Nov 09 2023


Category: Linux Securitydisc7 @ 7:51 am

CVE-2023-4911 is a serious security vulnerability within the GNU C Library (glibc), specifically in the dynamic loader, associated with the processing of the GLIBC_TUNABLES environment variable. This vulnerability has been exploited in cloud attacks, particularly by a group using the Kinsing malware for cryptojacking operations.

The flaw is a buffer overflow that can be exploited by a local attacker using specially crafted GLIBC_TUNABLES environment variables when launching binaries with Set-UID (SUID) permissions, which could potentially allow the execution of code with elevated privileges. The Qualys Threat Research Unit has been credited with discovering this vulnerability.

This vulnerability has been given a severity score of 7.8, which classifies it as high severity. Exploitation of this flaw could enable an attacker to gain root permission on a Linux system that is running a vulnerable version of GLIBC, specifically version 2.34 or similar.

The issue has been noted to impact major Linux distributions, and organizations that use Linux systems, especially in cloud environments, are advised to patch this vulnerability promptly to mitigate the risks associated with it.


To exploit CVE-2023-4911, threat actors would typically follow a sequence of steps that hinge on local access to a vulnerable system. The exploitation process can generally be broken down into the following stages:

  1. Initial Access: First, the attacker needs local access to a system that runs a vulnerable version of the GNU C Library, specifically where is affected by the buffer overflow. This access could be obtained through various means, such as compromising a low-privileged user account.
  2. Crafting Malicious Input: The attacker crafts a malicious GLIBC_TUNABLES environment variable. This variable is meant to be used for tuning performance and behavior aspects of the GNU C Library, but when crafted maliciously, it can trigger a buffer overflow.
  3. Exploiting the Buffer Overflow: By triggering the buffer overflow, the attacker aims to overwrite certain areas of memory. This could be the stack, the heap, or other memory locations, depending on how the dynamic loader ( is handling the environment variable.
  4. Injecting Code or Redirecting Execution: The overwritten memory could include the injection of malicious code, or it might alter the execution flow of the process to jump to code that the attacker controls. Typically, this would be shellcode—a small piece of code that launches a shell or another control mechanism.
  5. Elevating Privileges: If the process being exploited has SUID permissions, it runs with the privileges of the owner of the file, often root. By exploiting such a process, the attacker can execute their code with elevated privileges, effectively gaining root access to the system.

Here’s a hypothetical example:

  • Alice is a system administrator for a cloud service provider that uses Linux servers.
  • Bob is a threat actor who has managed to gain access to a low-privileged account on one of the Linux servers due to a weak password.
  • The server runs a version of GLIBC that is vulnerable to CVE-2023-4911.
  • Bob writes a malicious GLIBC_TUNABLES variable and uses it in conjunction with a vulnerable application that has SUID set to run as root.
  • When the application runs, the malicious variable causes a buffer overflow in, which Bob exploits to redirect the application’s execution flow to his shellcode.
  • Bob’s shellcode is executed with root privileges, giving him full control over the server.
  • Now with root access, Bob could install persistent backdoors, exfiltrate data, or use the compromised server for further attacks.

It’s important to note that exploitation of CVE-2023-4911, like many vulnerabilities, requires specific conditions to be met and often sophisticated knowledge of software internals, memory layout, and exploitation techniques. The exact details of the exploit can vary based on the system’s configuration, the attacker’s goals, and the environment variables involved.

The Aqua Nautilus team documented an attack by the Kinsing malware that exploited CVE-2023-4911 to elevate permissions on a compromised machine. Here’s how they described the exploitation process:

  1. Initial Access: The attackers gained initial access by exploiting a PHPUnit vulnerability (CVE-2017-9841), allowing them to download and execute a Perl script to open a reverse shell on the compromised machin.
  2. Manual Testing: The Kinsing attackers manually tested shell commands on the compromised systems. These commands included gathering system information, starting an interactive shell session, and creating a directory in /tmp.
  3. Downloading Exploits: They downloaded a script named, which was an exploit for the Looney Tunables vulnerability (CVE-2023-4911), allowing for local privilege escalation by exploiting a buffer overflow in the handling of the GLIBC_TUNABLES environment variable by
  4. Executing Additional Exploits: After this, they fetched and executed an obfuscated PHP exploit, which, upon de-obfuscation, turned out to be a JavaScript designed for further exploitative activities. This resulted in a web shell backdoor that allowed them to maintain unauthorized access to the server.

This attack demonstrates the attackers’ sophisticated capabilities in chaining vulnerabilities to penetrate cloud environments, gain unauthorized access, and elevate privileges within the system.

Kinsing aims to gather CSP credentials, potentially exposing sensitive data, like AWS instance identity, which poses risks in cloud environments.

Here below, we have mentioned all the types of credentials and data that could be exposed:-

  • Temporary Security Credentials
  • IAM Role Credentials
  • Instance Identity Tokens


To mitigate an attack exploiting CVE-2023-4911, you should take the following steps:

  1. Patch the Vulnerability: Update the GNU C Library (glibc) to the latest version that includes a fix for CVE-2023-4911.
  2. Limit Access: Restrict local access to essential personnel and services, minimizing the number of users who can potentially exploit the vulnerability.
  3. Monitor for Suspicious Activity: Implement monitoring tools to detect unusual activity, such as unexpected changes to environment variables or unauthorized processes trying to gain elevated privileges.
  4. Harden Your Environment: Follow best practices for system hardening, such as disabling unnecessary services, closing open ports, and using tools like SELinux or AppArmor for enhanced security.
  5. Regular Security Audits: Conduct regular security audits to identify and remediate misconfigurations or unnecessary privileges that could be exploited.
  6. Use Security Tools: Employ security solutions such as intrusion detection systems, firewalls, and anti-malware tools that can detect and prevent exploitation attempts.
  7. Educate Staff: Train staff to recognize phishing attempts and other forms of social engineering that could lead to local access being compromised.
  8. Incident Response Plan: Have an incident response plan in place that includes procedures for dealing with suspected breaches, including how to contain and eradicate threats.
  9. Backup Regularly: Maintain regular backups of critical data to ensure that you can restore systems to a secure state if necessary.

By following these steps, you can significantly reduce the risk of exploitation and mitigate potential damage from attacks like those involving CVE-2023-4911.

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Tags: DEBIAN, Mastering Linux Security and Hardening, UBUNTU AND FEDRORA

Jul 28 2023


Category: Hacking,Linux Securitydisc7 @ 9:43 am

Two vulnerabilities in the Linux operating system Ubuntu have been found by researchers. Both of these vulnerabilities have the ability to offer attackers elevated privileges.There have been indications that a vulnerability that allows for an increase in privilege may be detected in the OverlayFS module of Ubuntu operating systems.

A Linux filesystem known as OverlayFS has seen significant adoption in the container industry. OverlayFS makes it possible to deploy dynamic filesystems while maintaining compatibility with pre-built images.


When invoking the ovl_do_setxattr function on Ubuntu kernels, the ovl_copy_up_meta_inode_data module has the potential to bypass permission checks. This vulnerability occurs as a result. This vulnerability has been assigned a CVSS score of 7.8, which is considered to be High.


There is a flaw in Ubuntu known as SAUCE: overlayfs bypass permission checks for trusted that leads to this vulnerability.overlayfs. * xattrs. * xattrs.

This vulnerability may be exploited by an attacker who does not have rights by establishing privileged extended attributes on the mounted files and then setting them on the other files without necessary checks being performed. This vulnerability has been assigned a CVSS score of 7.8, which is considered to be High.

The Ubuntu Patch from 2018 is in Conflict with the Linux Kernel Project from 2019 and 2022.

Since the OverlayFS module may be used by non-privileged users via user namespaces, it is a perfect candidate for local privilege escalation. In 2018, Ubuntu released patches that addressed these security flaws.

Despite this, researchers working for Wix discovered that the Linux Kernel Project released many new versions in the years 2019 and 2022.

There was a problem between the older patches and the most recent version as a direct consequence of the changes that were made to the OverlayFS module.

These exploits are already accessible to the public in their exploitable forms. It is strongly advised that anyone using Ubuntu versions earlier than 23.04 update to the most recent release in order to prevent these vulnerabilities from being exploited. On the other hand, the majority of cloud security providers (CSPs) have been using insecure versions of the Ubuntu Operating System as their default system.

Researchers believe that around forty percent of computers running Ubuntu might have been affected by the issue, making the anticipated scope a large one. According to Canonical, the business that is responsible for Ubuntu and also operates for profit, the desktop version of the software was installed more than 20 million times in 2017. Ubuntu has issued a security alert that addresses many vulnerabilities and gives credit to the researchers who discovered them.

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Dec 27 2022

Critical “10-out-of-10” Linux kernel SMB hole – should you worry?

Category: Linux SecurityDISC @ 11:17 am

Just before the Christmas weekend – in fact, at about the same time that beleaguered password management service LastPass was admitting that, yes, your password vaults were stolen by criminals after all – we noticed a serious-sounding Linux kernel vulnerability that hit the news.

The alerts came from Trend Micro’s Zero Day Initiative (ZDI), probably best known for buying up zero-day security bugs via the popular Pwn2Own competitions, where bug-bounty hunting teams compete live on stage for potentially large cash prizes.

In return for sponsoring the prize money, the vendors of products ranging from operating systems and browsers to networked printers and internet routers hope to buy up brand new security flaws, so they can fix the holes responsibly. (To collect their prizes, participants have to provide a proper write-up, and agree not to share any information about the flaw until the vendor has had a fair chance to fix it.)

But ZDI doesn’t just deal in competitive bug hunting in its twice-a-year contests, so it also regularly puts out vulnerability notices for zero-days that were disclosed in more conventional ways, like this one, entitled Linux Kernel ksmbd Use-After-Free Remote Code Execution Vulnerability.

Serving Windows computers via Linux

SMB is short for server message block, and it’s the protocol that underpins Windows networking, so almost any Linux server that provides network services to Windows computers will be running software to support SMB.

As you can therefore imagine, SMB-related security bugs, especially ones that can be exploited over the network without the attacker needing to logon first, as is the case here, are potentially serious issues for most large corporate networks.

SMB support is also generally needed in home and small-business NAS (network attached storage) devices, which generally run Linux internally, and provide easy-to-use, plug-it-in-and-go file server features for small networks.

No need to learn Linux yourself, or to set up a full-blown server, or to learn how to configure Linux networking – just plug-and-play with the NAS device, which has SMB support built-in and ready to go for you.

Why the holiday timing?

In this case, the bug wasn’t deliberately disclosed on the night before the night before the night before Christmas in a not-so-ho-ho-ho bid to spoil your festive season by freaking you out.

And it wasn’t reported just before the weekend in a bid to bury bad PR by hoping you’d be vacation-minded enough either to miss the story completely or to shrug it off until the New Year.

The good news is that, as usually happens under the umbrella of responsible disclosure, the date for ZDI’s report was agreeed in advance, presumably when the flaw was disclosed, thus giving the Linux kernel team sufficient time to fix the problem properly, while nevertheless not allowing them to put the issue off indefinitely.

In this case, the bug report is listed as having happened on 2022-07-26, and what ZDI refers to as the “co-ordinated public release of [the] advisory” was set for 2022-12-22, which turns out to be exactly 150 days, if you count old-school style and include the full day at each end.

So, even though this bug has had some dramatic coverage over the holiday weekend, given that it was a remote code execution (RCE) hole in the Linux kernel itself, and came with a so-called CVSS score of 10/10, considered Critical

…it was patched in the Linux source code within just two days of disclosure, and the fix was accepted and packaged into the official Linux kernel source code in time for the release of Linux 5.15.61, back on 2022-08-17, just 23 days after the report first came in.

In other words, if you’ve updated your Linux kernel any time since then, you’re already safe, no matter what kernel compilation settings you or your distro used. (This includes 24 subsequent updates to the kernel 5.15 series, now at 5.15.85, along with any versions of kernel 6.0, kernel 6.1 and the still-in-candidate-stage kernel 6.2, all of which had their first releases after August 2022.)

Probably not the SMB software you suspect

Also, although it sounds at first glance as though this bug will inevitably affect any Linux server or device supporting Windows networking, that’s not true either.

Most sysadmins, and in our experience most NAS programmers, provide Windows SMB supprt via a long-running and well-respected open source toolkit called Samba, where the name Samba is simply the closest pronounceable word that the original developer, open-source luminary Andrew “Tridge” Tridgell OAM, could find to represent the abbreviation SMB.

Anyone who has used Samba will know that the software runs as a regular application, in what’s known as user space, in other words, without needing its own code running inside the kernel, where even modest bugs could have dangerous repercussions.

Indeed, the main Samba program file is called smbd, where the trailing -D is a typical Unixism standing for daemon, or background process – what Windows admins would call a service.

This bug, as you can see from the ZDI report, is in a kernel module called ksmbd, where the -D denotes a background service, the -SMB- denotes Windows networking support, and the K- means runs in kernel space, i.e. right inside the kernel itself.

At this point, you’re probably asking yourself, “Why bury the complexity of supporting SMB right into the kernel, given that we’ve already got a reliable and well-respected user-space product in the form of Samba, and given that the risks are much greater?”

Why, indeed?

As so often, there seem to be two main reasons: [A] because we can! and [B] because performance.

By pushing what are typically high-level software features down into the kernel, you can often improve performance, though you almost always pay the price of a corresponding, and possibly considerable, decrease in safety and security.

What to do?

  • Check if you have a Linux kernel based on any release on or after 5.15.61 (dated 2022-08-17). If so, this bug is fixed in the source code. No matter what kernel compilation options you (or your distro maker) choose, the bug can’t and won’t exist on your system.
  • Check if your Linux kernel build even includes ksmbd. Most popular distros neither compile it in, nor build it as a module, so you can’t load it or activate it, even by mistake.
  • Check with your vendor if you are using an applicance such as a NAS box or other device that supports connections from Windows computers. Chances are that your NAS device won’t be using ksmbd, even if it still has a kernel version that is vulnerable in theory.
  • If you’re using ksmbd out of choice, consider re-evaluating your risk. Make sure you measure the true increase in performance you’ve achieved, and decide whether the payoff is really worth it.


Any Linux from 5.15.61 on, or any 6.x, is already patched. 
To check your Linux version:

  $ uname -o -r
  6.1.1 GNU/Linux     
To see if this kernel feature is compiled in, you can dump the 
compile-time configuration of the running kernel:

  $ zcat /proc/config.gz | grep SMB_SERVER
  # CONFIG_SMB_SERVER is not set

If this compile-time configuration setting is unset, or set to 
"n" for no, the feature wasn't built at all.

If it says "y" for yes, then the kernel SMB server is compiled 
right into your kernel, so ensure you have a patched version.

If it says "m" for module, then the kernel build probably 
includes a run-time module that can be loaded on demand.
To see if your kernel has a loadable module available:

  $ /sbin/modprobe --show ksmbd
  modprobe: FATAL: Module ksmbd not found in directory /lib/modules/6.1.1

Note that "--show" means "do not actually do it, just show 
if loading it would actually work or not".
To see if your system has the ksmbd module already active:

  $ lsmod | grep ksmbd

If you see no output, the module wasn’t matched in the list.

To stop the module loading in case it ever shows up, add a 
file with a name such as ksmbd.conf to the directory 
/lib/modules.d or /etc/modules.d with this line in it:

  blacklist ksmbd

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Dec 05 2022

A New Linux Flaw Lets Attackers Gain Full Root Privilege

Category: Linux SecurityDISC @ 10:41 am

The Threat Research Unit at Qualys’ has revealed how a new Linux flaw tracked as (CVE-2022-3328),  may be combined with two other, seemingly insignificant flaws to gain full root rights on a compromised system.

The Linux snap-confine function, a SUID-root program installed by default on Ubuntu, is where the vulnerability is located.

The snap-confine program is used internally by snapd to construct the execution environment for snap applications, an internal tool for confining snappy applications.

Linux Flaw Let Attackers Gain Full Root Privilege

The newly discovered flaw, tracked as CVE-2022-3328, is a race condition in Snapd, a Canonical-developed tool used for the Snap software packaging and deployment system. 

The issue specifically affects the ‘snap-confine’ tool that Snapd uses to build the environment in which Snap applications are executed.

“In February 2022, Qualys Threat Research Unit (TRU) published CVE-2021-44731 in our “Lemmings” advisory. The vulnerability (CVE-2022-3328) was introduced in February 2022 by the patch for CVE-2021-44731).” reads the post published by Qualys.

“The Qualys Threat Research Unit (TRU) exploited this bug in Ubuntu Server by combining it with two vulnerabilities in multipathd called Leeloo Multipath (an authorization bypass and a symlink attack, CVE-2022-41974, and CVE-2022-41973), to obtain full root privileges”.

The CVE-2022-3328 weakness was chained by the researchers to two other flaws in Multipathd, a daemon responsible for looking for failed paths. Particularly, in several distributions’ default installations, including Ubuntu, Multipathd runs as root.

Two Vulnerabilities Impact Multipathd

The device-mapper-multipath, when used alone or in conjunction with CVE-2022-41973, enables local users to gain root access. 

In this case, the access controls can be evaded and the multipath configuration can be changed by local users who have the ability to write to UNIX domain sockets.

This problem arises because using arithmetic ADD rather than bitwise OR causes a keyword to be incorrectly handled when repeated by an attacker. Local privilege escalation to root may result from this.

Together with CVE-2022-41974, the device-mapper-multipath enables local users to get root access. Further, due to improper symlink handling, local users with access to /dev/shm can modify symlinks in multipathd, which could result in controlled file writes outside of the /dev/shm directory. Hence, this could be used indirectly to elevate local privileges to the root.

Notably, any unprivileged user might get root access to a vulnerable device by chaining the Snapd vulnerability with the two Multipathd vulnerabilities.

“Qualys security researchers have verified the vulnerability, developed an exploit, and obtained full root privileges on default installations of Ubuntu,” Qualys said.

On Ubuntu default installations, Qualys security researchers have confirmed the vulnerability, developed an exploit and got full root access.

Although the vulnerability cannot be used remotely, the cybersecurity company issues a warning that it is unsafe because it can be used by an unprivileged user.

Linux Flaw Let Attackers Gain Full Root Privilege

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Tags: Linux Flaw, Mastering Linux Security and Hardening, Root Privilege

Apr 27 2022

Linux Nimbuspwn flaws could allow attackers to deploy sophisticated threats

Category: Linux SecurityDISC @ 8:10 am

Microsoft disclosed two Linux privilege escalation flaws, collectively named Nimbuspwn, that could allow conducting various malicious activities.

The Microsoft 365 Defender Research Team has discovered two Linux privilege escalation flaws (tracked as CVE-2022-29799 and CVE-2022-29800) called “Nimbuspwn,” which can be exploited by attackers to conduct various malicious activities, including the deployment of malware.

“The vulnerabilities can be chained together to gain root privileges on Linux systems, allowing attackers to deploy payloads, like a root backdoor, and perform other malicious actions via arbitrary root code execution.” reads the advisory published by Microsoft.

The flaws can be exploited by attackers to achieve root access to the target systems and deploy by more sophisticated threats, such as ransomware.

The flaws reside in the systemd component called networked-dispatcher, which is dispatcher daemon for systemd-networkd connection status changes.

The review of the code flow for networkd-dispatcher revealed multiple security issues, including directory traversal, symlink race, and time-of-check-time-of-use race condition issues.

The researchers started enumerating services that run as root and listen to messages on the System Bus, performing both code reviews and dynamic analysis.

Chaining the issues, an attacker in control of a rogue D-Bus service that can send an arbitrary signal, can deploy backdoors on the compromised final touches.

Linux Nimbuspwn flaws

he researchers were able to develop their own exploit that runs an arbitrary script as root. The exploit also copies /bin/sh to the /tmp directory, sets /tmp/sh as a Set-UID (SUID) executable, and then invokes “/tmp/sh -p”. (the “-p” flag is necessary to force the shell to not drop privileges)

Researchers recommend users of networkd-dispatcher to update their installs.

“To address the specific vulnerabilities at play, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint’s endpoint detection and response (EDR) capabilities detect the directory traversal attack required to leverage Nimbuspwn.” concludes the post.

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