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‘Dirty Cow’ Linux OS Vulnerability

If you have a web site hosted with us, you may have noticed a little pop-up message when you log into the back-end of your website. This pop up may look like this:


We understand this might be worrying for you, but we just wanted to give you a little bit more information and to explain what ‘Dirty Cow’ is all about.


What is a Dirty Cow?  How did it get in my web site?

Without getting too geeky, Dirty COW is a bug that has been found in the very core of the Linux operating system.

In this case this bug allows an exploit to write to files that should be write protected – but only in very special circumstances.

The majority of web servers use the Linux operating system – so there’s a very high chance that your site does too!

(If you’re wondering how it got its name, it isn’t as offensive as it sounds.  COW is an acronym for “Copy On Write” – and apparently, according to our head geek, “Dirty” means broken or modified.)


What Do I Need To Do?

Absolutely nothing at all if you host your web site with us.

We will need to proactively reboot your system within the next 24 hours in order to update Linux, so you may experience some downtime.  We will try to keep this at a minimum.


Where Can I Find Out More?

This is a vulnerability affecting a large number of servers online as the vast majority of web hosting systems run on Linux. More details can be read at  https://dirtycow.ninja/

As always, you could Google the name of the exploit and read more information there, however it might be an idea to turn on “Safe Search” first.

We thank you in advance for your understanding, and If you have any more queries, please contact us.

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17 Parsons Court, Welbury Way, Aycliffe Business Park, Newton Aycliffe, Co-Durham, DL5 6ZE

Te: 01325 311 909

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Metropolitan House, Long Rigg Road, Swalwell, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE16 3AS

Te: 0191 406 5391

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