Feeds

FreeBSD bug gives untrusted root access

'Unbelievably simple' exploit

Remote control for virtualized desktops

A security bug in the latest version of FreeBSD can be exploited to grant unprivileged users complete control over the operating system, a German researcher said Monday.

The flaw is present in FreeBSD 8.0 and is known to affect versions 7.1 and 7.2 of the open-source OS, Nikolaos Rangos told The Register. He said it was "unbelievably simple" to exploit. Shortly after he disclosed the flaw on the Full Disclosure mailing list, other researchers said they were able to confirm the bug.

FreeBSD Security Officer Colin Percival said the Full Disclosure post was the first his team had heard of the reported vulnerability. The team is currently investigating.

The bug resides in FreeBSD's run-time link editor. A binary run by an unprivileged user can be executed with administrative privileges in a restricted environment, Rangos said. That allows the user to obtain root access to the system. All that's required to run the exploit code, which Rangos included in his post, is a command shell.

To exploit the bug, hackers would need local access to the vulnerable machine. To use the attack code remotely, it's conceivable it could be used in concert with another vulnerability, such as one residing in a web application running on the box.

Rangos speculated a fix would be coming shortly.

"The bug is in the most recent versions of FreeBSD and normally local root vulnerabilities are quickly patched by the FreeBSD maintainers," he said. ®

Update

FreeBSD's Percival has issued an advisory here. It includes a patch that he says may or may not be final. He writes: "It is even possible (although highly doubtful) that this patch does not fully fix the issue or introduces new issues -- in short, use at your own risk (even more than usual)."

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?