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TUCoPS :: Unix :: Various Flavours :: ciaci006.txt

IBM AIX Xdat Buffer Overflow




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             __________________________________________________________

                       The U.S. Department of Energy
                    Computer Incident Advisory Capability
                           ___  __ __    _     ___
                          /       |     /_\   /
                          \___  __|__  /   \  \___
             __________________________________________________________

                             INFORMATION BULLETIN

                  IBM AIX "xdat" Buffer Overflow Vulnerability

October 21, 1997 21:00 GMT                                        Number I-006
______________________________________________________________________________
PROBLEM:       A vulnerability exists in the IBM AIX "xdat" command which may
               cause a buffer overflow.
PLATFORM:      IBM AIX(r) 4.1, 4.2
DAMAGE:        Local users may gain root access.
SOLUTION:      Remove the setuid bit or apply one of the fixes below.
______________________________________________________________________________
VULNERABILITY  The information on this vulnerability should be acted upon as
ASSESSMENT:    soon as possible to avoid possible unauthorized access.
______________________________________________________________________________

[  Start IBM Advisory  ]


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                           EMERGENCY RESPONSE SERVICE
                          SECURITY VULNERABILITY ALERT

21 October 1997 16:00 GMT                        Number: ERS-SVA-E01-
1997:004.1
==============================================================================
                             VULNERABILITY  SUMMARY

VULNERABILITY:  Buffer overflow in the IBM AIX "xdat" command

PLATFORMS:              IBM AIX(r) 4.1, 4.2

SOLUTION:               Remove the setuid bit or apply one of the fixes below

THREAT:         Local users may become root

==============================================================================
                              DETAILED INFORMATION

I. Description

The "xdat" command shipped with AIX version 4 does not check the length of the
"TZ" environment variable.  This command was not shipped with AIX 3.2.

II. Impact

Local users may become root.

III. Solutions

  A.  How to alleviate the problem

      This problem can be alleviated by removing the set-user-id bit from the
      "xdat" program.  To do this, execute the following command as "root":

          chmod 555 /usr/lpp/X11/bin/xdat

  B.  Official fix

      IBM is currently working on the following APARs but they are not yet
      available.

      AIX 4.1:  IX72020
      AIX 4.2:  IX72021

  C.  Temporary fixes

      A temporary fix is available via anonymous ftp from:

        ftp://testcase.software.ibm.com/aix/fromibm/security.xdat.tar.Z

      Filename      sum               md5
      =================================================================
      xdat          44047    74       33bcec8bbc7d8eb2e4e2ae760d2b986e

      Use the following steps (as root) to install the temporary fix:

      1.  Uncompress and extract the fix:

        # uncompress < security.xdat.tar.Z | tar xf -

      2.  Use the "xdat_patch.sh" script or the following manual commands:     

        # pgp xdat/xdat.pgp xdat/xdat
        # cp /usr/lpp/X11/bin/xdat /usr/lpp/X11/bin/xdat.orig
        # chmod -s /usr/lpp/X11/bin/xdat.orig
        # cp xdat/xdat /usr/lpp/X11/bin/xdat
        # chmod 4555 /usr/lpp/X11/bin/xdat

      This fix has not been fully regression tested but does prevent the TZ
      environment variable exploit.  If the new executable fails to load due
      to missing symbols, the following APARs may help to resolve the
      prerequisites:

         AIX 4.1:  IX69580
         AIX 4.2:  IX69180

IV. Obtaining Fixes

IBM AIX APARs may be ordered using Electronic Fix Distribution (via the
FixDist
program), or from the IBM Support Center.  For more information on FixDist,
and to obtain fixes via the Internet, please reference

        http://service.software.ibm.com/aixsupport/

or send electronic mail to "aixserv@austin.ibm.com" with the word "FixDist" in
the "Subject:" line.

V. Acknowledgements

Thanks to Bryan Self <bryan@scott.net> for bringing this problem to our
attention.

VI. AIX Security Contact Information

To request the PGP public key that can be used to encrypt new AIX security
vulnerabilities, send email to security-alert@austin.ibm.com with a subject
of "get key".

If you would like to subscribe to the AIX security newsletter, send a note
to aixserv@austin.ibm.com with a subject of "subscribe Security".  To cancel
your subscription, use a subject of "unsubscribe Security".  To see a list of
other available subscriptions, use a subject of "help".

IBM and AIX are registered trademarks of International Business Machines
Corporation.  All other trademarks are property of their respective holders.

==============================================================================

IBM's Internet Emergency Response Service (IBM-ERS) is a subscription-based
Internet security response service that includes computer security incident
response and management, regular electronic verification of your Internet
gateway(s), and security vulnerability alerts similar to this one that are
tailored to your specific computing environment.  By acting as an extension
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As a part of IBM's Business Recovery Services organization, the IBM Internet
Emergency Response Service is a component of IBM's SecureWay(tm) line of
security products and services.  From hardware to software to consulting,
SecureWay solutions can give you the assurance and expertise you need to
protect your valuable business resources.  To find out more about the IBM
Internet Emergency Response Service, send an electronic mail message to
ers-sales@vnet.ibm.com, or call 1-800-742-2493 (Prompt 4).

IBM-ERS maintains a site on the World Wide Web at http://www.ers.ibm.com/.
Visit the site for information about the service, copies of security alerts,
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IBM-ERS uses Pretty Good Privacy* (PGP*) as the digital signature mechanism
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"Pretty Good Privacy" and "PGP" are trademarks of Philip Zimmermann.

IBM-ERS is a Member Team of the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams
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Copyright 1997 International Business Machines Corporation.

The information in this document is provided as a service to customers of
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The material in this security alert may be reproduced and distributed,
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This security alert may be reproduced and distributed, without permission,
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[  End IBM Advisory  ]

______________________________________________________________________________

CIAC wishes to acknowledge the contributions of IBM for the
information contained in this bulletin.
______________________________________________________________________________

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