February 16, 2016
A huge amount of Linux software can be hijacked by hackers from the other side of the internet, thanks to a serious vulnerability in the GNU C Library (glibc).
Simply clicking on a link or connecting to a server can lead to remote code execution, allowing scumbags to steal passwords, spy on users, attempt to seize control of computers, and so on. Any software that connects to things on a network or the internet, and uses glibc, is at risk.
The glibc library is a vital component in the vast majority of Linux distributions, meaning the security cockup is widespread in the open-source world.
The flaw, discovered separately by researchers at Google and Red Hat, is a stack-based buffer-overflow bug in glibc’s DNS resolver – which is used to translate human-readable domain names, such as theregister.co.uk, into a network IP address.