USN-4318-1: Linux kernel vulnerabilities

6 April 2020

linux, linux-hwe vulnerabilities

A security issue affects these releases of Ubuntu and its derivatives:

  • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
  • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS


Several security issues were fixed in the Linux kernel.

Software Description

  • linux - Linux kernel
  • linux-hwe - Linux hardware enablement (HWE) kernel


Al Viro discovered that the vfs layer in the Linux kernel contained a use- after-free vulnerability. A local attacker could use this to cause a denial of service (system crash) or possibly expose sensitive information (kernel memory). (CVE-2020-8428)

Gustavo Romero and Paul Mackerras discovered that the KVM implementation in the Linux kernel for PowerPC processors did not properly keep guest state separate from host state. A local attacker in a KVM guest could use this to cause a denial of service (host system crash). (CVE-2020-8834)

Shijie Luo discovered that the ext4 file system implementation in the Linux kernel did not properly check for a too-large journal size. An attacker could use this to construct a malicious ext4 image that, when mounted, could cause a denial of service (soft lockup). (CVE-2020-8992)

Update instructions

The problem can be corrected by updating your system to the following package versions:

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
linux-image-4.15.0-96-generic - 4.15.0-96.97
linux-image-4.15.0-96-generic-lpae - 4.15.0-96.97
linux-image-4.15.0-96-lowlatency - 4.15.0-96.97
linux-image-generic -
linux-image-generic-lpae -
linux-image-lowlatency -
linux-image-powerpc-e500mc -
linux-image-powerpc-smp -
linux-image-powerpc64-emb -
linux-image-powerpc64-smp -
linux-image-virtual -
Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
linux-image-4.15.0-96-generic - 4.15.0-96.97~16.04.1
linux-image-4.15.0-96-generic-lpae - 4.15.0-96.97~16.04.1
linux-image-4.15.0-96-lowlatency - 4.15.0-96.97~16.04.1
linux-image-generic-hwe-16.04 -
linux-image-generic-lpae-hwe-16.04 -
linux-image-lowlatency-hwe-16.04 -
linux-image-oem -
linux-image-virtual-hwe-16.04 -

To update your system, please follow these instructions:

After a standard system update you need to reboot your computer to make all the necessary changes.

ATTENTION: Due to an unavoidable ABI change the kernel updates have been given a new version number, which requires you to recompile and reinstall all third party kernel modules you might have installed. Unless you manually uninstalled the standard kernel metapackages (e.g. linux-generic, linux-generic-lts-RELEASE, linux-virtual, linux-powerpc), a standard system upgrade will automatically perform this as well.