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Admins Urged to Patch Linux Now as 'Ghost' Bug Emerges

28/01/2015 by Sharon Shahzad

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Security experts are warning of yet another potentially major vulnerability in Linux systems, which could allow hackers to take remote control of a system.

The flaw – assigned CVE-2015-0235 – was dubbed ‘GHOST’ by the Qualys researchers who discovered it during a code audit, as it relates to a buffer overflow affecting thegethostbyname functions in the GNU C Library (glibc).

It’s exploitable remotely and locally, allowing for arbitrary code execution and therefore unauthorized access.

Qualys said it developed a “full fledged remote exploit” against the Exim mail server as proof of concept, in which a specially crafted email was able to bypass all existing protections and give the firm full control over a Linux machine.

The vendor said it will publish its exploit as a Metasploit module in the near future.

Qualys CTO Wolfgang Kandek claimed in a blog post that the firm “has worked closely with Linux distribution vendors and patches are available” as of Tuesday.

IT managers are therefore urged to contact their Linux vendors to see if a patch is available. Reports suggest this is already the case for Red Hat, Debian, Novell and Ubuntu, at the time of writing.

David Stubley, CEO of Edinburgh-based information security consultancy, 7 Elements, argued that as it’s still early days it’s difficult to anticipate the true scale and impact on systems.

"While the difficulty to exploit will reduce the potential impact of this vulnerability, the widespread adoption of glibc within disparate technology will make this a troublesome issue to fully remediate and it is likely to rumble on for some time,” he told Infosecurity.  

"As more research is undertaken, expect new and novel attacks to come to the surface.”

Ironically, the flaw itself was fixed back in 2013. However, it wasn’t recognized as a security threat at the time and so most stable and long-term support distributions were left un-patched.

This article has been extracted from http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com, please click on this link to read the article in full http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/admins-urged-to-patch-linux-ghost/

Montash is a multi-award winning global technology recruitment business. Specialising in permanent and contract positions across mid-senior appointments across a wide range of industry sectors and IT functions, including:

ERP Recruitment, BI & Data Recruitment, Information Security Recruitment, IT Architecture & Strategy Recruitment , Energy Technology Recruitment, Demand IT and Business Engagement Recruitment, Digital and E-commerce Recruitment, Leadership Talent, Infrastructure and Service Delivery Recruitment, Project and Programme Delivery Recruitment.

Montash is headquartered in Old Street, London, in the heart of the technology hub. Montash has completed assignments in over 30 countries and has appointed technical professionals from board level to senior and mid management in permanent and contract roles.

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