IBM AIX lspath Local File Access Vulnerability
iDEFENSE Security Advisory 02.10.05 www.idefense.com/application/poi/display?id=195&type=vulnerabilities February 10, 2005
The lspath program is a setuid root application, installed by default under newer versions of IBM AIX. It is used to display information about
MultiPath I/O devices.
Local exploitation of a file access vulnerability in the lspath command included by default in multiple versions of IBM Corp.'s AIX operating system could allow for the reading of one line of any file on the system, regardless of permissions.
The problem specifically exists in the -f option. If a user specifies a file with the -f option, the first line (up to the first space) in that file will be displayed on the screen along with an error message.
The format of sensitive AIX authentication files (namely /etc/security/passwd) limit the impact of this vulnerability due to the fact that there is no protected data on the first line of the file. However, exploitation does not require any knowledge of application internals, making exploitation of this vulnerability trivial, even for unskilled attackers.
iDEFENSE has confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in lower patch levels of IBM AIX version 5.2. It is suspected that previous versions are also vulnerable.
Only allow trusted users local access to security critical systems. Alternately, remove the setuid bit from lspath using chmod u-s /usr/sbin/lspath
VI. VENDOR RESPONSE
Vendor advisories for this issue are available at:
For AIX 5.2:
For AIX 5.3:
VII. CVE INFORMATION
A Mitre Corp. Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) number has not been assigned yet.
VIII. DISCLOSURE TIMELINE
12/21/2004 Initial vendor notification 01/07/2004 Initial vendor response 02/10/2004 Coordinated public disclosure
iDEFENSE Labs is credited with this discovery.
Get paid for vulnerability research http://www.idefense.com/poi/teams/vcp.jsp
X. LEGAL NOTICES
Copyright (c) 2005 iDEFENSE, Inc.
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