Comment to the article nails it...

Story: Linux vulnerable to USB worms Total Replies: 6
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Feb 09, 2011
6:21 PM EDT
The one comment to the article nails it. This is not a "Linux" vulnerability, it's an evince-thumbnailer vulnerability. You wouldn't get anywhere with this exploit on a server or even on a patched/locked-down desktop. And, there's no evidence that the exploit could be used to gain root authority, either. In other words, it'd be dumb luck if a cracker could use it to access the user account of a Linux desktop.


Feb 09, 2011
6:46 PM EDT
Couldn't have said it better myself JaseP


Feb 09, 2011
8:18 PM EDT
The following makes it even more clear USN-1035-1: Evince vulnerabilities

Quoting:The problem can be corrected by upgrading your system to the following package versions:

Ubuntu 8.04 LTS: evince 2.22.2-0ubuntu2.1 Ubuntu 9.10: evince 2.28.1-0ubuntu1.3 Ubuntu 10.04 LTS: evince 2.30.3-0ubuntu1.2 Ubuntu 10.10: evince 2.32.0-0ubuntu1.1

In general, a standard system update will make all the necessary changes.

Details follow:

Jon Larimer discovered that Evince's font parsers incorrectly handled certain buffer lengths when rendering a DVI file. By tricking a user into opening or previewing a DVI file that uses a specially crafted font file, an attacker could crash evince or execute arbitrary code with the user's privileges.

In the default installation of Ubuntu 9.10 and later, attackers would be isolated by the Evince AppArmor profile.

In the demonstration Larimer:

Quoting:also disabled the Address Space Layout Randomisation (ASLR) and AppArmor security mechanisms.

Feb 09, 2011
8:39 PM EDT
So it could be taken as a win for ASLR and/or AppArmor.

Yay for Open Source!

Feb 10, 2011
10:37 AM EDT
It, again, is another example of a "clean room" malware exploit. This wouldn't work in the wild. So, a Linux based system COULD be vulnerable, if one were rely on unpatched add-ons & disable the standard security profiles that keep them in check...

Hmmm, that, as opposed to just USING an M$ system that isn't locked down like Fort Knox. Yeah, I'd say casual Linux users are just as at risk as Windozers (where is the sarcasm on/off function on the comment tool???).

Feb 10, 2011
5:00 PM EDT
Not that anyone should become complacent.

Feb 10, 2011
7:06 PM EDT
Quoting: Not that anyone should become complacent.

No, but there's a difference between being complacent & being an apologist for an OS that's "defective by design," by trying to sensationalize a jury-rigged "experiment" for the purpose of weakening the competition. Maybe that wasn't the intent of the presenter, but it sure seemed like that was the hidden message in the article.

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