Linux security is important because although Linux users are less prone to viruses than some other major operating systems, there are still many security issues facing Linux users and administrators.
Industry analysts believe it’s important to have a “big picture” view of Linux security to start off. Rather than just saying we need to make a system secure, organizations need to consider what is meant by secure, what risks are associated with any data that’s available, and what impact your security measures will have on your users.
Of course, despite its superior security record compared to other systems, Linux also has proven vulnerable from time to time to new attack mechanisms. Most recently, Linux security was put to the test by the Dirty Pipe virus.
The Dirty Pipe flaw, tracked as CVE-2022-0847, allows a threat actor to overwrite data in arbitrary read-only files. The vulnerability can also enable an attacker to inject code into root processes, thus leading to privilege escalation.
The “Pipe” in Dirty Pipe refers to the flaw residing in the pipeline mechanism in Linux. A pipeline is an inter-process communication mechanism.
A Linux pipeline involves two or more processes communicating unidirectionally, wherein each process accepts the output of the previous process as the input to produce an output.
The Dirty Pipe vulnerability resides in Linux kernel 5.8 and onwards. It has a CVSS score of 7.8. Some experts in this area have said Dirty Pipe is about as severe as it gets for a local kernel vulnerability.
While untrusted apps (opens in new tab) are usually isolated from the operating system as much as possible, the flaw can still be reproduced.
Fortunately, a patch was developed a few months back by making a small adjustment to the source code of the Linux kernel. Proponents of Linux and Linux security point out that the fast production of a security patch when one is needed illustrates yet another benefit of systems that rely on Linux.
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