Contributed by dhartmei on from the wer-den-schaden-hat dept.
A recent security advisory announced today by Rapid7 explains, "the NVIDIA Binary Graphics Driver for Linux is vulnerable to a buffer overflow that allows an attacker to run arbitrary code as root. This bug can be exploited both locally or remotely (via a remote X client or an X client which visits a malicious web page). A working proof-of-concept root exploit is attached to this advisory." The advisory goes on to note that the FreeBSD and Solaris binary drivers are also likely vulnerable to the same flaw and cautions, "it is our opinion that NVIDIA's binary driver remains an unacceptable security risk based on the large numbers of reproducible, unfixed crashes that have been reported in public forums and bug databases."
Here's a good real-life example of why blobs are bad. For those that take the "pragmatic" approach and don't understand what all the fuss is about. So, if you're the "rather a binary blob than no accelerated X" type, I guess you get to try the unaccelerated variety for a couple of weeks (or months) now. Or maybe NVIDIA will shame the open source community with an amazingly fast fix. Since you don't have the source, you can't fix it yourself, so there's not much else to do other than wait.
- Rapid7 Security Advisory R7-0025
- working proof-of-concept root exploit
- another sort of exploit (still think it's local only?)
One comment from the exploit reads:
/* * "It's so hard to write a graphics driver that open-sourcing it would * not help." * - Andrew Fear, Software Product Manager (NVIDIA Corporation). */
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