Automake is a tool for automatically generating Makefile.in files compliant with the GNU Coding Standards.
Automake-generated Makefiles made certain directories world-writable when preparing source archives, as was recommended by the GNU Coding Standards. If a malicious, local user could access the directory where a victim was creating distribution archives, they could use this flaw to modify the files being added to those archives. Makefiles generated by these updated automake packages no longer make distribution directories world-writable, as recommended by the updated GNU Coding Standards. (CVE-2009-4029)
Note: This issue affected Makefile targets used by developers to prepare distribution source archives. Those targets are not used when compiling programs from the source code.
All users of automake, automake14, automake15, automake16, and automake17 should upgrade to these updated packages, which resolve this issue.