Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

SecurityWeekSecurityWeek

Malware & Threats

‘WallEscape’ Linux Vulnerability Leaks User Passwords

A vulnerability in util-linux, a core utilities package in Linux systems, allows attackers to leak user passwords and modify the clipboard.

Security researchers are documenting a new vulnerability found in the util-linux core utilities package in Linux systems, warnign that it allows attackers to leak user passwords and modify the clipboard.

The security defect, tracked as CVE-2024-28085 and dubbed ‘WallEscape’, impacts the ‘wall’ command of util-linux that fails to filter escape sequences from command line arguments.

An attacker could embed escape sequences into crafted messages and send them via the ‘wall’ command, allowing them to leak passwords and modify commands, if specific conditions are met. “This allows unprivileged users to put arbitrary text on other users’ terminals, if mesg is set to y and wall is setgid,” said security researcher Skyler Ferrante.

Ferrante, who is credited with discovering the flaw, said the bug can be exploited to leak user passwords on Ubuntu 22.04 with default configurations, where ‘wall’ is installed with the special setgid permissions and mesg is set to y. Debian Bookworm is also affected, but CentOS and Red Hat products are not.

“On Ubuntu 22.04, we have enough control to leak a user’s password by default. The only indication of attack to the user will be an incorrect password prompt when they correctly type their password, along with their password being in their command history,” the researcher explained in a public advisory.

According to Ferrante, the flaw can also leak an unknown command on Ubuntu 22.0 “if a system runs a command when commands are not found, with the unknown command as an argument.” In addition, it can be exploited to change the output of any command.

“On other systems that allow wall messages to be sent, an attacker may be able to alter the clipboard of a victim. This works on windows-terminal, but not on gnome-terminal,” the researcher said.

Ferrante, who also provided proof-of-concept (PoC) code, says that the vulnerability can be used to attack sudo or “anywhere the user inputs their password”. An attacker could send an incorrect password message after a user logs in using OpenSSH, for example.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

According to a NIST NVD advisory, “there may be plausible scenarios where this leads to account takeover.” The vulnerability was introduced in 2013 and impacts all util-linux releases prior to version 2.40, which includes patches for this bug.

Related: Supply Chain Attack: Major Linux Distributions Impacted by XZ Utils Backdoor

Related: Android, Linux, Apple Devices Exposed to Bluetooth Keystroke Injection

Related: Severe Glibc Vulnerability Impacts Major Linux Distributions

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

Trending

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

Join the session as we discuss the challenges and best practices for cybersecurity leaders managing cloud identities.

Register

SecurityWeek’s Ransomware Resilience and Recovery Summit helps businesses to plan, prepare, and recover from a ransomware incident.

Register

People on the Move

Cody Barrow has been appointed the new CEO of threat intelligence company EclecticIQ.

Shay Mowlem has been named CMO of runtime and application security company Contrast Security.

Attack detection firm Vectra AI has appointed Jeff Reed to the newly created role of Chief Product Officer.

More People On The Move

Expert Insights

Related Content

Vulnerabilities

Less than a week after announcing that it would suspended service indefinitely due to a conflict with an (at the time) unnamed security researcher...

Cybercrime

A recently disclosed vBulletin vulnerability, which had a zero-day status for roughly two days last week, was exploited in a hacker attack targeting the...

Cybercrime

The changing nature of what we still generally call ransomware will continue through 2023, driven by three primary conditions.

Data Breaches

OpenAI has confirmed a ChatGPT data breach on the same day a security firm reported seeing the use of a component affected by an...

IoT Security

A group of seven security researchers have discovered numerous vulnerabilities in vehicles from 16 car makers, including bugs that allowed them to control car...

Vulnerabilities

A researcher at IOActive discovered that home security systems from SimpliSafe are plagued by a vulnerability that allows tech savvy burglars to remotely disable...

Risk Management

The supply chain threat is directly linked to attack surface management, but the supply chain must be known and understood before it can be...

Cybercrime

Patch Tuesday: Microsoft calls attention to a series of zero-day remote code execution attacks hitting its Office productivity suite.