Linux vendors are rushing to patch a flaw which gives hackers root access to a machine and esclate any privileges the user might have.
According to Techworld, the vulnerability, which has the catchy title, CVE-2012-0056, was spotted by Jüri Aedla. It is caused by the fact the Linux kernel does not properly restrict access to the "/proc/<pid>/mem" file, but hell who does.
Insecurity outfit Secunia has said that the flaw was introduced in the Linux kernel code in March 2011 and affects versions 2.6.39 and above.
Apparently Linus Torvalds has patched the official Linux kernel repository on January 17, but Linux vendors were a little slower and before they applied it for their distributions, proof-of-concept exploit code was out there.
One of the better exploits for CVE-2012-0056 is called mempodipper which was penned by security expert Jason Donenfeld. It works around the work arounds for Fedora or Gentoo.
Ubuntu and Red Hat have already released patches to address this vulnerability and other vendors are expected to follow.
One of the people who has been inspired by Donenfeld's work was Jay Freeman, who hacks iPhones, iPads and other iOS devices.
He used Donenfeld's instructions to create a local root exploit for Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), which he dubbed mempodroid.