How Attackers Can Gain Root Access On Ubuntu System

Share post:

It is now very possible for hackers to gain root access to Ubuntu systems by exploiting a double-free memory corruption bug in GNOME’s AccountsService component.

The bug, which was tracked as CVE-2021-3939, was discovered accidentally by security researcher Kevin Backhouse, who stated that the bug only affects Ubuntu’s fork of AccountsService. Affected versions include Ubuntu 21.10, Ubuntu 21.04, and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

Backhouse explained that “It relies on chance and the fact that I can keep crashing accountsservice until it’s successful. But would an attacker care? It gets you a root shell, even if you have to wait a few hours. To me, it feels like magic that it’s even possible to exploit such a small bug, especially considering all the mitigations that have been added to make memory corruption vulnerabilities harder to exploit. Sometimes, all it takes to get root is a little wishful thinking!”

It should be noted that this privilege escalation bug was fixed in November with the release of AccountsService versions 0.6.55-0ubuntu12~20.04.5, 0.6.55-0ubuntu13.3, and 0.6.55-0ubuntu14.1.

To mitigate the flaw, users must apply the updates and, after applying the updates, restart the computer to apply the changes.

For more information, read the original story in BleepingComputer.

Featured Tech Jobs


Related articles

Cyber Security Today, April 24, 2024 – Good news/bad news in Mandiant report, UnitedHealth admits paying a ransomware gang, and more

This episode reports on the danger of using expired open-source packages, a tool used by a Russian hacking group and passw

Google Play introduces new biometric verification with a user warning

Google has recently announced updates to the biometric verification process for Google Play purchases, aiming to bolster security...

Cyber Security Today, Week in Review for week ending Friday April 19, 2024

On this episode Jen Ellis, co-chair of the Ransomware Task Force, talks about ways of fighting one of the biggest cyber threats to IT d

Cyber Security Today, April 19, 2024 – Police bust phishing rental platform, a nine-year old virus found on Ukrainian computers, and more

This episode reports on a threat actor targeting governments in the Middle East with a novel way of hiding malware is going international

Become a member

New, Relevant Tech Stories. Our article selection is done by industry professionals. Our writers summarize them to give you the key takeaways