Free Press Journal

Linux operating systems vulnerable to cyber attacks: Report

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New York: Researchers from University of California-Riverside have identified a weakness in the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) of all Linux operating systems that enables attackers to remotely hijack users’ internet communications. Such a weakness could be used to launch targeted attacks that track users’ online activity, forcibly terminate a communication, hijack a conversation between hosts or degrade the privacy guarantee by anonymity networks such as Tor.

To transfer information from one source to another, Linux and other operating systems use the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) to package and send data, and the Internet Protocol (IP) to ensure the information gets to the correct destination.

When two people communicate by email, TCP assembles their message into a series of data packets, identified by unique sequence numbers, that are transmitted, received, and reassembled into the original message reported IANS.


Those TCP sequence numbers are useful to attackers, but with almost four billion possible sequences, it is essentially impossible to identify the sequence number associated with any particular