The vulnerability affects
The problem could let "local" computer users--those with permission to log on to a machine--to gain "root" access and take complete control of the machine, Cox said. Such local vulnerabilities are considered less severe than remote ones that let attackers over a network take over a machine even if they don't have a basic user account on it.
The problem affected the "ptrace" component of Linux, which is used to help find bugs in software.
Cox Monday. Top Linux seller Red Hat posted a patch for the vulnerability on Monday.
A recent spate of security problems have cropped up in several open-source programs. Earlier this week, programmers disclosed aused to share files between Windows, Linux and Unix systems that could let attackers across a network take over a computer. In addition, a recent opened up the possibility of network-based attacks.