USN-4318-1: Linux kernel vulnerabilities

06 April 2020

Several security issues were fixed in the Linux kernel.



  • linux - Linux kernel
  • linux-hwe - Linux hardware enablement (HWE) kernel


Al Viro discovered that the vfs layer in the Linux kernel contained a use-
after-free vulnerability. A local attacker could use this to cause a denial
of service (system crash) or possibly expose sensitive information (kernel
memory). (CVE-2020-8428)

Gustavo Romero and Paul Mackerras discovered that the KVM implementation in
the Linux kernel for PowerPC processors did not properly keep guest state
separate from host state. A local attacker in a KVM guest could use this to
cause a denial of service (host system crash). (CVE-2020-8834)

Shijie Luo discovered that the ext4 file system implementation in the Linux
kernel did not properly check for a too-large journal size. An attacker
could use this to construct a malicious ext4 image that, when mounted,
could cause a denial of service (soft lockup). (CVE-2020-8992)

Update instructions

The problem can be corrected by updating your system to the following package versions:

Ubuntu 18.04
Ubuntu 16.04

After a standard system update you need to reboot your computer to make
all the necessary changes.

ATTENTION: Due to an unavoidable ABI change the kernel updates have
been given a new version number, which requires you to recompile and
reinstall all third party kernel modules you might have installed.
Unless you manually uninstalled the standard kernel metapackages
(e.g. linux-generic, linux-generic-lts-RELEASE, linux-virtual,
linux-powerpc), a standard system upgrade will automatically perform
this as well.