SuSE: Kernel Backdoor (April Fool's Joke)

    Date 29 Mar 2001
    Category Hacks/Cracks
    Posted By Anthony Pell
    Roman Drahtmüller send this message to the suse-security-announce mailing list in regards to an April Fools joke that some people are taking a little bit too seriously. . .
    Roman Drahtmüller send this message to the suse-security-announce mailing list in regards to an April Fools joke that some people are taking a little bit too seriously:
     Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2001 15:48:18 +0200 (MEST) From: Roman Drahtmueller  To: [email protected] Subject: [suse-security-announce] Kernel Backdoor (April Fool's joke)  To those involved in Linux security:  The latest release of "Linux-Magazin", a monthly German magazine that focuses on Linux, contains an article by Mirko Dölle about security problems in the Linux kernel.  In particular, the article argues that IP packets could be forwarded to the address (there is a PTR record at, which has an A record back to the same address).  Many German Linux users have been calling SuSE support to learn details on how to deal with this problem, not willing to believe that the article is an April Fool's joke on security. None of the claims are correct, which makes a kernel update unnecessary for this particular problem.   Now, as inclined readers of security mailing lists may have noticed, there are indeed security problems in the Linux kernel. These problems are no backdoors of any kind, and they are not related to the article mentioned above. In addition, the known kernel security issues are not remotely exploitable, which means that local shell access is needed to take advantage of the weaknesses. The weaknesses allow for a local attacker to gain superuser access to the system.  SuSE will provide update packages for the supported distributions 6.3, 6.4, 7.0 and 7.1 shortly that eliminate the known problems. The SuSE kernels are standard kernels, equipped with a set of patches that introduce drivers and many other enhancements to the standard Linux kernel. The update packages are currently being tested and will be available and announced as soon as possible.  As an information for those who compile and install their own kernels: The freshly released Linux kernel version 2.2.19 fixes the known issues in the kernel. It should run smoothly on all 6.x SuSE Linux distributions, but please note that 2.2.19 requires update packages for the lvm and/or the raidtools (formerly mdutils) package if lvm (logical volume manager) or the software raid facility of the Linux kernel are used. The lvm package is available for download from our ftp server, the raidtools package will follow soon.  Regards, Roman Drahtmüller, SuSE Security 

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