Ubuntu Patches Kernel Holes

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 @ 10:04 AM gHale

Updates released for the Ubuntu operating system to fix vulnerabilities in the Linux kernel, researchers said.

Eight Linux kernel vulnerabilities have been patched in various Ubuntu 14 and 15 variants, including Utopic Unicorn, Wily Werewolf, Trusty Tahr and the Raspberry Pi 2 version.

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Four of these vulnerabilities have been found to affect Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (long term support). One of them is a use-after-free flaw in the CXGB3 kernel driver (CVE-2015-8812) that can end up exploited by a local attacker to crash the system and possibly even execute arbitrary code.

The issue, reported by Venkatesh Pottem of Red Hat Engineering, triggers when the network is suffering from congestion.

Another vulnerability patched by Ubuntu ended up discovered by Xiaofei Rex Guo. He said an attacker could disrupt the integrity of the system by exploiting a timing side channel vulnerability in the Linux Extended Verification Module (EVM). The flaw has a case number of CVE-2016-2085.

A Denial of Service (DoS) vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2016-2550, ended up identified by David Herrmann. The security hole allows a local, unauthenticated attacker to exhaust resources and cause a DoS condition due to the fact the kernel incorrectly accounts file descriptors to the original opener for in-flight file descriptors sent over a Unix domain socket.

Another resource exhaustion issue patched by Ubuntu ended up discovered by Tetsuo Handa. Handa found the kernel did not enforce limits on the amount of data allocated to buffer pipes.

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