Apple Mac OS X "at" utilities fail to drop privileges properly

ID VU:678150
Type cert
Reporter CERT
Modified 2005-01-28T00:00:00



Apple's Mac OS X operating system may allow local privilege escalation in family of "at" commands.


Mac OS X includes the "at" family of commands in order to schedule tasks. However, a flaw in these commands results in the commands not dropping privileges correctly. This may allow a malicious local user to run commands with additional privileges, read or remove protected files, or gain other unintended access.

The affected commands include: at, atq, atrm, atrun, and batch.


These commands are disabled by default in Mac OS X. If they have been enabled, a malicious local user may gain additional privileges including the ability to remove or read protected files, or run programs with additional privileges.


Apply a patch

Apple advises all users to apply Apple Security Update 2005-001, as it fixes this flaw and other critical security flaws.

Systems Affected

Vendor| Status| Date Notified| Date Updated
Apple Computer Inc.| | -| 27 Jan 2005
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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Thanks to Apple Product Security for reporting this vulnerability. Apple in turn thanks Kevin Finisterre of Immunity, Inc. for reporting this vulnerability.

This document was written by Ken MacInnis.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: CAN-2005-0125
  • Date Public: 18 Jan 2005
  • Date First Published: 27 Jan 2005
  • Date Last Updated: 28 Jan 2005
  • Severity Metric: 8.10
  • Document Revision: 14