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CERT Vendor-Initiated Bulletin VB-96.06 - FreeBSD
From: cert-advisory () cert org (CERT Bulletin)
Date: Mon, 20 May 1996 21:04:53 -0500


CERT(sm) Vendor-Initiated Bulletin VB-96.06
May 20, 1996

Topic:  unauthorized access via mount_union / mount_msdos (vfsload)
Source: The FreeBSD Project, Inc.

To aid in the wide distribution of essential security information, the CERT
Coordination Center is forwarding the following information from the Free BSD
Project, Inc. The FreeBSD Project urges you to act on this information as soon
as possible. Their contact information is included in the forwarded text
below; please contact them if you have any questions or need further

========================FORWARDED TEXT STARTS HERE============================

FreeBSD-SA-96:09                                            Security Advisory
                                                    The FreeBSD Project, Inc.

Topic:          unauthorized access via mount_union / mount_msdos (vfsload)

Category:       core
Module:         libc
Announced:      1996-05-17
Affects:        FreeBSD 2.0, 2.0.5, 2.1, 2.1-stable, and 2.2-current
Corrected:      1996-05-17 2.1-stable and 2.2-current sources
Source:         FreeBSD native bug
FreeBSD only:   yes

Patches:        ftp://freebsd.org/pub/CERT/patches/SA-96:09/


I.   Background

     A bug was found in the vfsload(3) library call that affects all
     versions of FreeBSD from 2.0 through 2.2-CURRENT that caused a
     system vulnerability.  This problem is present in all source
     code and binary distributions of FreeBSD version 2.x released
     before 1996-05-18.

     The FreeBSD project is aware of active exploits of this

     All FreeBSD users are encouraged to use the workaround provided
     until they can update their operating system to a version with
     this vulnerability fixed.

II.  Problem Description

     The mount_union and mount_msdos programs invoke another system
     utility in an insecure fashion while setuid root.

III. Impact

     The problem could allow local users to gain unauthorized

     This vulnerability can only be exploited by users with a valid
     account on the local system.

IV. Solution(s)

     Update operating system sources and binaries to FreeBSD 2.1-stable
     or FreeBSD 2.2-current as distributed later than 1996-05-18 or
     if you are currently running 2.1 or later, you may apply the
     solution patches available at the URL listed at the top of this

     The OS updates fix the actual problem in the vfsload(3) library
     routine.  Once the vfsload() library routine is fixed, the
     workaround listed below is not necessary to solve this problem.
     However, an additional stability problem has come to light
     (ref. FreeBSD SA-96:10) so the FreeBSD project suggests
     using both the setuid workaround and the solution for best results.

V. Workaround

     This vulnerability can quickly and easily be limited by removing
     the setuid permission bit from the mount_union and mount_msdos
     program.  This workaround will work for all versions of FreeBSD
     affected by this problem.

     As root, execute the command:

          % chmod u-s /sbin/mount_union /sbin/mount_msdos

     then verify that the setuid permissions of the files have been
     removed.  The permissions array should read "-r-xr-xr-x" as
     shown here:

           % ls -l /sbin/mount_union /sbin/mount_msdos
           -r-xr-xr-x  1 root  bin  151552 Apr 26 04:41 /sbin/mount_msdos
           -r-xr-xr-x  1 root  bin   53248 Apr 26 04:40 /sbin/mount_union

     In addition to changing the permissions on the executable files,
     if you have the source code installed, we suggest patching the
     sources so that mount_union will not be installed with the
     setuid bit set:

*** /usr/src/sbin/mount_union/Makefile  Sun Nov 20 14:47:52 1994
- - --- /usr/src/sbin/mount_union/Makefile        Fri May 17 10:36:09 1996
*** 8,14 ****
  CFLAGS+= -I${.CURDIR}/../../sys -I${MOUNT}
  .PATH:        ${MOUNT}

- - - BINOWN= root
- - - BINMODE=4555
- - -
  .include <bsd.prog.mk>
- - --- 8,11 ----
*** /usr/src/sbin/i386/mount_msdos/Makefile     Sun Dec  4 00:01:24 1994
- - --- /usr/src/sbin/i386/mount_msdos/Makefile   Fri May 17 11:31:57 1996
*** 6,14 ****
  SRCS= mount_msdos.c getmntopts.c
  MAN8= mount_msdos.8

- - - BINOWN=     root
- - - BINMODE= 4555
- - -
  MOUNT=        ${.CURDIR}/../../mount
  .PATH:        ${MOUNT}
- - --- 6,11 ----

The FreeBSD Project, Inc.

Web Site:                       http://www.freebsd.com/
Confidential contacts:          security-officer () freebsd org
PGP Key:                        ftp://freebsd.org/pub/CERT/public_key.asc
Security notifications:         security-notifications () freebsd org
Security public discussion:     security () freebsd org

Notice: Any patches in this document may not apply cleanly due to
        modifications caused by digital signature or mailer software.
        Please reference the URL listed at the top of this document
        for original copies of all patches if necessary.

=========================FORWARDED TEXT ENDS HERE=============================

If you believe that your system has been compromised, contact the CERT
Coordination Center or your representative in the Forum of Incident Response
and Security Teams (FIRST).

We strongly urge you to encrypt any sensitive information you send by email.
The CERT Coordination Center can support a shared DES key and PGP. Contact the
CERT staff for more information.

Location of CERT PGP key

CERT Contact Information
- ------------------------
Email    cert () cert org

Phone    +1 412-268-7090 (24-hour hotline)
                CERT personnel answer 8:30-5:00 p.m. EST
                (GMT-5)/EDT(GMT-4), and are on call for
                emergencies during other hours.

Fax      +1 412-268-6989

Postal address
        CERT Coordination Center
        Software Engineering Institute
        Carnegie Mellon University
        Pittsburgh PA 15213-3890

CERT publications, information about FIRST representatives, and other
security-related information are available from

CERT advisories and bulletins are also posted on the USENET newsgroup

To be added to our mailing list for CERT advisories and bulletins, send your
email address to
        cert-advisory-request () cert org

CERT is a service mark of Carnegie Mellon University.

Version: 2.6.2


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