HawkScan Test Info for Remote Code Execution - Shell Shock

Remote Code Execution - Shell Shock


Plugin Id: 10048 | CWE: 78


To remediate the vulnerability, it is recommended to update the Bash shell to a version that is not affected by the Shell Shock vulnerability. This can be done by following these steps:

  1. Identify the version of Bash: Check the current version of Bash running on the server by executing the following command:
    $ bash --version
  2. Update Bash: If the version is vulnerable, update Bash to a patched version. The specific steps to update Bash will depend on the operating system and package manager being used. Here are some examples:

    • Ubuntu/Debian: Update Bash using the apt package manager:
      $ sudo apt update
      $ sudo apt upgrade bash
    • CentOS/RHEL: Update Bash using the yum package manager:
      $ sudo yum update bash
    • MacOS: Update Bash using Homebrew:
      $ brew update
      $ brew upgrade bash
  3. Restart services: After updating Bash, it is recommended to restart any services or applications that rely on Bash to ensure the updated version is being used.


The vulnerability known as “Shell Shock” refers to a security flaw in the Bash shell, a widely used command-line interpreter in Unix-based operating systems. This vulnerability allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on a server running a vulnerable version of Bash.

The vulnerability is caused by improper handling of environment variables in Bash, which allows an attacker to inject malicious code into these variables. When Bash is invoked, it processes these variables and executes the injected code, giving the attacker unauthorized access to the server.


The Shell Shock vulnerability poses significant risks to the security of a server. If exploited, an attacker can:

  • Execute arbitrary code: The attacker can execute any command or script on the server, potentially gaining full control over the system.

  • Access sensitive information: By executing commands, the attacker can access sensitive data stored on the server, such as user credentials, databases, or configuration files.

  • Spread malware: The attacker can use the vulnerability to install and execute malware on the server, compromising the integrity of the system and potentially spreading to other connected systems.

  • Launch further attacks: Once the attacker gains control over the server, they can use it as a launching pad for further attacks, such as launching DDoS attacks, distributing spam, or hosting malicious content.

It is crucial to promptly remediate the Shell Shock vulnerability to mitigate these risks and ensure the security of the server and its data.