Let's say have a linux server to which only I have shell access and all other users shells are disabled. Is there any reason to be preoccupied?

2 Answers 2


Dirty cow does not need shell access. It only needs the ability to execute own software. This can for example also be done by using a security problem in a web application to upload and execute remote code.


A more complete answer in my opinion:

You could execute dirtycow exploit if you have:

shell access; RCE in web server or anything else; a social engineered customer support; etc

You should fully understand or at least partially understand how the exploit works to understand it's possibilities of being executed. Read up on it at: github.com/dirtycow/

Multiple versions of it hosted on that account.

  • I'm not sure how this is more complete. All you have added to the other answer was "a social engineered customer support, etc."
    – schroeder
    Nov 16, 2017 at 22:02

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