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Linux just patched a vulnerability it’s had for 9 years

Time to update.


Monica Riese


Posted on Oct 21, 2016   Updated on May 25, 2021, 6:05 pm CDT

Linux has finally patched a serious vulnerability that existed in the operating system for almost a decade.

Ars Technica reports that the “privilege-escalation vulnerability” known as CVE-2016-5195 or Dirty Cow has been patched in the main kernel code, but it affected most versions of the open-source OS for nine years. A privilege-escalation bug allows a hacker to gain greater control over a target computer that it previously only had a small sliver of access to.

It’s unclear if the vulnerability had been exploited before developer Phil Oester discovered and reported it, but it’s safest to update to the newest version with the fix applied.

H/T Ars Technica

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*First Published: Oct 21, 2016, 6:24 pm CDT