Linux Kernel: Remote DoS vulnerability with IPTables TCP Handling — GLSA 200407-12

A flaw has been discovered in 2.6 series Linux kernels that allows an attacker to send a malformed TCP packet, causing the affected kernel to possibly enter an infinite loop and hang the vulnerable machine.

Affected Packages

sys-kernel/aa-sources on all architectures
Affected versions < 2.6.5-r5
Unaffected versions >= 2.6.5-r5, < 2.6
sys-kernel/ck-sources on all architectures
Affected versions < 2.6.7-r2
Unaffected versions >= 2.6.7-r2, < 2.6
sys-kernel/development-sources on all architectures
Affected versions < 2.6.8
Unaffected versions >= 2.6.8
sys-kernel/gentoo-dev-sources on all architectures
Affected versions < 2.6.7-r7
Unaffected versions >= 2.6.7-r7
sys-kernel/hardened-dev-sources on all architectures
Affected versions < 2.6.7-r1
Unaffected versions >= 2.6.7-r1
sys-kernel/hppa-dev-sources on all architectures
Affected versions < 2.6.7_p1-r1
Unaffected versions >= 2.6.7_p1-r1
sys-kernel/mips-sources on all architectures
Affected versions < 2.6.4-r4
Unaffected versions >= 2.6.4-r4, < 2.6
sys-kernel/mm-sources on all architectures
Affected versions < 2.6.7-r4
Unaffected versions >= 2.6.7-r4, < 2.6
sys-kernel/pegasos-dev-sources on all architectures
Affected versions < 2.6.7-r1
Unaffected versions >= 2.6.7-r1
sys-kernel/rsbac-dev-sources on all architectures
Affected versions < 2.6.7-r1
Unaffected versions >= 2.6.7-r1
sys-kernel/uclinux-sources on all architectures
Affected versions < 2.6.7_p0
Unaffected versions >= 2.6.7_p0-r1, < 2.6
sys-kernel/usermode-sources on all architectures
Affected versions < 2.6.6-r2
Unaffected versions >= 2.6.6-r2, < 2.6
sys-kernel/win4lin-sources on all architectures
Affected versions < 2.6.7-r1
Unaffected versions >= 2.6.7-r1, < 2.6
sys-kernel/xbox-sources on all architectures
Affected versions < 2.6.7-r1
Unaffected versions >= 2.6.7-r1, < 2.6

Background

The Linux kernel is responsible for managing the core aspects of a GNU/Linux system, providing an interface for core system applications as well as providing the essential structure and capability to access hardware that is needed for a running system.

Description

An attacker can utilize an erroneous data type in the IPTables TCP option handling code, which lies in an iterator. By making a TCP packet with a header length larger than 127 bytes, a negative integer would be implied in the iterator.

Impact

By sending one malformed packet, the kernel could get stuck in a loop, consuming all of the CPU resources and rendering the machine useless, causing a Denial of Service. This vulnerability requires no local access.

Workaround

If users do not use the netfilter functionality or do not use any ``--tcp-option'' rules they are not vulnerable to this exploit. Users that are may remove netfilter support from their kernel or may remove any ``--tcp-option'' rules they might be using. However, all users are urged to upgrade their kernels to patched versions.

Resolution

Users are encouraged to upgrade to the latest available sources for their system:

 # emerge sync
 # emerge -pv your-favorite-sources
 # emerge your-favorite-sources

 # # Follow usual procedure for compiling and installing a kernel.
 # # If you use genkernel, run genkernel as you would do normally.

References

Release Date
July 14, 2004

Latest Revision
October 10, 2004: 02

Severity
high

Exploitable
remote

Bugzilla entries