Linux Kernel 3.1 mm/memory_hotplug.c online_pages null pointer dereference

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CTI Interest Score
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A vulnerability, which was classified as problematic, was found in Linux Kernel 3.1 (Operating System). This affects the function online_pages of the file mm/memory_hotplug.c. The manipulation with an unknown input leads to a null pointer dereference vulnerability. CWE is classifying the issue as 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. This is going to have an impact on availability. The summary by CVE is:

The online_pages function in mm/memory_hotplug.c in the Linux kernel before 3.6 allows local users to cause a denial of service (NULL pointer dereference and system crash) or possibly have unspecified other impact in opportunistic circumstances by using memory that was hot-added by an administrator.

The weakness was disclosed 12/21/2012 (Website). The advisory is shared at This vulnerability is uniquely identified as CVE-2012-5517 since 10/24/2012. The exploitability is told to be difficult. An attack has to be approached locally. No form of authentication is needed for exploitation. Technical details are known, but no exploit is available.

The vulnerability scanner Nessus provides a plugin with the ID 68852 (Oracle Linux 5 / 6 : Unbreakable Enterprise kernel (ELSA-2013-2520)), which helps to determine the existence of the flaw in a target environment. It is assigned to the family Oracle Linux Local Security Checks. The commercial vulnerability scanner Qualys is able to test this issue with plugin 350598 (Amazon Linux Security Advisory for kernel,nvidia: ALAS-2013-148).

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 (80094) and Tenable (68852). The entries 61169 and 60959 are pretty similar.







CPE 2.3info

CPE 2.2info


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VulDB Meta Base Score: 5.1
VulDB Meta Temp Score: 5.1

VulDB Base Score: 5.1
VulDB Temp Score: 5.1
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Class: Null pointer dereference
CWE: CWE-476 / CWE-404
ATT&CK: Unknown

Local: Yes
Remote: No

Availability: 🔍
Status: Not defined

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Nessus ID: 68852
Nessus Name: Oracle Linux 5 / 6 : Unbreakable Enterprise kernel (ELSA-2013-2520)
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OpenVAS ID: 881552
OpenVAS Name: CentOS Update for kernel CESA-2012:1580 centos6
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Threat Intelligenceinfo

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Recommended: no mitigation known
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Patch: 08dff7b7d629807dbb1f398c68dd9cd58dd657a1


10/24/2012 🔍
11/11/2012 +18 days 🔍
11/13/2012 +2 days 🔍
12/21/2012 +38 days 🔍
12/21/2012 +0 days 🔍
12/23/2012 +2 days 🔍
07/12/2013 +201 days 🔍
03/24/2015 +620 days 🔍
12/21/2021 +2464 days 🔍



Advisory: USN-1671-1
Status: Not defined
Confirmation: 🔍

CVE: CVE-2012-5517 (🔍)

X-Force: 80094
Vulnerability Center: 37747 - Linux Kernel <3.6 online_pages Function Allows Local DoS via Administrators Hot-Added Memory, Low
SecurityFocus: 56527 - Linux Kernel CVE-2012-5517 NULL Pointer Dereference Local Denial of Service Vulnerability

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Created: 03/24/2015 12:22 PM
Updated: 12/21/2021 08:02 AM
Changes: 03/24/2015 12:22 PM (68), 04/22/2017 06:20 PM (6), 12/21/2021 07:50 AM (5), 12/21/2021 07:57 AM (1), 12/21/2021 08:02 AM (1)
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