A new security flaw affects Linux and BSD systems

xorg bug

Some days ago an error found with the X.Org Server was published, putting the security of Linux and BSD systems at risk.

The staff of ZDNet was the one who made the warning of a new security breach in the X.Org that allowed an attacker to gain limited access to the system.

About the fault found

The fault found is in the X.Org Server it allowed the invader to get limited access to the system that could be via terminal locally or in an SSH session remotely, thus managing to change the permissions and achieving Root mode.

The vulnerability found It is not in the category of "dangerous" type failures Nor is it a glitch that can worry well-planned, high-security computers.

But this small flaw well used by an attacker who has enough knowledge can quickly transform something that does not have worrying a terrible invasion, says Catalin Cimpanu.

It cannot be used to penetrate secure computers, but it is still useful for attackers because it can quickly turn simple intrusions into erroneous pirouettes.

While the vulnerability could not be ignored by the Linux and infosec communities, which once its existence of this security flaw was made public last Thursday, began working on the fix.

The failure had already been detected years ago

A security consultant heard by ZDNet, Narendra Shinde, cautioned that This flaw was pointed out in their May 2016 report and that the X.Org Server package contains this vulnerability which could give attackers root privileges and can change any file, even the most crucial ones for the operating system.

This vulnerability was identified as CVE-2018-14665 and in it it was observed what could have caused such an error.

Incorrect handling of two lines of code, being the lines "-logfile" and "-modulepath", would have allowed invaders to insert their malicious code.

This bug is scanned when X.Org Server is running with root privileges and this is common on many distros.

Affected distributions

The X.Org Foundation developers are already planning a new solution for the X.Org version 1.20.3 and thus solve these problems caused by these two lines.

Distributions like Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora, CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu, and OpenBSD have already been confirmed as affected, although other smaller projects are also affected.

The security updates contained in the package are intended to correct the X.Org Server vulnerability which should be deployed in the next few hours or days.

Furthermore, in Linux Mint and Ubuntu the fix has already been released and confirmed, you just have to update the systemWhile the other distributions do not yet know if they intend to release the patch or wait for the one released by the X.Org development group.

"An attacker can literally take over affected systems with 3 commands or less," Hickey said on Twitter. “There are many other ways to exploit, for example crontab. It's funny how trivial it is.

This shows that Linux and BSD are not totally secure systems, however they are solid and secure alternatives compared to Windows systems.

Finally That is why issues like this one on X.org and others that have been made known long ago demonstrate once again the importance of the active development of alternatives like Wayland.

Since X.org is a fairly old protocol and it needs to be replaced now, although unfortunately even if we have alternatives like Wayland or Mir these are not solid enough to provide usability to all.

These alternatives are already in some Linux distributions and have been tested, although in some it has not worked as expected, (such is the case of Ubuntu with Wayland). These alternatives to X.org still have a long way to go before any of these can become a standard within Linux.


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