Updated kernel packages are now available that fix a security vulnerability which may allow local users to gain root privileges.
The Linux kernel handles the basic functions of the operating system. Paul Starzetz discovered a flaw in bounds checking in mremap() in the Linux kernel versions 2.4.23 and previous which may allow a local attacker to gain root privileges. No exploit is currently available; however, it is believed that this issue is exploitable (although not trivially.) The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project (cve.mitre.org) has assigned the name CAN-2003-0985 to this issue. All users are advised to upgrade to these errata packages, which contain a backported security patch that corrects this issue. Red Hat would like to thank Paul Starzetz from ISEC for disclosing this issue as well as Andrea Arcangeli and Solar Designer for working on the patch. These packages also contain a fix for a minor information leak in the real time clock (rtc) routines. The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project (cve.mitre.org) has assigned the name CAN-2003-0984 to this issue. We have provided kernel updates for Red Hat Linux 7.1-8.0 with this advisory as these were prepared by us prior to December 31 2003. Please note that Red Hat Linux 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, and 8.0 have reached their end of life for errata support and no further errata will be issued for those distributions.