before 7.4 (released on August 1, 2017), and all versions of CentOS 6 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 are exploitable," Qualys said in an advisory published yesterday.
Linux Kernel Gets Patch For Years-Old Serious Vulnerability

Linux Kernel Gets Patch For Years-Old Serious Vulnerability

March 16, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Another dangerous vulnerability has been discovered in Linux kernel that dates back to 2009 and affects a large number of Linux distros, including Red Hat, Debian, Fedora, OpenSUSE, and Ubuntu. The latest Linux kernel flaw ( CVE-2017-2636 ), which existed in the Linux kernel for the past seven years, allows a local unprivileged user to gain root privileges on affected systems or cause a denial of service (system crash). Positive Technologies researcher Alexander Popov discovered a race condition issue in the N_HLDC Linux kernel driver – which is responsible for dealing with High-Level Data Link Control (HDLC) data – that leads to double-free vulnerability. “ Double Free ” is one of the most common memory corruption bug that occurs when the application releases same memory location twice by calling the free() function on the same allocated memory. An unauthenticated attacker may leverage this vulnerability to inject and execute arbitrary code in the security context of curren
11-Year Old Linux Kernel Local Privilege Escalation Flaw Discovered

11-Year Old Linux Kernel Local Privilege Escalation Flaw Discovered

February 22, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Another privilege-escalation vulnerability has been discovered in Linux kernel that dates back to 2005 and affects major distro of the Linux operating system, including Redhat, Debian, OpenSUSE, and Ubuntu. Over a decade old Linux Kernel bug ( CVE-2017-6074 ) has been discovered by security researcher Andrey Konovalov in the DCCP (Datagram Congestion Control Protocol) implementation using Syzkaller , a kernel fuzzing tool released by Google. The vulnerability is a use-after-free flaw in the way the Linux kernel's "DCCP protocol implementation freed SKB (socket buffer) resources for a DCCP_PKT_REQUEST packet when the IPV6_RECVPKTINFO option is set on the socket." The DCCP double-free vulnerability could allow a local unprivileged user to alter the Linux kernel memory, enabling them to cause a denial of service ( system crash ) or escalate privileges to gain administrative access on a system. "An attacker can control what object that would be and overwrite
5-Year-Old Linux Kernel Local Privilege Escalation Flaw Discovered

5-Year-Old Linux Kernel Local Privilege Escalation Flaw Discovered

December 07, 2016Swati Khandelwal
A 5-year-old serious privilege-escalation vulnerability has been discovered in Linux kernel that affects almost every distro of the Linux operating system, including Redhat, and Ubuntu. Over a month back, a nine-year-old privilege-escalation vulnerability, dubbed " Dirty COW ," was discovered in the Linux kernel that affected every distro of the open-source operating system, including Red Hat, Debian, and Ubuntu. Now, another Linux kernel vulnerability ( CVE-2016-8655 ) that dates back to 2011 disclosed today could allow an unprivileged local user to gain root privileges by exploiting a race condition in the af_packet implementation in the Linux kernel. Philip Pettersson, the researcher who discovered the flaw, was able to create an exploit to gain a root shell on an Ubuntu 16.04 LTS system (Linux Kernel 4.4) and also defeated SMEP/SMAP (Supervisor Mode Execution Prevention/Supervisor Mode Access Prevention) protection to gain kernel code execution abilities. In
Dirty COW — Critical Linux Kernel Flaw Being Exploited in the Wild

Dirty COW — Critical Linux Kernel Flaw Being Exploited in the Wild

October 21, 2016Swati Khandelwal
A nine-year-old critical vulnerability has been discovered in virtually all versions of the Linux operating system and is actively being exploited in the wild. Dubbed " Dirty COW ," the Linux kernel security flaw (CVE-2016-5195) is a mere privilege-escalation vulnerability, but researchers are taking it extremely seriously due to many reasons. First, it's very easy to develop exploits that work reliably. Secondly, the Dirty COW flaw exists in a section of the Linux kernel, which is a part of virtually every distro of the open-source operating system, including RedHat, Debian, and Ubuntu, released for almost a decade. And most importantly, the researchers have discovered attack code that indicates the Dirty COW vulnerability is being actively exploited in the wild. Dirty COW potentially allows any installed malicious app to gain administrative (root-level) access to a device and completely hijack it within just 5 seconds. Earlier this week, Linus Torvalds admi
Hacker Who Hacked Official Linux Kernel Website Arrested in Florida

Hacker Who Hacked Official Linux Kernel Website Arrested in Florida

September 03, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Around five years after unknown hackers gained unauthorized access to multiple kernel.org servers used to maintain and distribute the Linux operating system kernel, police have arrested a South Florida computer programmer for carrying out the attack. Donald Ryan Austin , a 27-year-old programmer from of El Portal, Florida, was charged Thursday with hacking servers belonging to the Linux Kernel Organization ( kernel.org ) and the Linux Foundation in 2011, the Department of Justice announced on Thursday. The Linux Kernel Organization runs kernel.org servers for distributing the Linux operating system kernel, which is the heart of the operating system, whereas the Linux Foundation is a separate group that supports kernel.org. According to an indictment [ PDF ] unsealed by federal prosecutors on Monday, Austin managed to steal login credentials of one of the Linux Kernel Organization system administrators in 2011 and used them to install a hard-to-detect malware backdoor, dubbe
Internet Traffic Hijacking Linux Flaw Affects 80% of Android Devices

Internet Traffic Hijacking Linux Flaw Affects 80% of Android Devices

August 16, 2016Swati Khandelwal
An estimated 80 percent of Android smartphones and tablets running Android 4.4 KitKat and higher are vulnerable to a recently disclosed Linux kernel flaw that allows hackers to terminate connections, spy on unencrypted traffic or inject malware into the parties' communications. Even the latest Android Nougat Preview is considered to be vulnerable. The security flaw was first appeared in the implementation of the TCP protocol in all Linux systems deployed since 2012 (version 3.6 and above of the Linux OS kernel) and the Linux Foundation has already patched the Linux kernel on July 11, 2016. However, the vulnerability ( CVE-2016-5696 ) is now affecting a large portion of the Android ecosystem. According to a blog post published Monday by mobile security firm Lookout, the Linux flaw is present in Android version 4.4 KitKat and all future releases, including the latest developer preview of Android Nougat . Around 1.4 BILLLLLION Android Devices Affected This means that 80%
Kernel Backdoor found in Gadgets Powered by Popular Chinese ARM Maker

Kernel Backdoor found in Gadgets Powered by Popular Chinese ARM Maker

May 12, 2016Mohit Kumar
How to Hack an Android device? It is possibly one of the most frequently asked questions on the Internet. Although it's not pretty simple to hack Android devices and gadgets, sometimes you just get lucky to find a backdoor access. Thanks to Allwinner, a Chinese ARM system-on-a-chip maker, which has recently been caught shipping a version of Linux Kernel with an incredibly simple and easy-to-use built-in backdoor. Chinese fabless semiconductor company Allwinner is a leading supplier of application processors that are used in many low-cost Android tablets, ARM-based PCs, set-top boxes, and other electronic devices worldwide. Simple Backdoor Exploit to Hack Android Devices All you need to do to gain root access of an affected Android device is… Send the text " rootmydevice " to any undocumented debugging process. The local privileges escalation  backdoor code for debugging ARM-powered Android devices managed to make its way in shipped firmware after fir
Subgraph OS — Secure Linux Operating System for Non-Technical Users

Subgraph OS — Secure Linux Operating System for Non-Technical Users

March 04, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Information security and privacy are consistently hot topics after Edward Snowden revelations of NSA's global surveillance that brought the world's attention towards data protection and encryption as never before. Moreover, just days after Windows 10 's successful launch last summer, we saw various default settings in the Microsoft's newest OS that compromise users' privacy , making a large number of geeks, as well as regular users, migrate to Linux. However, the problem is that majority of users are not friendly to the Linux environment. They don't know how to configure their machine with right privacy and security settings, which makes them still open to hacking and surveillance. However, this gaping hole can be filled with a  Debian-based  Security-focused Linux operating system called Subgraph OS: A key solution to your Privacy Fear. Subgraph OS is a feather weighted Linux flavor that aims to combat hacking attacks easier, even on fai
NeoKylin: China's Linux OS that Seriously Looks Like Windows XP

NeoKylin: China's Linux OS that Seriously Looks Like Windows XP

September 25, 2015Khyati Jain
Do You Know:  China has planned to eliminate all foreign Technologies and Services by 2020, just like Google and Facebook . And it seems China in some years would be an entirely independent IT economy; building homegrown Mobile and computer devices, Operating Systems, Applications, Browsers and almost everything existing in the IT ecosystem. Well, China was not at all happy when Microsoft finally announced the end of official support for Windows XP. At the time, Windows holded 91% of total market share, compared to just for Mac OS X and just 1% for Linux. However, China wasn't interested to pay either for extended support for Windows XP or for switching to Windows 8. So, they decided to develop their own Operating System. Yes, China has developed a Desktop Operating System named “ NeoKylin ” ( and ‘ Kylin ’ in Chinese ), tagged as a substitute to Windows XP by Quartz , who got an opportunity to have a hands-on experience of its “community version” OS. NeoKylin
Is This Security-Focused Linux Kernel Really UnHackable?

Is This Security-Focused Linux Kernel Really UnHackable?

September 19, 2015Khyati Jain
Can you name which Operating System is most Secure ? ...Windows, Mac, Linux or any particular Linux Distribution? Yes, we get that! It’s not an easy thing to pick. Besides Windows, Even the so-called ultra-secure Linux Distros were found to be vulnerable to various critical flaws in past years. Because, almost all Linux Distros use the same Kernel, and the most number of cyber attacks target the Kernel of an operating system. So, It doesn't matter which Linux distribution you use. The kernel is the core part an operating system, which handles all the main activities and enforces the security mechanisms to the entire operating system. Making an Operating System secure requires that vulnerabilities shall not exist in the Kernel, which is the communicating interface between the hardware and the user.  To overcome the above situation, Security Researchers, Mathematicians and Aviation gurus from Boeing and Rockwell Collins joined a team of dedicated NIC
Meet Linux's New Fastest File-System – Bcachefs

Meet Linux's New Fastest File-System – Bcachefs

August 22, 2015Swati Khandelwal
First announced over five years ago, ex-Google engineer Kent Overstreet is pleasured in announcing the general availability of a new open-source file-system for Linux, called the Bcache File System (or Bcachefs ). Bcachefs is a Linux kernel block layer cache that aims at offering a speedier and more advanced way of storing data on servers. Bcachefs promises to provide the same performance and reliability as the consecrated EXT4 and XFS file systems while having features of the ZFS and Btrfs file systems . Features that Bcachefs Supports Bcachefs supports all the features of a modern file-system, including: Checksumming to ensure data integrity Compression to save space Caching for quick response Copy-on-Write (COW) that offers the ability for a single file to be accessed by multiple parties at once What's coming next for Bcachefs It seems that some of the features in Bcachefs are limited or missing, which includes: Snapshots Erasure codi
NetUSB Driver Flaw Exposes Millions of Routers to Hacking

NetUSB Driver Flaw Exposes Millions of Routers to Hacking

May 20, 2015Swati Khandelwal
A simple but shockingly dangerous vulnerability has been uncovered in the NetUSB component, putting Millions of modern routers and other embedded devices across the globe at risk of being compromised by hackers. The security vulnerability, assigned CVE-2015-3036 , is a remotely exploitable kernel stack buffer overflow flaw resides in Taiwan-based KCodes NetUSB . NetUSB is a Linux kernel module that allows for users to flash drives, plug printers and other USB-connected devices into their routers so that they can be accessed over the local network. NetUSB component is integrated into modern routers sold by some major manufacturers including D-Link, Netgear, TP-Link, ZyXEL and TrendNet. The security flaw, reported by Stefan Viehbock of Austria-based SEC Consult Vulnerability Lab, can be triggered when a client sends the computer name to the server deployed on the networking device (TCP port 20005) in order to establish a connection. However, if a connecting comp
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