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Security update for Linux kernel


(Last modified: 16JUN2004)

solutions Security update for Linux kernel SuSE Linux Maintenance Web (010aaa8f96770a94c609bb7f997ae75c)

Applies to

Product(s): SUSE LINUX Retail Solution 8
SuSE Linux School Server for i386
SuSE Linux Standard Server 8
SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 for x86
SuSE Linux Openexchange Server 4

Package: k_athlon
Release: 20040616
Obsoletes: none


Everyone using the Linux Kernel on x86 architecture should update.



Problem description

Local users can use a simple C program to trigger an endless loop with floating point exceptions, thereby causing a local denial of service attack. On single processor systems, this will result in a system halt, while on SMP systems only one processor freezes with each instance of the attack.
The vulnerability is of considerably moderate severity, especially if compared to privilege escalation vulnerabilities or other vulnerabilities that do not need post-authenticated local shell access to the system like the vulnerability needs that is subject to this update. However, it is recommended to install the update on every affected system, taking into account that a local denial of service may introduce a security relevant risk to a network if exploited. Please make sure to reboot the system after successful application of the update to make the changes to the system effective.


Please install the updates provided at the location noted below.

Installation notes

This update is provided as an RPM package that can easily be installed onto a running system.
First, find out which kernel package to use, for example with
rpm -qf /boot/vmlinuz
Download the kernel image fitting your setup and install it with either:
  • rpm -Fvh k_deflt-2.4.*.i586.rpm for the default kernel image, or
  • rpm -Fhv k_athlon-2.4.*.i586.rpm for the AMD Athlon optimized kernel image, or
  • rpm -Fhv k_smp-2.4.*.i586.rpm for the SMP kernel image, or
  • rpm -Fhv k_psmp-2.4.*.i586.rpm for the PSMP kernel image
Please do only install one of these kernels, not all of them.
In case you are using LILO as bootmanager, please make sure that you also execute the command
after intalling the update for the system to remain bootable.
Finally, reboot the system with
shutdown -r now
to load the new kernel (replace "now" with the appropriate amount of time to allow local users to cleanly log out, for example "+5" for five minutes.)

links to download packages

Download Source Packages

Download the source code of the patches for maintained products.


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