Polkit vulnerability provides local privilege escalation bypass

Many of the Linux distros are vulnerable to the Polkit exploit. This vulnerability provides a local privilege escalation bypass. A hacker can easily obtain root access with this vulnerability.

The vulnerability was recently discovered by GitHub Security Lab security researcher Kevin Backhouse. The vulnerability CVE-2021-3560 was publicly disclosed, and a fix was released on June 3, 2021. Make sure to update your Linux servers if you haven’t done so already. 

A few of the vulnerable distros shared by Backhouse includes distros such as RHEL 8, Fedora 21 (or later), Ubuntu 20.04 and Debian.


“When a requesting process disconnects from dbus-daemon just before the call to polkit_system_bus_name_get_creds_sync starts, the process cannot get a unique uid and pid of the process and it cannot verify the privileges of the requesting process,” Red Hat’s security advisory explains.


The few commands which allow this exploit to work is nothing complex. 


This vulnerability is “very simple and quick to exploit, so it’s important that you update your Linux installations as soon as possible.”

If you want to know more details of the polkit architecture and how to exploit the vulnerability, they can be found on the security researchers  blog post.


author avatar
Patrick Domingues

Leave a Comment

Stay Informed

Receive instant notifications when new content is released.