Demystifying the GHOST Vulnerability and How to Effectively Combat It

The security of all Red Door clients is an important priority to us, and we proactively work hard to stay up-to-date with new threats and the best solutions to protect against them. In light of a new vulnerability affecting certain servers called “GHOST,” we are happy to share our knowledge of this exploit and what you need to know to ensure your safety.

What is GHOST? The GHOST vulnerability is a critical weakness in the glibc library, allowing an attacker to remotely take control of the targeted system and execute malicious code. Web servers and email servers are the computers most likely to be affected by this exploit. A patch has been available since May 2013 for glibc, and Red Door’s hosting vendors regularly apply patches during their monthly maintenance of all hosting servers as well. Every server Red Door manages has been verified, and any vulnerable computers have been patched. 

What can I do? The good news is that though it can be problematic, the GHOST vulnerability is not as widespread or as newly discovered as the Heartbleed or Shellshock vulnerabilities were when they hit the media in 2014. GHOST has what is called a “small attack vector,” meaning that there are only a few applications that are known to be vulnerable to this exploit. However, it is still important and highly recommended to apply GHOST patches to all computers immediately, as not every application has been tested against it. Vendors offer patches that will upgrade the current version of glibc in use, protecting you from the GHOST exploit.

As the tech world evolves and advances, Red Door strives to remain in-step to continuously deliver current knowledge and web-safety best practices.  

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