IBM AIX lspath Local File Access Vulnerability iDEFENSE Security Advisory 02.10.05 www.idefense.com/application/poi/display?id=195&type=vulnerabilities February 10, 2005 I. BACKGROUND The lspath program is a setuid root application, installed by default under newer versions of IBM AIX. It is used to display information about MultiPath I/O devices. II. DESCRIPTION Local exploitation of a file access vulnerability in the lspath command included by default in multiple versions of IBM Corp.'s AIX operating system could allow for the reading of one line of any file on the system, regardless of permissions. The problem specifically exists in the -f option. If a user specifies a file with the -f option, the first line (up to the first space) in that file will be displayed on the screen along with an error message. III. ANALYSIS The format of sensitive AIX authentication files (namely /etc/security/passwd) limit the impact of this vulnerability due to the fact that there is no protected data on the first line of the file. However, exploitation does not require any knowledge of application internals, making exploitation of this vulnerability trivial, even for unskilled attackers. IV. DETECTION iDEFENSE has confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in lower patch levels of IBM AIX version 5.2. It is suspected that previous versions are also vulnerable. V. WORKAROUND Only allow trusted users local access to security critical systems. Alternately, remove the setuid bit from lspath using chmod u-s /usr/sbin/lspath VI. VENDOR RESPONSE Vendor advisories for this issue are available at: For AIX 5.2: https://techsupport.services.ibm.com/server/pseries.subscriptionSvcs?mod e=1&heading=AIX52&topic=SECURITY&month=ALL For AIX 5.3: https://techsupport.services.ibm.com/server/pseries.subscriptionSvcs?mod e=1&heading=AIX53&topic=SECURITY&month=ALL VII. CVE INFORMATION A Mitre Corp. Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) number has not been assigned yet. VIII. DISCLOSURE TIMELINE 12/21/2004 Initial vendor notification 01/07/2004 Initial vendor response 02/10/2004 Coordinated public disclosure IX. CREDIT iDEFENSE Labs is credited with this discovery. Get paid for vulnerability research http://www.idefense.com/poi/teams/vcp.jsp X. LEGAL NOTICES Copyright (c) 2005 iDEFENSE, Inc. Permission is granted for the redistribution of this alert electronically. It may not be edited in any way without the express written consent of iDEFENSE. If you wish to reprint the whole or any part of this alert in any other medium other than electronically, please email customerservice@private for permission. Disclaimer: The information in the advisory is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing based on currently available information. Use of the information constitutes acceptance for use in an AS IS condition. There are no warranties with regard to this information. Neither the author nor the publisher accepts any liability for any direct, indirect, or consequential loss or damage arising from use of, or reliance on, this information.
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