Linux distributions still vulnerable to fork bombing

By Derek Sooman on
A fork bomb is a UNIX system attack, commonly written in one line of C or shell code, that "explodes" by recursively spawning copies of itself, until it eats all the process table entries and brings the system down. It’s been known about for a long time, and it would be expected that modern Linux distributions would be immune to this kind of attack. Think again.

I wrote up a very simple bourne shell script on my work machine, which runs Mandrake Linux, and executed it under my non-privileged account. Within seconds, the machine was brought to its knees -- totally crippled and unusable. I stared at my screen in disbelief for a few moments, totally stunned with what had just happened.

The author of the article tested on Mandrake, Red Hat, Gentoo and other distributions and found the problem to still exist.

[15:16:53] <@darks> but I mean, I could have killed ur box
[15:17:04] <+IronBar> no, you couldn't have.
[15:17:08] <@darks> wanna bet ?
[15:17:27] <@darks> forkbomb it

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.