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Main page Software Security Checklist Issue Handling Advisories Notes On Risk Advisory Template More


Title:       EGI SVG 'ADVISORY' [TLP:WHITE] Up to 'CRITICAL' risk systemd-journald vulnerabilities 

Date:        2019-01-10 
Updated:     2019-01-15   Updates available therefore Advisory issued.
             2019-05-14   Update to inform that an exploit has been released.

Affected software and risk

Up to CRITICAL risk vulnerabilities concerning systemd-journald

Package : systemd-journald
CVE ID  : CVE-2018-16864,CVE-2018-16865,CVE-2018-16866

A set of vulnerabilities in systemd-journald have been reported by Qualys[R 1] which can be used in combination 
to lead to a local root privilege escalation by any local user.

**UPDATE 2019-05-14** Qualys released their exploit [R 8]

Actions required/recommended

*UPDATE 15/1/2019*: Patches are available for RedHat [R 5], SL [R 6] and CentOS [R 7]. See also individual 
RedHat CVE  advisories [R 2][R 3][R 4].

Sites running systemd are urged to update relevant components. This will primarily include sites that use RHEL/CentOS/SL. 
The most urgent hosts to update are worker nodes and UIs where users would typically have access to.

Sites should be aware that if a public exploit is released which allows easy root access in the EGI 
infrastructure this vulnerability is likely to be elevated to 'Critical' and sites will then be required to
patch within 7 days or risk suspension - Qualys have noted that they will publish a working exploit.

Component installation information

The RPM installer for the new version of systemd will re-exec the systemd daemon, so a reboot is not required. 
Sites may in addition wish to restart the systemd-journald process using, for example, 
`systemctl restart systemd-journald`.


** WHITE information - 
   Unlimited distribution - see for distribution restrictions***                        


Minor updates may be made without re-distribution to the sites


Comments or questions should be sent to svg-rat  at

If you find or become aware of another vulnerability which is relevant to EGI you may report it by e-mail to  

report-vulnerability at
the EGI Software Vulnerability Group will take a look according to the procedure defined in [R 9]  

Note that this has been updated and the latest version approved by the Operations Management Board 
in November 2017


[R 1]
[R 2] 
[R 3]
[R 4] 
[R 5] 
[R 6]
[R 7]
[R 8]
[R 9]


SVG was alerted to this vulnerability by David Crooks

Yyyy-mm-dd  [EGI-SVG-2019-15258] 

2019-01-10 SVG alerted to this issue by David Crooks
2019-01-10 Initial EGI SVG Risk Assessment completed
2019-01-10 Heads Up sent to sites
2019-01-15 Changing to Advisory with updates being released by RedHat/SL/CentOS
2019-05-14 Added that an exploit has been released.


This advisory has been prepared as part of the effort to fulfil EGI SVG's purpose 
"To minimize the risk to the EGI infrastructure arising from software vulnerabilities"

The risk is that assessed by the group, according to the EGI SVG issue handling procedure [R 9]  
in the context of how the software is used in the EGI infrastructure. It is the opinion of the group, 
we do not guarantee it to be correct. The risk may also be higher or lower in other deployments 
depending on how the software is used.   

Others may re-use this information provided they:-

1) Respect the provided TLP classification

2) Credit the EGI Software Vulnerability Group

On behalf of the EGI SVG,