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Security update for Linux kernel (k_smp)


(Last modified: 05DEC2002)

solutions Security update for Linux kernel (k_smp) SuSE Linux Maintenance Web (e9372c09d1d7e4a706cb6d7f75f2b0b2)

Applies to

Product(s): SuSE eMail Server 3.1
SuSE eMail Server III
SuSE Firewall Adminhost VPN
SuSE Linux Admin-CD for Firewall
SuSE Firewall on CD 2 - VPN
SuSE Firewall on CD 2
SuSE Linux Connectivity Server
SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 7 for IA32
SuSE Linux Office Server

Package: k_smp
Release: 20021205
Obsoletes: none


This update should be installed on systems where local security implications are important.
This article applies to systems with the k_smp 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/vmlinuz



Problem description

This kernel update is a security update for the errors listed below. All but two of the errors are local security problems, meaning that local shell access is necessary to exploit the bugs.
The TCP SYN-RST bug is a remote bug in the sense that a packet having both the SYN and the RST flags set will be accepted, while packet filters often target SYN-only flagged TCP packets. The error fixed in the ip_conntrack part of the netfilter code addresses a problem where an attacker can establish entries in the connection tracking table of established connections even if the packets in question do not have valid TCP sequence numbers. This can result in a denial of service attack when the table gets filled up.
The list of security bugs resolved:
  • a mass exit race condition
  • security fix and memory leak fix in get_vm_area()
  • fix in trace flag (TF flag) handling (hangs the system)
  • nested task flag (NT flag) handling (hangs the system)
  • fix the handling of TCP SYN-RST packets that can bypass filter rules that match SYN only
  • fix /proc/cmdline kernel memory exposure
  • fix in ip_conntrack (SYN/ACK handling, DoS)


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 by using this command:
rpm -Uvh k_smp.rpm
Please make sure that you execute the commands
mk_initrd lilo
as user "root" after installing this update for the system to be bootable.
Furthermore, if you are upgrading from kernel 2.4.7 please make sure to install the updated kernel utils as described in the maintenance web articles
as well.
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.)

links to download packages

Download Source Packages

Download the source code of the patches for maintained products.


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