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Quick Fix in Linux Kernel

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Just days after the much-anticipated Linux 2.6.12 kernel was officially released, an update has been issued to fix two security vulnerabilities.

Linux kernel developer Chris Wright announced the 2.6.12.1 security fix release late Wednesday.

One of the issues carries the CVE designation CAN-2005-1761 and was titled, "ia64 ptrace + sigrestore_context" in the Changelog for 2.6.12.1. According to Danish Research firm Secunia, the impact of this vulnerability is unknown.

The other fix is for an issue that is somewhat more dangerous and could lead to a Denial-of-Service (define) attack by a malicious user. The 2.6.12.1 changelog refers to the patch as "Clean up subthread exec" and refers to the CVE designation CAN-2005-1913.

An error had existed in the 2.6.12 kernel in the delivery of signals with a sub-thread "exec" on a pending timer.

"If subthread exec's with timer pending, signal is delivered to old group-leader and can panic kernel," the 2.6.12.1 changelog noted.

Causing a kernel to "panic" is a serious condition that in many cases causes a Linux system to shut down. According to security firm Secunia, the subthreat exec kernel panic issue could have been exploited by malicious, local users to cause a DoS attack.

The overall effect of the 2.6.12 flaws, however, is not likely to have a significant impact on Linux users. The 2.6.12 kernel was only officially released last Friday by Linux creator Linus Torvalds and has not made its way - yet -- into many Linux distributions.

The 2.6.12 Linux kernel introduces a number of new innovations to Linux including native support for Xen as well as SELinux.

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