1 min read

Serious Linux Vulnerability Abuses LUKS to Gain Root-Level Shell in 70 Seconds

Liviu ARSENE

November 16, 2016

Ad One product to protect all your devices, without slowing them down.
Free 90-day trial
Serious Linux Vulnerability Abuses LUKS to Gain Root-Level Shell in 70 Seconds

Linux-based systems have been found at risk due to a vulnerability in the Linux Unified Key Setup (LUKS), hard disk encryption standard that allows attackers to gain root-level access simply by holding down the Enter key for 70 seconds during boot time.

The vulnerability was first reported by Hector Marco Gisbert, a computer science lecturer at the University of the West of Scotland, and it seems to be affecting Linux distributions including Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Red Hat Enterpise Linux (RHEL), and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES).

The CVE-2016-4484 also states that the vulnerability can be remotely exploited in cloud environments, without physical access to the system. Because the fault is caused by incorrect handing of password checks, triggering the launch of a root shell, an attacker could access other unencrypted drives or perform various malicious actions.

“This vulnerability allows to obtain a root initramfs shell on affected systems,” reads the CVE. “The vulnerability is very reliable because it doesn’t depend on specific systems or configurations. Attackers can copy, modify or destroy the hard disc as well as set up the network to exflitrate data. This vulnerability is specially serious in environments like libraries, ATMs, airport machines, labs, etc, where the whole boot process is protect (password in BIOS and GRUB) and we only have a keyboard or/and a mouse.”

Fixing the issue involves stopping the boot sequence after exhausting a number of password guesses and suspending the execution forever. The patch should become available soon, but Linux users can manually patch the configuration file by “adding the “panic” parameter to the kernel entry in the grub configuration“.

The CVE also details some exploitation strategies that revolve around privilege escalation, information disclosure and denial of service by deleting all information stored on all disks. Also, the disclosure covers the issues that could arise from having physical access to compromised devices, but also what would happen if IoT devices running these vulnerable Linux distributions were to be compromised.

tags


Author



Right now

Top posts

The Holiday Guide to Tech Support: Fixing the Family Computer

The Holiday Guide to Tech Support: Fixing the Family Computer

November 24, 2021

2 min read
Bitdefender Celebrates 20 Years of Cybersecurity Leadership

Bitdefender Celebrates 20 Years of Cybersecurity Leadership

November 04, 2021

3 min read
Bitdefender Study Reveals How Consumers Like (and Dislike) Managing Passwords

Bitdefender Study Reveals How Consumers Like (and Dislike) Managing Passwords

October 26, 2021

3 min read
What are drive-by download attacks and how do you prevent them?

What are drive-by download attacks and how do you prevent them?

October 25, 2021

2 min read
Criminals Can't Wait to Add Your IoT Device to Their DDoS Networks

Criminals Can't Wait to Add Your IoT Device to Their DDoS Networks

October 22, 2021

2 min read
Six in 10 Consumers Faced a Cyber Threat in 2021, New Bitdefender Study Reveals

Six in 10 Consumers Faced a Cyber Threat in 2021, New Bitdefender Study Reveals

October 20, 2021

3 min read

FOLLOW US ON

SOCIAL MEDIA


You might also like

Iranian Threat Actor Deployed Malicious PowerShell Script through Phishing, Then Stole Files and Credentials Iranian Threat Actor Deployed Malicious PowerShell Script through Phishing, Then Stole Files and Credentials
Silviu STAHIE

November 26, 2021

1 min read
Ukraine Arrests Five iPhone Hackers of the Phoenix International Hacking Group Ukraine Arrests Five iPhone Hackers of the Phoenix International Hacking Group
Filip TRUȚĂ

November 26, 2021

1 min read
Couple arrested for secretly installing cryptomining software on department store PCs Couple arrested for secretly installing cryptomining software on department store PCs
Graham CLULEY

November 26, 2021

1 min read