A bogus security bulletin and "patch" that circulated on the Internet late Friday marked the return of a phishing hoax aimed at Linux users.
The fake security bulletin warned Linux users of a "critical-critical" security hole that could compromise systems and allow root access to a remote attacker. It claimed the vulnerability was found in fileutils, the package of essential system utilities that manipulate files on a system. It warned of problem distributions including Red Hat versions 7.2 through 9.0, and Fedora Core 1 and Core 2 as well as others. However, the warning said BSD and Solaris platforms were unaffected by the vulnerability.
"The security bulletin was sent by an individual with malicious intent and not the Red Hat Security Response Team," said Josh Bressers, team member. "The message instructs the recipient to download and run will install a backdoor Trojan on the victims system."
"Again, please apply this patch as soon as possible or you risk your system and others to be compromised," the fake bulletin said. It provided a link to a university archive.
However, Bressers said official alerts from Red Hat are always digitally signed to ensure their integrity. And patches will be availble from Red Hat Network to obtain updates and errata.
Still there were plenty of real security updates introduced during the week, as legit warnings were issued for a wide range of vulnerabilities in servers and client applications. On Friday, IBM issued an interim fix for a pair of DoS (denial of service) vulnerabilities affecting its HTTP Server V2.0.
Earlier in the week, Microsoft Corp. re-released its MS04-039 security bulletin to correct some issues affecting customers using ISA Server 2000 Service Pack 1 or Windows 2000 Service Pack 3. And security researchers warned of new bugs in Microsofts Internet Explorer browser on fully patched Windows XP SP2 machines.
In addition, a German security researcher uncovered multiple vulnerabilities in smbfs, the mountable SMB file system for Linux that is essential to Samba.
Finally, the updated Windows version of Skype Technologies SAs Skype VOIP program fixes a bug that could allow a remote attacker to compromise a Skype users computer.
Editors Note: This story was updated to include information and comments from a Red Hat.
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