Zero-Day Flaw Found In ‘Linux Kernel’ Leaves Millions Vulnerable
A new critical zero-day vulnerability has been discovered in the Linux kernel that could allow attackers to gain root level privileges by running a malicious Android or Linux application on an affected device.
The critical Linux kernel flaw (CVE-2016-0728) has been identified by a group of researchers at a startup named Perception Point.
The vulnerability was present in the code since 2012, and affects any operating system with Linux kernel 3.8 and higher, so there are probably tens of millions of computers, both 32-bit and 64-bit, exposed to this flaw.
However, the most bothersome part is that the problem affects Android versions KitKat and higher, which means about 66 percent of all Android devices are also exposed to the serious Linux kernel flaw.
Impact of the Zero-Day Vulnerability
An attacker would only require local access to exploit the flaw on a Linux server.
If successfully exploited, the vulnerability can allow attackers to get root access to the operating system, enabling them to delete files, view private information, and install malicious apps.
“It’s pretty bad because a user with legitimate or lower privileges can gain root access and compromise the whole machine,” Yevgeny Pats, co-founder and CEO at security vendor Perception Point, said in a blog post published today.
“With no auto update for the kernel, these versions could be vulnerable for a long time. Every Linux server needs to be patched as soon the patch is out.”
Usually, flaws in Linux kernel are patched as soon as they are found; therefore, Linux-based operating systems are considered to be more secure than others. However, zero-day vulnerability recently discovered in the Linux kernel made its way for almost 3 years.