Dispatches From The Geeks

News and Announcements from the MCS Systems Group

“Shell Shock” bash exploit updates

Many of you are learning of an exploit to the bash shell that was revealed last week, so I thought it would be worthwhile to post a summary of what’s been happening and what you need to do.

First up, the exploit in question allows an attacker to take advantage of some poor coding in the Bourne Again Shell (bash), to launch processes on any servers or services that are exposed to the internet, such as web servers or poorly configured workstations.

We’ve been patching servers we manage since the announcement, and are confident we’re safe from attackers on the servers that we’ve got externally exposed.

Generally, if you’ve got a machine you’re managing you shouldn’t have a big worry unless you’re running a web server on it and allow that web server to run scripts that call a bash shell.

In any case, patching your machine is important. Linux distributions have had patches in the pipeline almost immediately, so if you’re running a current build of linux you should be able to update via your regular package manager (yum, apt, etc.). If you are running an unsupported distribution, you’ll need to download and compile a new bash to be safe. Contact systems@mcs.anl.gov if you require assistance with that.

Apple released some patches for supported OS versions to address some of the vulnerabilities, but there are still some that need addressing so we expect to see more updates. The updates are not yet in the OS X automatic update package stream yet, but for those of you who manage your own machines, you can find the updates below. Also, check http://support.apple.com/downloads/#macos for future updates in the next few days.

If we manage your MacOS machine, we’ll take care of these security updates for you.

Specific updates can be found here:

* Mavericks 10.9: http://support.apple.com/downloads/DL1769/en_US/BashUpdateMavericks.dmg
* Mountain Lion 10.8: http://support.apple.com/downloads/DL1768/en_US/BashUpdateMountainLion.dmg * Lion 10.7: http://support.apple.com/downloads/DL1767/en_US/BashUpdateLion.dmg

Anything older and you’re running an unsupported and unpatched OS. It should be upgraded.

Microsoft Windows users are only affected if they are running Microsoft Unix services or Cygwin. In either case, follow the update procedures for your installation.



Written by Craig Stacey

September 30, 2014 at 5:03 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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