Linux Security Bypassed by Just 28 Key Presses

/ 5 years ago

cyber security

Security is important in modern times, with hacks such as VTech and Talk-Talk exposing just how vulnerable data connected to the internet can be. What about those closer to home, though? How about on the very device you’re reading this on? If you are a Linux user you may want to check for updates for a very simple hack that could give someone unwanted access to your machine.

Two researchers at the University of Valencia in Spain have found an age old way of breaking through the login screen that is so simple, someone might even do it by accident. As revealed by them, the hack is performed by simply pressing the backspace key no more than 28 times. No more, no less, in doing so you open up the Grub2 (the bootloader software that initializes Linux) rescue shell which can be used to access the system completely unrestricted.

While this may not seem too big a problem, the issue has been found on Ubuntu, Debian and Red Hat variations of Linux and is quite widespread. While a hotfix has been pushed out to address the issue on these versions it is slightly worrying that such as a simple hack has been available for anyone to use.

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