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The Ubuntu operating system must implement nonexecutable data to protect its memory from unauthorized code execution.


Finding ID Version Rule ID IA Controls Severity
V-238368 UBTU-20-010447 SV-238368r880910_rule Medium
Some adversaries launch attacks with the intent of executing code in nonexecutable regions of memory or in memory locations that are prohibited. Security safeguards employed to protect memory include, for example, data execution prevention and address space layout randomization. Data execution prevention safeguards can either be hardware-enforced or software-enforced with hardware providing the greater strength of mechanism. Examples of attacks are buffer overflow attacks.
Canonical Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Security Technical Implementation Guide 2022-12-06


Check Text ( C-41578r880909_chk )
Verify the NX (no-execution) bit flag is set on the system with the following commands:

$ sudo dmesg | grep -i "execute disable"
[ 0.000000] NX (Execute Disable) protection: active

If "dmesg" does not show "NX (Execute Disable) protection: active", check the cpuinfo settings with the following command:

$ grep flags /proc/cpuinfo | grep -w nx | sort -u
flags : fpu vme de pse tsc ms nx rdtscp lm constant_tsc

If "flags" does not contain the "nx" flag, this is a finding.
Fix Text (F-41537r654278_fix)
Configure the Ubuntu operating system to enable NX.

If "nx" is not showing up in "/proc/cpuinfo", and the system's BIOS setup configuration permits toggling the No Execution bit, set it to "enable".