AIX /bin/passwd VulnerabilityOriginal issue date: March 31, 1992
Last revised: September 19, 1997
Attached copyright statement
A complete revision history is at the end of this file.
The Computer Emergency Response Team/Coordination Center (CERT/CC) has received information concerning a vulnerability with the passwd command in AIX 3.2 and the 2007 update of AIX 3.1.
IBM is aware of this problem, and a fix is available as apar number "ix23505". Patches are available for AIX 3.2 and the 2007 update of AIX 3.1.
This fix may be ordered from Level 2 support or by anonymous ftp from software.watson.ibm.com (184.108.40.206) on the Internet.
- To order from IBM call 1-800-237-5511 and ask that the fix be shipped. Patches may be obtained outside the U.S. by contacting your local IBM representative.
If you are on the Internet, use anonymous ftp to obtain the fix from software.watson.ibm.com.
Patch Filename Checksum AIX 3.2 pub/aix3/pas.32.tar.Z 54431 2262 AIX 3.1 2007 pub/aix3/pas.31.tar.Z 06703 99Patches should be retrieved using binary mode.
I. DescriptionThe passwd command contains a security vulnerability.
II. ImpactLocal users can gain unauthorized root access.
A. As root, disable /bin/passwd until you obtain and install the patch.
# chmod 0500 /bin/passwd
B. Obtain the fix from IBM and install according to the directions provided with the patch.
The CERT/CC would like to thank Paul Selick of the University of Toronto for bringing this security vulnerability to our attention. We would also like to thank IBM for their quick response to this problem, and for making the patches available via anonymous ftp.
This document is available from: http://www.preview.cert.org/advisories/CA-1992-07.html
CERT/CC Contact Information
CERT Coordination Center
Software Engineering Institute
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh PA 15213-3890
Phone: +1 412-268-7090 (24-hour hotline)
Fax: +1 412-268-6989
CERT/CC personnel answer the hotline 08:00-17:00 EST(GMT-5) / EDT(GMT-4) Monday through Friday; they are on call for emergencies during other hours, on U.S. holidays, and on weekends.
We strongly urge you to encrypt sensitive information sent by email. Our public PGP key is available from
If you prefer to use DES, please call the CERT hotline for more information.
Getting security information
CERT publications and other security information are available from our web site
* "CERT" and "CERT Coordination Center" are registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Any material furnished by Carnegie Mellon University and the Software Engineering Institute is furnished on an "as is" basis. Carnegie Mellon University makes no warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied as to any matter including, but not limited to, warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or merchantability, exclusivity or results obtained from use of the material. Carnegie Mellon University does not make any warranty of any kind with respect to freedom from patent, trademark, or copyright infringement.
Conditions for use, disclaimers, and sponsorship information
Copyright 1992 Carnegie Mellon University.
September 19,1997 Attached copyright statement