They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result. Well, as it turns out, hitting the same key over and over again can actually produce an interesting result, if you’re running a Linux system. And it’s actually a pretty big deal, as it bypasses all of your precious security.
A pair of security researchers in Spain recently discovered what could possibly go down as the strangest exploit in Linux history. As it turns out, there is a bug in the Grub2 bootloader that lets you bypass the username/password prompt. All you need to do is press the backspace key 28 times. This loads up the Grub rescue shell, which gives you access to all of the files on the system.
Thankfully, this was discovered by security researchers, which means that they were able to document the issue, and create a patch. Ubuntu, Red Had, and Debian have also issued patches for their systems as well. It’s definitely recommended that you patch any of your systems.
This goes out as a reminder that if someone has physical access to your machine, they’re probably going to find a way to get in. Always keep that in mind when you have a system that people can walk up to.