Netscape vulnerable to arbitrary file overwriting via symlink redirection of temporary file

ID VU:356323
Type cert
Reporter CERT
Modified 2001-11-15T00:00:00



During installation, Netscape 6.0.1 creates a temporary file with insecure options and a predictable name in a world-writable location. By using a symbolic link attack, an attacker could cause overwrite of arbitrary files.


The installation script for Netscape 6.0.1 creates a temporary file with a predictable name in /tmp, a world-writable directory. This file is not checked for prior existence or ownership.


If the installation is done while the system is in multi-user mode, an attacker may be able to create a symbolic link with appropriate name and cause overwrite of any writable file on the system.


The CERT/CC is currently unaware of a practical solution to this problem.

Perform the install in single-user mode.

Systems Affected

Vendor| Status| Date Notified| Date Updated
Netscape| | 09 Oct 2001| 15 Nov 2001
If you are a vendor and your product is affected, let us know.

CVSS Metrics

Group | Score | Vector
Base | N/A | N/A
Temporal | N/A | N/A
Environmental | N/A | N/A


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This vulnerability was first described by Larry W. Cashdollar.

This document was last modified by Tim Shimeall.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: Unknown
  • Date Public: 28 Aug 2001
  • Date First Published: 15 Nov 2001
  • Date Last Updated: 15 Nov 2001
  • Severity Metric: 1.58
  • Document Revision: 8