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Security update for Linux kernel (k_timer)


(Last modified: 22JAN2004)

solutions Security update for Linux kernel (k_timer) SuSE Linux Maintenance Web (a535785f6dce4aaaf16447fda6356fca)

Applies to

Product(s): SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 7 for IBM zSeries

Package: k_timer
Release: 20040122
Obsoletes: none


This update should be installed on all systems.
This article applies to systems with the k_timer kernel package installed, please use the appropriate kernel package if you are using a different kernel:
You can find out which kernel package you are using with
rpm -qf /boot/kernel/image


Using z/VM 4.3 and PTF UM30652 not installed.

Problem description

This update fixes various problems and has the following enhancements:
IBM code drop
  • DASD driver sets improper default cache mode on ESS.
  • Disable message interrupts during connection setup.
  • Massive workload combined with ESS flascopy leading to IO hang.
  • Unnecessary restriction to length of input data for MEX request.
  • DASD driver: BUG when pulling/plug in fibers associated with ESS.
Security fix
Paul Starzetz of iSEC reported a vulnerability in the mremap() system call, which allows local attackers to crash the machine and even obtain super user ("root") privileges under certain circumstances.

Installation notes

This update is provided as an RPM package that can easily be installed onto a running system by using these commands:
rpm -Fvh k_timer.rpm zipl
please do not forget to run zipl after installing the k_timer 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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