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The Telecom Digest for Oct 5, 2014
|Frequently the more trifling the subject, the more animated and protracted the discussion. - Franklin Pierce|
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|Date: Sat, 4 Oct 2014 05:31:47 +0000 (UTC)
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Garrett Wollman)
Subject: Re: Shellshock fixes beget another round of patches as attacks mount
In article <pan.2014.10.03.23.37.07.580941@NOSPAM.yahoo.com.au>,
David Clayton <dc33box-usenet2@NOSPAM.yahoo.com.au> wrote:
>The only effective way of "disabling" bash is to rename the
>binary. If the entry vector code being exploited is explicitly
>calling /bin/bash then just changing it as the default shell for
>login won't do anything.
The systems where this bug is actually a vulnerability (i.e., remotely
exploitable) are, in the main, GNU/Linux and Mac OS systems where
"sh" happens to be bash. It did not effect, for example, FreeBSD
systems or modern Debian systems unless their administrators foolishly
replaced their standard "sh" (generally a variant of the Almquist
shell) with bash, or a remotely exploitable path was provided to a
script that explicitly invoked bash.
>The systems like desktop/server Linux that are kept patched and up to
>date will be ok, it is all those devices with Linux firmware and a
>web interface that rarely (if ever) get updated that may be at risk
>of permanent exploitation if they have any external ports available
>to attack. That means most home/small business grade Internet facing
>modems/routers etc. and that is what scares me!
Many (but by no means all) such systems do not use bash as their
standard shell, although they are probably exploitable in numerous
 The Standard (IEEE Std.1003.1-2008) does not specify the pathname
of the shell or any other utility. Traditionally it's /bin/sh, but
many commercial Unix systems shipped a historic (non-standard) Bourne
shell as /bin/sh and put the standard shell at some other pathname,
such as /usr/xpg4/bin/sh; the standard permits implementations to do
this, so long as they document the search path required to find the
standard utilities. For this reason, the #! hack has never been
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