Specifically categorized as GHOST (gethostbyname) CVE-2015-0235, the GHOST bug flaw resides in the gethostbyname() and gethostbyname2() function calls in older versions of the GNU C Library (glibc) that is packaged with a variety of Linux distributions, including versions 5, 6 and 7 of Centos / RHEL / Fedora as well as Ubuntu 12.04.
In addition to older Linux distributions being vulnerable, applications and websites running on server hosts that use these older distributions may be susceptible to the GHOST bug as well, including Wordpress Web sites and various PHP applications.
Discovery of the GHOST Bug and Patches for the Vulnerability
The GHOST bug was first found and documented by security firm Qualys in early 2015. The GHOST vulnerability only affects older versions of the glibc library, as it was patched in the glibc-2.18 update, which debuted in August 2013.
However, while updated versions of glibc library have been available since 2013, it’s very common for enterprise servers to continue running older versions of Linux that are considered more stable. As a result, the GHOST bug has remained an open vulnerability for many enterprises despite patched versions of the glibc library being available.
While there isn't much evidence at this time of the GHOST bug being maliciously targeted by attackers, security researchers do recommend updating vulnerable installations of Linux as quickly as possible to prevent potential exploitation.
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free weekly newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
This chat guide lists more than 1,460 text message and online chat abbreviations to help you translate today's texting lingo. Read More »SEO Dictionary
From keyword analysis to backlinks and Google search engine algorithm updates, our search engine optimization glossary lists 85 SEO terms you need... Read More »Slideshow: History of Microsoft Operating Systems
Microsoft Windows is a family of operating systems for personal computers. In this article we look at the history of Microsoft operating... Read More »
Computer architecture provides an introduction to system design basics for most computer science students. Read More »Network Fundamentals Study Guide
Networking fundamentals teaches the building blocks of modern network design. Learn different types of networks, concepts, architecture and... Read More »Java Basics, Part 1
Java is a high-level programming language. This guide describes the basics of Java, providing an overview of syntax, variables, data types and... Read More »