IRIX pmpost vulnerability

Type securityvulns
Reporter Securityvulns
Modified 2002-06-27T00:00:00


                      SGI Security Advisory

    Title:      pmpost vulnerability
    Number:     20010601-01-I
    Date:       June 24, 2002
    Reference:  SGI Security Advisory 20010601-01-A
    Reference:  CVE-2001-0823

  • --- Issue Specifics ---

It's been reported that the Performance Co-Pilot /usr/pcp/bin/pmpost utility can be manipulated by a malicious user to append to critical system files. This capability could be used to cause a root exploit.

This issue was originally reported in SGI Security Bulletin 20010601-01-A:

See for further details.

SGI has investigated the issue and recommends the following steps for neutralizing the exposure. It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that these measures be implemented on ALL vulnerable SGI systems.

This issue has been corrected in the 6.5.13 and later releases of IRIX.

  • --- Impact ---

The pmpost binary is part of the Performance Co-Pilot package (pcp_eoe.sw.eoe) and is not installed by default on IRIX 6.5 systems.

To determine the version of IRIX you are running, execute the following command:

# uname -R

That will return a result similar to the following:

# 6.5 6.5.16f

The first number ("6.5") is the release name, the second ("6.5.16f" in this case) is the extended release name. The extended release name is the "version" we refer to throughout this document.

To see if pmpost is installed, execute the following command:

# versions long | grep pmpost f 47407 43 pcp_eoe.sw.eoe usr/pcp/bin/pmpost

If the results returned are similar to the above, pmpost is installed and the system may be vulnerable.

This vulnerability was assigned the following CVE:

  • --- Temporary Workaround ---

SGI understands that there are times when upgrading the operating system is inconvenient or not possible. In those instances, we recommend the following workaround:

% su - # /sbin/chmod 555 /usr/pcp/bin/pmpost # exit %

This workaround will disable the ability for non-root processes to append to /var/adm/pcplog/NOTICES.

  • --- Solution ---

SGI has not provided patches for these vulnerabilities. Our recommendation is to upgrade to IRIX 6.5.13 or later.

OS Version Vulnerable? Patch # Other Actions ---------- ----------- ------- ------------- IRIX 3.x unknown Note 1 IRIX 4.x unknown Note 1 IRIX 5.x unknown Note 1 IRIX 6.0.x unknown Note 1 IRIX 6.1 unknown Note 1 IRIX 6.2 unknown Note 1 IRIX 6.3 unknown Note 1 IRIX 6.4 unknown Note 1 IRIX 6.5 yes Notes 2 & 3 IRIX 6.5.1 yes Notes 2 & 3 IRIX 6.5.2 yes Notes 2 & 3 IRIX 6.5.3 yes Notes 2 & 3 IRIX 6.5.4 yes Notes 2 & 3 IRIX 6.5.5 yes Notes 2 & 3 IRIX 6.5.6 yes Notes 2 & 3 IRIX 6.5.7 yes Notes 2 & 3 IRIX 6.5.8 yes Notes 2 & 3 IRIX 6.5.9 yes Notes 2 & 3 IRIX 6.5.10 yes Notes 2 & 3 IRIX 6.5.11 yes Notes 2 & 3 IRIX 6.5.12 yes Notes 2 & 3 IRIX 6.5.13 no IRIX 6.5.14 no IRIX 6.5.15 no IRIX 6.5.16 no


 1) This version of the IRIX operating has been retired. Upgrade to an
    actively supported IRIX operating system.  See for more

 2) If you have not received an IRIX 6.5.X CD for IRIX 6.5, contact your
    SGI Support Provider or URL:

 3) Upgrade to IRIX 6.5.13 or later.

  • --- Acknowledgments ----

SGI wishes to thank Paul Starzetz and the users of the Internet Community at large for their assistance in this matter.

  • --- Links ---

SGI Security Advisories can be found at: and

SGI Security Patches can be found at: and

SGI patches for IRIX can be found at the following patch servers: and

SGI freeware updates for IRIX can be found at:

SGI fixes for SGI open sourced code can be found on:

SGI patches and RPMs for Linux can be found at: or

SGI patches for Windows NT or 2000 can be found at:

IRIX 5.2-6.4 Recommended/Required Patch Sets can be found at: and

IRIX 6.5 Maintenance Release Streams can be found at:

IRIX 6.5 Software Update CDs can be obtained from:

The primary SGI anonymous FTP site for security advisories and patches is ( Security advisories and patches are located under the URL

For security and patch management reasons, (mirrors security FTP repository) lags behind and does not do a real-time update.

  • --- SGI Security Information/Contacts ---

If there are questions about this document, email can be sent to


SGI provides security information and patches for use by the entire SGI community. This information is freely available to any person needing the information and is available via anonymous FTP and the Web.

The primary SGI anonymous FTP site for security advisories and patches is ( Security advisories and patches are located under the URL

The SGI Security Headquarters Web page is accessible at the URL:

For issues with the patches on the FTP sites, email can be sent to

For assistance obtaining or working with security patches, please contact your SGI support provider.


SGI provides a free security mailing list service called wiretap and encourages interested parties to self-subscribe to receive (via email) all SGI Security Advisories when they are released. Subscribing to the mailing list can be done via the Web ( or by sending email to SGI as outlined below.

% mail subscribe wiretap <YourEmailAddress> end ^d

In the example above, <YourEmailAddress> is the email address that you wish the mailing list information sent to. The word end must be on a separate line to indicate the end of the body of the message. The control-d (^d) is used to indicate to the mail program that you are finished composing the mail message.


SGI provides a comprehensive customer World Wide Web site. This site is located at .


If there are general security questions on SGI systems, email can be sent to

For reporting NEW SGI security issues, email can be sent to or contact your SGI support provider. A support contract is not required for submitting a security report.

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