Can the Linux Stack Clash Vulnerability Affect Containers?
The recently discovered ‘Stack Clash’ vulnerability in Linux-based systems is another critical security issue like Dirty Cow, but can the stack clash vulnerability affect containers, and what could an attacker do?
The short answer is yes, an attacker could exploit the vulnerability to gain root privileges within a container, but not necessarily be able to break out from the container. However, if the exploit occurs in the user space on the host, the escalation to root on the linux host itself is a critical security event which the attacker could use to compromise running containers or the Docker daemon itself.
The Stack Clash Vulnerability
This vulnerability (CVE-2010-2240) was recently discovered by security vendor Qualys researchers and has been named “Stack Clash” because it involves “clashing” the stack with another memory region, such as the heap. A flaw was found in the way memory was being allocated on the stack for user space binaries, which could allow an attacker to jump over the stack guard gap. This could cause controlled memory corruption on the process stack or the adjacent memory region, and thus increase their privileges on the system.
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