Patches for a much publicized Linux kernel local root exploit were released today as 220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168, and 22.214.171.124. The latest bug, labeled as CVE-2008-0600, was introduced by the vmsplice() system call and added into the 2.6 kernel in 2.6.17. It is the third in a series of root exploits surrounding the same system call, the two earlier bugs being CVE-2008-0009 and CVE-2008-0010. Easily obtained exploits exist for both the older CVE-2008-0010 which affected the 2.6.23 and 2.6.24 kernels, and the latest CVE-2008-0600, allowing a local non-root user to gain root permissions.
A bit of an odd situation. I recently purchased $99/mth dedicated hardware from Cedant. It is running FreeBSD 6.1. The system seems to have no root user, and no way to access it. All of the following fail:
"su" - FAILS (sorry)
"sudo" - FAILS (command not found)
"passwd root" - FAILS (passwd: permission denied)