Vulnerability in IRIX csetup

Original issue date: January 8, 1997
Last revised: December 15, 1997
Added vendor information for Data General to UPDATES.

A complete revision history is at the end of this file.

The CERT Coordination Center has received information about a vulnerability in the csetup program under IRIX versions 5.x, 6.0, 6.0.1, 6.1, and 6.2. csetup is not available under IRIX 6.3 and 6.4.

By exploiting this vulnerability, local users can create or overwrite arbitrary files on the system. With this leverage, they can ultimately gain root privileges.

Exploitation information involving this vulnerability has been made publicly available.

We recommend applying a vendor patch when possible. In the meantime, we urge sites to apply the workaround described in Section III.

We will update this advisory as we receive additional information. Please check advisory files regularly for updates that relate to your site.

Note: Development of this advisory was a joint effort of the CERT Coordination Center and AUSCERT.


I. Description

There is a vulnerability in the csetup program under IRIX versions 5.x, 6.0, 6.0.1, 6.1, and 6.2. csetup is not available under IRIX 6.3 and 6.4.

csetup is part of the Desktop System Administration subsystem. The program provides a graphical interface allowing privileged users, as flagged in the objectserver (cpeople (1M)), or root to modify system and network configuration parameters. The csetup program is setuid root to allow those who are flagged as privileged users to modify system critical files.

It is possible to configure csetup to run in DEBUG mode, creating a logfile in a publicly writable directory. This file is created in an insecure manner; and because csetup is running with root privileges at the time the logfile is created, it is possible for local users to create or overwrite arbitrary files on the system.

Exploit information involving this vulnerability has been made publicly available.

II. Impact

Anyone with access to an account on the system can create or overwrite arbitrary files on the system. With this leverage, they can ultimately gain root privileges.

III. Solution

Patch information for this vulnerability is available in SGI"s Security Advisory 19970101-02-PX, available at
http://www.sgi.com/Support/Secur/security.html/




This advisory is a collaborative effort between AUSCERT and the CERT Coordination Center.
The CERT Coordination Center acknowledges Yuri Volobuev for reporting the original problem, and Silicon Graphics, Inc. for their strong support in the development of the advisory.


UPDATES

Vendor Information

Below is information we have received from vendors. If you do not see your vendor's name below, contact the vendor directly for information.

Data General

DG/UX does not support csetup and therefore is not vulnerable.

Copyright 1997 Carnegie Mellon University.


Revision History
Dec. 15, 1997 Added vendor information for Data General to UPDATES.
Sep. 26, 1997 Updated copyright statement
May 8, 1997   Updated the Solution section to include URL for
              SGI patch information.