Linux Kernel keyctl_session_to_parent null pointer dereference

CVSS Meta Temp Score
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CTI Interest Score
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A vulnerability was found in Linux Kernel (Operating System) and classified as critical. Affected by this issue is the function keyctl_session_to_parent. The manipulation with an unknown input leads to a null pointer dereference vulnerability. Using CWE to declare the problem leads to CWE-476. A NULL pointer dereference occurs when the application dereferences a pointer that it expects to be valid, but is NULL, typically causing a crash or exit. Impacted is confidentiality, integrity, and availability. CVE summarizes:

The keyctl_session_to_parent function in security/keys/keyctl.c in the Linux kernel and earlier expects that a certain parent session keyring exists, which allows local users to cause a denial of service (NULL pointer dereference and system crash) or possibly have unspecified other impact via a KEYCTL_SESSION_TO_PARENT argument to the keyctl function.

The issue has been introduced in 03/20/2006. The weakness was shared 09/08/2010 by Tavis Ormandy as Bug 627440 as not defined bug report (Bugzilla). The advisory is shared for download at This vulnerability is handled as CVE-2010-2960. The exploitation is known to be easy. The attack needs to be approached locally. No form of authentication is required for exploitation. There are known technical details, but no exploit is available. The current price for an exploit might be approx. USD $0-$5k (estimation calculated on 09/24/2021).

The vulnerability was handled as a non-public zero-day exploit for at least 1633 days. During that time the estimated underground price was around $5k-$25k. The vulnerability scanner Nessus provides a plugin with the ID 49161 (Fedora 13 : kernel- (2010-14235)), which helps to determine the existence of the flaw in a target environment. It is assigned to the family Fedora Local Security Checks. The commercial vulnerability scanner Qualys is able to test this issue with plugin 165615 (SUSE Enterprise Linux Security Update Linux Kernel (SUSE-SA:2010:050)).

There is no information about possible countermeasures known. It may be suggested to replace the affected object with an alternative product.

The vulnerability is also documented in the databases at X-Force (61557), Vulnerability Center (SBV-27252) and Tenable (49161). The entries 54876, 54874 and 54794 are related to this item.






  • open-source

CPE 2.3info

CPE 2.2info


VulDB Meta Base Score: 8.1
VulDB Meta Temp Score: 8.1

VulDB Base Score: 8.4
VulDB Temp Score: 8.4
VulDB Vector: 🔍
VulDB Reliability: 🔍

NVD Base Score: 7.8
NVD Vector: 🔍



VulDB Base Score: 🔍
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NVD Base Score: 🔍


Class: Null pointer dereference
CWE: CWE-476 / CWE-404
ATT&CK: Unknown

Local: Yes
Remote: No

Availability: 🔍
Status: Not defined

EPSS Score: 🔍
EPSS Percentile: 🔍

Price Prediction: 🔍
Current Price Estimation: 🔍


Nessus ID: 49161
Nessus Name: Fedora 13 : kernel- (2010-14235)
Nessus File: 🔍
Nessus Risk: 🔍
Nessus Family: 🔍

OpenVAS ID: 862387
OpenVAS Name: Fedora Update for kernel FEDORA-2010-14235
OpenVAS File: 🔍
OpenVAS Family: 🔍

Qualys ID: 🔍
Qualys Name: 🔍

Threat Intelligenceinfo

Interest: 🔍
Active Actors: 🔍
Active APT Groups: 🔍


Recommended: no mitigation known
Status: 🔍

0-Day Time: 🔍


03/20/2006 🔍
08/04/2010 +1597 days 🔍
09/02/2010 +29 days 🔍
09/08/2010 +6 days 🔍
09/08/2010 +0 days 🔍
09/08/2010 +0 days 🔍
09/21/2010 +13 days 🔍
03/19/2015 +1640 days 🔍
09/24/2021 +2381 days 🔍



Advisory: Bug 627440
Researcher: Tavis Ormandy
Status: Not defined
Confirmation: 🔍

CVE: CVE-2010-2960 (🔍)

X-Force: 61557
Vulnerability Center: 27252 - Linux Kernel and Prior Local DoS Vulnerability via a KEYCTL_SESSION_TO_PARENT Argument, Low
SecurityFocus: 42932 - Linux Kernel 'keyctl_session_to_parent()' Null Pointer Dereference Denial of Service Vulnerability
Secunia: 41263

See also: 🔍


Created: 03/19/2015 02:37 PM
Updated: 09/24/2021 03:00 PM
Changes: 03/19/2015 02:37 PM (62), 03/06/2017 10:59 AM (12), 09/24/2021 02:54 PM (5), 09/24/2021 02:58 PM (11), 09/24/2021 03:00 PM (1)
Complete: 🔍


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