The latest release of the OpenBSD project’s “base” source code, 1.8.23-alpha, contains numerous security-related fixes, according to a report on the project’s website published Tuesday.
OpenBSD version 1.8.23-alpha is available for download from the OpenBSD site and available for testing on the project’s own pfsense server.
According to the latest security report from OpenBSD, OpenBSD’s base source code is built on top of four different versions of FreeBSD. OpenBSD 0.9.x-test, OpenBSD 1.7.x and OpenBSD 1.8.x. The latest release, 1.8.23-alpha, consists of these versions.
The most critical version, 1.8.23-alpha, addresses the “bug” that broke users’ ability to read and write disk files by loading up a filesystem with a “fault entry,” or “fault” in the filename. “Fault entry” in turn refers to an entry at the root of a running filesystem.
“In previous versions of OpenBSD, user space applications have known to crash if a kernel module calls into a filesystem’s read/write mechanism. This bug was a cause for concern for all users of OpenBSD,” the OpenBSD Security Center said.
Other issues addressed by the bug in OpenBSD version 1.8.23-alpha is the “fatal” error “fault when mount failed” after mount failed, “fault because the user space rootfs (fs_dir if the rootfs is mounted with ‘fault’ in its filename) was not properly configured,” and the “fault when mount failed.”
The security impact of the bug was that a user could be “infligible for data from the system” if they used a filesystem “with a root file system (fs_dir) with a single entry.” The bug, the OpenBSD security center noted, “allows someone with malicious intent” to compromise the system and take over the file system.
OpenBSD version 1.8.23-alpha is not, however, a complete replacement for FreeBSD 10.0-RELEASE, which is still available through Portage. The update in particular has its own caveats of its own, the OpenBSD security center said.
For instance, version 1.8.23-alpha does not implement the recent OpenBSD 4.1.2,
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