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vulnerability bulletin CVE-2013-4483

Linux kernel: denial of service via ipc_rcu_putref

Synthesis of the vulnerability

A local attacker can progressively force the Linux kernel to use all its memory, in order to trigger a denial of service.
Impacted products: Linux, MBS, openSUSE, RHEL, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, SLES, Ubuntu.
Severity: 1/4.
Creation date: 30/10/2013.
Identifiers: BID-63445, CERTFR-2014-AVI-241, CERTFR-2014-AVI-256, CERTFR-2014-AVI-416, CERTFR-2015-AVI-085, CVE-2013-4483, MDVSA-2013:265, openSUSE-SU-2014:0247-1, RHSA-2014:0285-01, RHSA-2014:1392-01, RHSA-2015:0284-03, SUSE-SU-2014:0536-1, USN-2221-1, USN-2223-1, USN-2227-1, USN-2233-1, USN-2234-1, USN-2238-1, VIGILANCE-VUL-13673.

Description of the vulnerability

The RCU (Read Copy Update) feature is used to synchronize events, with no interruption of reading operations.

The ipc_rcu_putref() function uses RCU. However, sometimes, the number of users of a memory area is not decremented. The counter thus never reaches zero, and the memory area is never freed.

A local attacker can therefore progressively force the Linux kernel to use all its memory, in order to trigger a denial of service.
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