Security

Students uncover dozens of Unix software flaws

To make the grade, students at the University of Illinois find 44 security flaws in various Unix applications.

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By Robert Lemos
Staff Writer, CNET News.com

Students of iconoclastic computer scientist Daniel Bernstein have found some 44 security flaws in various Unix applications, according to a list of advisories posted online.

The flaws, which range from minor slipups in rarely used applications to more serious vulnerabilities in software that ships with most versions of the Linux operating system, were found as part of Bernstein's graduate level course at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The advisories regarding the flaws were dated Wednesday and can be found on the Web site of student James Longstreet. Bernstein, a professor of computer science at the university, did not immediately respond to inquiries about the vulnerabilities.

The latest crop of security flaws comes two days after a software-testing firm announced that it had found 985 flaws in the latest Linux kernel during the past four years using the company's analysis software. While the number seems high, it is far lower than most commercial software, the company said.

Each person in the class during the fall semester had to find 10 flaws, a task that counted toward 60 percent of their grade for the class, according to class notes posted on Bernstein's Web site. With only 44 flaws discovered among a reported 25 students, the students better hope for a generous bell curve.

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