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Category:   Application (Database)  >   IBM DB2 Vendors:   IBM
IBM DB2 Administration Server Symlink Bug Lets Local Users Gain Root Privileges
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1019852
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   CVE-2007-5664   (Links to External Site)
Date:  Apr 16 2008
Impact:   Execution of arbitrary code via local system, Root access via local system
Fix Available:  Yes  Vendor Confirmed:  Yes  
Version(s): 8, 9.1, 9.5
Description:   A vulnerability was reported in IBM DB2 in the DB2 Administration Server. A local user can obtain root privileges on the target system.

The 'db2dasrrm' program creates files in an unsafe manner. A local user with privileges to start and stop the DB2 Administration Server (including the 'dasusr1' user account or an account in the 'db2adm1' group) can create a symbolic link from a file to be created by 'db2dasrrm' to arbitrary files on the target system. Then, when the 'db2dasrrm' program is executed, the symlinked files will be created with root privileges.

The affected files are "dasRecoveryIndex", "dasRecoveryIndex.tmp", ".dasRecoveryIndex.lock", and "dasRecoveryIndex.cor".

The vendor was notified on October 3, 2007.

Joshua J. Drake of iDefense Labs reported this vulnerability.

Impact:   A local user can obtain root privileges on the target system.
Solution:   The vendor has issued a fix (V8 FixPak 16, V9.1 Fix Pack 4a, and V9.5 Fix Pack 1).

The vendor's advisories are available at:

Vendor URL: (Links to External Site)
Cause:   Access control error, State error
Underlying OS:  Linux (Any), UNIX (AIX), UNIX (HP/UX), UNIX (Solaris - SunOS)

Message History:   None.

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  iDefense Security Advisory 04.09.08: IBM DB2 Universal Database

iDefense Security Advisory 04.09.08
Apr 09, 2008


IBM Corp.'s DB2 Universal Database product is a large database server
product commonly used for high-end databases. The DB2 Administration
Server (DAS) implements the server component to which the Java-based
DB2 Control Center GUI connects. For more information, visit the
product website at the following URL.


Local exploitation of a file creation vulnerability in the
Administration Server of IBM Corp.'s DB2 Universal Database allows
attackers to elevate privileges to root.

This vulnerability exists due to unsafe file access from within the
db2dasrrm program. When a user starts the DAS, the "db2dasrrm" process
is started with root privileges. As part of the initialization, the
"dasRecoveryIndex", "dasRecoveryIndex.tmp", ".dasRecoveryIndex.lock",
and "dasRecoveryIndex.cor" files are created with root privileges. By
removing and re-creating these files as symbolic links, an attacker can
create arbitrary files as root.


Exploitation allows local attackers to gain root privileges. In order to
exploit this vulnerability, an attacker must have access to an account
that is allowed to start and stop the DB2 Administration Server. For
example, the "dasusr1" account or an account with access to the
"db2adm1" group.

It should be noted that an attacker does not appear to any control over
the contents of the data written. However, this does not significantly
impact exploitation since the file is created using the user's umask
and group.


iDefense has confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in IBM
Corp.'s DB2 Universal Database 9.1 release with Fix Pack 3 installed on
Linux. Other versions are also suspected to be vulnerable.


iDefense is currently unaware of any effective workaround for this


IBM Corp. has addressed this vulnerability with the release of V9.1 Fix
Pack 4a, V8 FixPak 16, and V9.5 Fix Pack 1 of its Universal Database
product. More information can be found at the following URLs.





The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the
name CVE-2007-5664 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in
the CVE list (, which standardizes names for
security problems.


10/03/2007  Initial vendor notification
10/16/2007  Initial vendor response
04/09/2008  Coordinated public disclosure


This vulnerability was discovered by Joshua J. Drake (iDefense Labs).

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