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New Linux Security Flaw Could Give Hackers Full System Access

By March 9, 2019May 19th, 2022Cybersecurity

Linux users, beware of the security flaw known as “Dirty Sock” and identified as CVE-2019-7304.

This critical security flaw was discovered by security researcher Chris Moberly, who disclosed the details to the makers of the Ubuntu distribution last month. The flaw resides in the REST API for the Snapd service.

That is a universal Linux packaging system responsible for making applications compatible with Linux across multiple distributions, and with no modifications to the executable necessary.  Unfortunately, that means that Ubuntu isn’t the only build impacted by the flaw.  Literally every flavor of Linux is at risk.

Moberly had this to say about the issue:

“Snapd versions 2.28 through 2.37 incorrectly validated and parsed the remote socket address when performing access controls on its UNIX socket.  A local attacker could use this to access privileged socket APIs and obtain administrator privileges.”

If there’s a silver lining to be found in Moberly’s discovery, it is the fact that the nature of the issue prevents a hacker from exploiting it remotely.  They’d have to have physical access to the machine or somehow trick the user into doing something that would trigger a program to escalate privileges on behalf of the hackers.  Even so, the fact that the exploit can be used to gain total access and control to a target system means it’s not something that can be ignored.

The good news is that Canonical, the makers of Ubuntu, have moved quickly and have already issued an update that addresses this flaw, with other major Linux distributions having followed suit.  Regardless of what build you’re using, a fix is likely already available. So if it’s been a while since you updated, now would be an excellent time to do so.  Better to be safe than sorry.

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.