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A new Linux vulnerability, known as the Looney Tunables impacts most Linux distributions and allows attackers to gain administrative root privileges.

The vulnerability, discovered by security researchers, is due to a weakness in the GNU C Library’s dynamic loader. The library is in most Linux kernel-based systems. It provides essential functionality and is necessary for typical program execution. That library has a buffer overflow weakness that can be fairly easily exploited by attackers or malicious software to gain root access and take over the machine. The flaw was introduced in April 2021 and security researchers had successfully exploited the vulnerability on major distributions like Fedora, Ubuntu and Debian. It should be noted that in order to exploit this vulnerability and root access, attackers will first need to have local user access. The security team which disclosed the vulnerability is withholding the exploit code for now and urge all admins to patch their systems to keep them secure.

This segment was created for the It’s 5:05 podcast