UCL Computer Security Newsletter - February 2008
The purpose of this newsletter is to keep all security reps and other
interested parties informed about what is happening around UCL
regarding computer security. Further information from the Computer
Security Team is always available at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/cert.
1. Linux Kernel Vulnerability
A vulnerability in the linux kernel versions 2.6.17 to 2.6.24 allows a
logged in user to obtain root privileges. All major Linux distribution
seem to be affected (eg Debian, Ubuntu, RHEL, Fedora, CentOS, OpenSuse,
Slackware and Gentoo). A working exploit has been published and it is
trivial to use.
This is a significant threat as any user logged into an affected system
via ssh get easily become root. This can also affect web servers when
combined with other vulnerabilities.
It is strongly recommended that kernel updates are applied if this has
not already been done.
2. Adobe Acrobat Vulnerability
A vulnerability has been discovered in Acrobat, including the Reader
software that effects versions 8.1.1 and earlier on both Windows and
Macintosh platforms. Loading a specially crafted PDF file can result in
arbitrary code being executed. Since Acrobat Reader readily integrates
with web browsers, the attack could take the form of directing the user
to a malicious website.
It is recommended that Acrobat and Reader are upgraded to version 8.1.2.
Further information is available from the following websites:
3. Wireless Access Points
In accordance with UCL policy, all wireless access points must be
registered. There is a web form for departments to register non-RoamNet
Access Points - the form and guidelines can be found at:
Unregistered WAPs may be disconnected by the IS network group without
notice, so please ensure that any active ones are registered to
guarantee their continued use.
Please note all correspondence from the UCL Computer Security Team is
digitally signed either with personal PGP keys or the CERT team key
(public keys available from http://www.ucl.ac.uk/cert/contacts.html).
This newsletter and previous ones are available at
We welcome feedback on the content and organisation of documents on
our web page.