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Old 08-24-2008, 06:05 PM
"Dmitry E. Oboukhov"
 
Default Bug#496386: The possibility of attack with the help of symlinks in some Debian packages

Package: initramfs-tools
Severity: grave

Hi, maintainer!

This message about the error concerns a few packages at once. I've
tested all the packages (for Lenny) on my Debian mirror. All scripts
of packages (marked as executable) were tested.

In some packages I've discovered scripts with errors which may be used
by a user for damaging important system files or user's files.

For example if a script uses in its work a temp file which is created
in /tmp directory, then every user can create symlink with the same
name in this directory in order to destroy or rewrite some system
or user file. Symlink attack may also lead not only to the data
desctruction but to denial of service as well.

Even if you create files or directories with help of function 'RANDOM'
or pid(), then your system is not protected. Attacker can create many
symlinks in order to destroy your data or create 'denial of service'
for your package scripts.

Even if you make rm(dir) for files/directories, then your system is
not protected. Attacker can permanently create symlinks.

This list is created with the help of script. This list is sorted by
hand. Howewer in some cases mistake is possible.

Please, Be understanding to possible mistakes.

I set Severity into grave for this bug. The table of discovered
problems is below.

Discussion of this bug you can see in debian-devel@:
http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2008/08/msg00271.html

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Old 08-25-2008, 08:04 AM
Thijs Kinkhorst
 
Default Bug#496386: The possibility of attack with the help of symlinks in some Debian packages

On Monday 25 August 2008 07:16, Christian Perrier wrote:
> Quoting Steve Langasek (vorlon@debian.org):
> > This is far below the quality I expect from a mass bug filing that's been
> > reviewed by debian-devel. Mass bugfilings at RC severity need to be held
> > to
>
> Even though I overread the thread when Dmitry posted his intent to
> -devel, I feel like there was *no* strong agreement that this MBF was
> really wished and welcomed.

Yes, this mass bug filing is of bad quality and should not have happened as
such. However:

> If I come on any such bug on packages I maintain or co-maintain, I
> will immediately downgrade the bug report in such way, mentally
> thanking the bug submitter for the extra work and ranting about yet
> another nice method to delay the release.

I would like to ask maintainers not to do this. I've quickly checked just a
number of these bugs and, between the false positives, already found a
handfull of genuine, true positive issues. Checking where the bug comes from
usually doesn't take a lot of time, so while I share the annoyance, you are
already annoyed, so better turn it into something useful by double-checking
the code rather than downgrading them out of hand.


cheers,
Thijs
 
Old 08-25-2008, 08:09 AM
Thijs Kinkhorst
 
Default Bug#496386: The possibility of attack with the help of symlinks in some Debian packages

On Sunday 24 August 2008 22:00, Steve Langasek wrote:
> Please take responsibility for providing the missing information to the
> package maintainers, and for correcting the false positives that you've
> filed.

Yes, please. I think the only way the damage of this bad bug filing can be
mitigated is if you, Dmitry, review all bugs you filed and provide for each
bug the exact piece of code that you think has the problem and an assessment
of the exploitability in the context of the specific package.

I expect you start working on this immediately?

thanks,
Thijs
 
Old 08-25-2008, 09:31 PM
Moritz Muehlenhoff
 
Default Bug#496386: The possibility of attack with the help of symlinks in some Debian packages

Christian Perrier wrote:

>> This is far below the quality I expect from a mass bug filing that's been
>> reviewed by debian-devel. Mass bugfilings at RC severity need to be held to
>
> Even though I overread the thread when Dmitry posted his intent to
> -devel, I feel like there was *no* strong agreement that this MBF was
> really wished and welcomed.

It is very welcome and I disagree with the complains voiced so far.
Yes, the template is subobtimal, he didn't set a "security" tag,
but most of the issues I've reviewed so far are genuine problems.
There're certainly not more false reports than the "bogus ratio"
of bugs filed by regular users.

> I should also have added that I personnally strongly object to it for
> three reasons:
>
> - timing wrt the release
> - timing wrt the "half of the developers are VAC" status we generally
> have in August

So, what's the solution you propose instead? Issues lots of DSAs
post-release? Keep them under the carpet?

> It may sound like acting against the "we will not hide problems" item
> in the Social Contract, but I wouldn't be shocked if *all* these RC
> bugs are downgraded to important (I would even downgrade them to
> wishlist, see the example that made Neil react).
>
> If I come on any such bug on packages I maintain or co-maintain, I
> will immediately downgrade the bug report in such way, mentally
> thanking the bug submitter for the extra work and ranting about yet
> another nice method to delay the release.

Let's be old-fashioned and fix things instead.

Cheers,
Moritz


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Old 08-26-2008, 02:10 AM
Raphael Geissert
 
Default Bug#496386: The possibility of attack with the help of symlinks in some Debian packages

Charles Plessy wrote:

> Le Mon, Aug 25, 2008 at 07:16:00AM +0200, Christian Perrier a écrit :
>>
>> - timing wrt the release
>> - timing wrt the "half of the developers are VAC" status we generally
>> have in August
>> - the obvious lack of preparation
>
> In addition, security issues should better be reported upstream first so
> that all the distributions have a chance of providing corrected versions
> when the details are made public…

doesn't apply for maintainer scripts, but I agree they should *also* be
reported to upstream.

>
> Have a nice day,
>

Cheers,
Raphael


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