It appears that over the past two years there’s been a lot of 0day exploits discovered in a series of critical areas and at a level of critical infrastructure.
We have had OpenSSL exploits, 9 year old Linux Kernel local root exploit , Memcached and MySQL remote root command execution exploits and a ton of other low profile vulnerabilities that were still important if left unpatched.
The funny thing out of all of this is the fact that the first impact of such exploits had affected software that has the word “secure” in it’s name which creates a tech paradox as something that was supposed to be at highest security level was proven to be most vulnerable.
For a couple of years there’s been a feeling of security all over the area of system administration and there was a conclusion that major remote root exploits are dead and the only real threat would be the web application vulnerabilities.
This was proven to be partly true as web application exploits did grow in volume over the years, but their impact over the server’s integrity were minimal.
With the release of information about the DirtyCow vulnerability every sysadmin should have learned a very good lesson and should always insure that the systems are up to date at all times.
Also the use of a very aggressive firewall along with a Grsecurity kernel is preferred over any default kernel even if the default one is up to date.