Hackers exploit ‘Shellshock’ bug with worms in early attacks

Everything you need to know about the Shellshock Bash bug

Remember Heartbleed? If you believe the hype today, Shellshock is in that league and with an equally awesome name albeit bereft of a cool logo (someone in the marketing department of these vulns needs to get on that). But in all seriousness, it does have the potential to be a biggie and as I did with Heartbleed, I wanted to put together something definitive both for me to get to grips with the situation and for others to dissect the hype from the true underlying risk.

To set the scene, let me share some content from Robert Graham’s blog post who has been doing some excellent analysis on this. Imagine an HTTP request like this:

target =
port = 80
banners = true
http-user-agent = shellshock-scan (http://blog.erratasec.com/2014/09/bash-shellshock-scan-of-internet.html)
http-header = Cookie:() { :; }; ping -c 3
http-header = Host:() { :; }; ping -c 3
http-header = Referer:() { :; }; ping -c 3

Which, when issued against a range of vulnerable IP addresses, results in this:

Screenshot 2014-09-24 18.31.52

I’m a system admin – what can I do?

Firstly, discovering if you’re at risk is trivial as it’s such an easily reproducible risk. There’s a very simple test The Register suggests which is just running this command within your shell:

env X=”() { :;} ; echo busted” /bin/sh -c “echo stuff”

You get “busted” echo’d back out and you’ve successfully exploited the bug.

Of course the priority here is going to be patching at risk systems and the patch essentially boils down to ensuring no code can be executed after the end of a Bash function. Linux distros such as Red Hat are releasing guidance on patching the risk so jump on that as a matter of priority.

 Read More from the original poster.

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