It’s been a long time since we’ve heard about a problem with FreeBSD, partially because the mass of people using it isn’t that large and secondly because BSD tends to be pretty secure as operating systems go.
It’s a pretty serious flaw this time with root escalation, thankfully it’s only a local exploit though and not remotely exploitable.
Although a user could get user access on the system through an exploit in a web facing application, and use some kind of PHP/Python web shell to exploit and get root.
A security researcher has uncovered a security bug in the FreeBSD operating system that allows users with limited privileges to take full control of underlying systems.
The bug in FreeBSD’s kqueue notification interface makes it trivial for those with local access to a vulnerable system to gain full root privileges, Przemyslaw Frasunek, an independent security consultant in Poland, told The Register. It affects versions 6.0 through 6.4 of the operating system, the last two versions of which enjoy wide use and continue to be supported by the FreeBSD Foundation.
Versions 7.1 and and beyond are not vulnerable.
If you’re using the latest production release (at this time 7.2) you aren’t vulnerable to this problem, I hope to see them backport the patch to the previous versions as they still have a sizable following.
You should see an advisory hitting the mailing lists soon, and I’d expect it to be fixed pretty quickly too.
Beware if you are using FreeBSD and have users with local access you don’t trust.