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Sun's Cobalt Linux Servers Open to Attack


Today, Sun and CERT announced that many of Sun's Cobalt RaQ 4 Linux servers can be completely taken over by a local user or via the Internet. Ironically, the vulnerability is only present if the vendor's optional "Security Hardening Package" is installed. The package is quite popular and is installed on a large percentage of these servers.

The vulnerability is caused by a flaw in the input validation of a CGI (common gateway interface) script. The script is intended to allow remote administration of the server via a Web browser.

Sun reports that, at present, there's no workaround for the hole. The only way to close it is to remove the Security Hardening Package, which provides protection against (among other things) buffer overflows and port scanning. The protection is lost when the package is removed.
 
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