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.
The following facts and statistics capture the changing landscape of cloud computing and how service providers and customers are keeping up with... Read More »Facts about Computer Science: Education and Jobs
The following computer science facts and statistics provide a quick introduction to the changing trends in education and related careers. Read More »Texting & Chat Abbreviations
From A3 to ZZZ this guide lists 1,500 text message and online chat abbreviations to help you translate and understand today's texting lingo. Read More »
Learn about each of the five generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the computing devices that we use... Read More »Computer Architecture Study Guide
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 »