Keep Calm and Patch On

The BASH vulnerability has taken everyone by surprise -- much like finding the wheels of your 20-year old bike can easily fall off. For Red Had based distributions, you can follow the progress at Bash Code Injection Vulnerability via Specially Crafted Environment Variables (CVE-2014-6271, CVE-2014-7169). There were two updates to BASH for Red Hat Based systems over the last few days. It is safe to say the extent of the vulnerability is still not fully known and exploitation vectors are still being investigated. While web servers can immediately benefit from the work of the community, home and small office routers may also be at risk. Obviously fixing BASH is the best approach to reduce the risk. The current, least vulnerable, version is:

bash.x86_64 0:4.1.2-15.el6_5.2

and should be available at most repositories by now. A good discussion and latest un-official patch of the previous and new issues can be found on Google security researcher Michal "lcamtuf" Zalewski blog. A test to check for the latest vulnerabilities is the following line:

foo='() { echo not patched; }' bash -c foo

If you run this on your systems, and get "echo not patched," then you are at risk. If it shows "command not found", you have the latest patch. Of course other measures such as making sure cgi_module is not loaded by Apache are a good idea in any case (Unless you are using cgi scripts, which is not a good idea!). Other mitigation strategies are offered by Red Hat.

Update: This site is a list of new exploits to try. The current version of Bash, mentioned above, seems to hold up against these issues.

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