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Category:   Application (Generic)  >   man-db Vendors:   [Multiple Authors/Vendors]
Linux Man-db Utility Lets Local Users Overwrite Certain Files on the Host
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1001487
SecurityTracker URL:  http://securitytracker.com/id/1001487
CVE Reference:   GENERIC-MAP-NOMATCH   (Links to External Site)
Date:  May 8 2001
Impact:   Denial of service via local system, Modification of user information
Fix Available:  Yes  Vendor Confirmed:  Yes  

Description:   A vulnerability was reported in the man-db Linux utility that allows a local user to overwrite files on the local host.

It is reported that Ethan Benson discovered a vulnerability in man-db packages as distributed in Debian/GNU/Linux 2.2 (and possibly as distributed via other means). Man-db includes a tool used to build an index of the manual pages installed on a system. It is reported that when the utility is executed with the -u or -c option to instruct the utility to write its database to an alternate location, the utility fails to properly drop privileges before creating a temporary file. As a result, a local user can perform a standard symlink attack to trick mandb into overwriting any file that is writable by the user id "man", which includes the man and mandb binaries.

Impact:   A local user can overwrite files that are writable by the user id "man".
Solution:   The package has been fixed in version 2.3.16-3. See the Source Message for upgrade details.
Vendor URL:  www.debian.org/security/ (Links to External Site)
Cause:   Access control error
Underlying OS:   Linux (Any)

Message History:   This archive entry has one or more follow-up message(s) listed below.
(Additional Information About Fixed Versions) Re: Linux Man-db Utility Lets Local Users Overwrite Certain Files on the Host   (Colin Watson <cjwatson@debian.org>)
Some information is provided about which versions are vulnerable and which have been fixed.
(Debian Releases Fixed Package) Re: Linux Man-db Utility Lets Local Users Overwrite Certain Files on the Host   (Wichert Akkerman <wichert@cistron.nl>)
Debian has released a fix.



 Source Message Contents

Date:  Tue, 8 May 2001 15:55:14 +0200
Subject:  [SECURITY] [DSA-056-1] man-db local exploit


-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------
Debian Security Advisory DSA-056-1                   security@debian.org
http://www.debian.org/security/                         Wichert Akkerman
May  8, 2001
- ------------------------------------------------------------------------


Package        : man-db
Problem type   : local file overwrite
Debian-specific: no

Ethan Benson found a bug in man-db packages as distributed in
Debian/GNU/Linux 2.2. man-db includes a mandb tool which is used to
build an index of the manual pages installed on a system. When the -u or
- -c option were given on the command-line to tell it to write its database
to a different location it failed to properly drop privileges before
creating a temporary file. This makes it possible for an attacked to do
a standard symlink attack to trick mandb into overwriting any file that
is writable by uid man, which includes the man and mandb binaries.

This has been fixed in version 2.3.16-3, and we recommend that you
upgrade your man-db package immediately. If you use suidmanager
you can also use that to make sure man and mandb are not installed
suid which protects you from this problem. This can be done with the
following commands:

  suidregister /usr/lib/man-db/man root root 0755
  suidregister /usr/lib/man-db/mandb root root 0755

Of course even when using suidmanager an upgrade is still strongly
recommended.


wget url
        will fetch the file for you
dpkg -i file.deb
        will install the referenced file.


Debian GNU/Linux 2.2 alias potato
- ---------------------------------

  Potato was released for alpha, arm, i386, m68k, powerpc and sparc.

  Source archives:
    http://security.debian.org/dists/stable/updates/main/source/man-db_2.3.16-3.dsc
      MD5 checksum: 9b151e47acd5724d0a92b5ad7744d6ae
    http://security.debian.org/dists/stable/updates/main/source/man-db_2.3.16-3.tar.gz
      MD5 checksum: dab73666ef671d0bb4995c4ba653d2c3

  Alpha architecture:
    http://security.debian.org/dists/stable/updates/main/binary-alpha/man-db_2.3.16-3_alpha.deb
      MD5 checksum: 0e075e4788b1dc1edfa35d4d21a48252

  ARM architecture:
    http://security.debian.org/dists/stable/updates/main/binary-arm/man-db_2.3.16-3_arm.deb
      MD5 checksum: 3de307e54eafaf23dea1f8016bc0a2aa

  Intel ia32 architecture:
    http://security.debian.org/dists/stable/updates/main/binary-i386/man-db_2.3.16-3_i386.deb
      MD5 checksum: 434291472106de31c2f10dce3c725a3c

  Motorola 680x0 architecture:
    http://security.debian.org/dists/stable/updates/main/binary-m68k/man-db_2.3.16-3_m68k.deb
      MD5 checksum: 3025cc1e2303dca7ebf3e6df7a60a587

  PowerPC architecture:
    http://security.debian.org/dists/stable/updates/main/binary-powerpc/man-db_2.3.16-3_powerpc.deb
      MD5 checksum: 880642cfed94f5f02d9212e940ba0c46

  Sun Sparc architecture:
    http://security.debian.org/dists/stable/updates/main/binary-sparc/man-db_2.3.16-3_sparc.deb
      MD5 checksum: 4df2f927732b9f6d1a5e9b62b8ecb0ff

  These packages will be moved into the stable distribution on its next
  revision.

For not yet released architectures please refer to the appropriate
directory ftp://ftp.debian.org/debian/dists/sid/binary-$arch/ .

- -- 
- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
apt-get: deb http://security.debian.org/ stable/updates main
dpkg-ftp: ftp://security.debian.org/debian-security dists/stable/updates/main
Mailing list: debian-security-announce@lists.debian.org

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