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Re: [linux-security] Things NOT to put in root's crontab
From: guenther () gac edu (Philip Guenther)
Date: Wed, 22 May 1996 19:10:05 -0500

William McVey <wam () fedex com> writes:
Dan Cross wrote:
I was under the impression that find(1) didn't follow symbolic links?
Thus, one wouldn't ``find'' /etc/passwd if there was a link to /etc
from somewhere in /tmp.

The exposure comes from a race condition between when find has
decended into a real directory (expected behavior) and when the
'rm' is forked (expected behavior).  If between these two tasks a
real directory is replaced with a symlink (unexepected behavior)
you are going to have problems.

The race condition in find should be eliminatible by using fchdir()
and passing the '-exec'ed command a simple filename.  You have to keep
open one descriptor for each level descended which should max out at
MAXPATHLEN/2.  That should be within the bounds of modern UNIX systems.
In pseudocode:

cur = open argv[1];

do_dir(int cur) {
    foreach file in "." {
        int fd = open file;
        if ISDIR(fstat fd) {

Philip Guenther

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