GHOST Bug

The GHOST bug is a buffer overflow security vulnerability in some distributions of Linux that can potentially enable attackers to execute arbitrary code on systems.

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.

Forrest Stroud
Forrest is an experienced, entrepreneurial and well-rounded professional with 15+ years covering technology, business software, website design, programming and more.

Top Articles

List of Windows Operating System Versions & History [In Order]

The Windows operating system (Windows OS) refers to a family of operating systems developed by Microsoft Corporation. We look at the history of Windows...

How to Create a Website Shortcut on Your Desktop

Website Shortcut on Your Desktop reviewed by Web Webster   This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a website shortcut on your desktop using...

What are the Five Generations of Computers? (1st to 5th)

Reviewed by Web Webster Learn about each of the 5 generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the computing devices that...

Hotmail [Outlook] Email Accounts

Launched in 1996, Hotmail was one of the first public webmail services that could be accessed from any web browser. At its peak in...

Merkle Tree

Merkle trees—or hash trees—are cryptographic algorithms allowing for the efficient validation...

Nimble CRM

Nimble CRM is a social CRM (customer relationship management) with sales and marketing...

What is Insightly CRM?

Insightly CRM is customer relationship management (CRM) software that focuses on an intuitive,...