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IBM-ERS Security Vulnerability Alert: IBM AIX: automountd daemon
From: ibm-ers () ERS IBM COM (ibm-ers () ERS IBM COM)
Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 09:12:02 -0500




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                           EMERGENCY RESPONSE SERVICE
                          SECURITY VULNERABILITY ALERT

26 October 1998 14:00 GMT                        Number: ERS-SVA-E01-1998:004.1
                             VULNERABILITY  SUMMARY

VULNERABILITY:    The automountd daemon allows local and remote users to become

PLATFORMS:        IBM AIX(r) 4.3.x

SOLUTION:         Apply the fixes listed below.

THREAT:           Remote users can execute arbitrary commands as root.

                              DETAILED INFORMATION

I.  Description

The automountd daemon processes requests from the local AutoFS filesystem
kernel extension.  It uses local files or name service maps to locate file
systems to be mounted.  Because the daemon does not verify that requests
are actually from the kernel extension, local non-root users and remote
users can request automountd services.

II.  Impact

If the automountd daemon is active, local and remote users can cause
arbitrary commands to run as root.  Exploits for this problem have been
made publicly available.

To determine if the daemon is active on your system, run the following

   $ lssrc -s automountd

To disable the daemon until the fix can be applied (run as root):

   # stopsrc -s automountd

III.  Solutions

  A.  Official fix

    IBM is working on the following fixes which will be available soon.

       AIX 4.1.x:  not vulnerable
       AIX 4.2.x:  not vulnerable
       AIX 4.3.x:  IX83752

  B.  How to alleviate the problem

    A temporary fix is available via anonymous ftp from:


    Filename          sum             md5
    autofs.ext        26103   117     4afedf8fbe411e8be2588fa8843211ae
    automountd        16386    83     eb4c2e1c4cfe609b2ecba0c6a704640c

    NOTE - This temporary fix has not been fully regression tested.

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

    1.  Determine the version of the NFS fileset on your machine.

      # lslpp -l bos.net.nfs.client

        The version of the fileset for your machine should be at
        or higher.  If not, install requisite APAR IX81896.  This will
        help ensure that the temporary fix will run properly.

    2. Uncompress and extract the fix.

      # uncompress < automountd.tar.Z | tar xf -
      # cd automountd

    3. Replace the vulnerable executables with the temporary fix.

      # (cd /usr/lib/drivers && mv autofs.ext autofs.ext.before_security_fix)
      # (cd /usr/sbin && mv automountd automountd.before_security_fix)
      # chmod 0 /usr/lib/drivers/autofs.ext.before_security_fix
      # chmod 0 /usr/sbin/automountd.before_security_fix
      # cp ./autofs.ext /usr/lib/drivers/autofs.ext
      # cp ./automountd /usr/sbin/automountd
      # chown root.system /usr/sbin/automountd /usr/lib/drivers/autofs.ext
      # chmod 555 /usr/sbin/automountd /usr/lib/drivers/autofs.ext

    4. Reboot.

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


or send email to "aixserv () austin ibm com" with the word "FixDist" in the
"Subject:" line.

To facilitate ease of ordering all security related APARs for each AIX
release, security fixes are periodically bundled into a cumulative APAR.
For more information on these cumulative APARs including last update and
list of individual fixes, send email to "aixserv () austin ibm com" with
the word "subscribe Security_APARs" in the "Subject:" line.

V.  Acknowledgements

Thanks to Repent Security Incorporated for bringing this problem to
our attention.  A copy of their autofsd advisory can be found at

VI.  Contact Information

Comments regarding the content of this announcement can be directed to
your local IBM support center or to:

   security-alert () austin ibm com

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

IBM and AIX are a registered trademark 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
of your own internal security staff, IBM-ERS's team of Internet security
experts helps you quickly detect and respond to attacks and exposures across
your Internet connection(s).

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,
team contact information, and other items.

IBM-ERS uses Pretty Good Privacy* (PGP*) as the digital signature mechanism for
security vulnerability alerts and other distributed information.  The IBM-ERS
PGP* public key is available from http://www.ers.ibm.com/team-info/pgpkey.html.
"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
(FIRST), a global organization established to foster cooperation and response
coordination among computer security teams worldwide.

Copyright 1998 International Business Machines Corporation.

The information in this document is provided as a service to customers of
the IBM Emergency Response Service.  Neither International Business Machines
Corporation, nor any of its employees, makes any warranty, express or implied,
or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, complete-
ness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process
contained herein, or represents that its use would not infringe any privately
owned rights.  Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process,
or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not
necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation or favoring
by IBM or its subsidiaries.  The views and opinions of authors expressed
herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of IBM or its subsidiaries,
and may not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes.

The material in this security alert may be reproduced and distributed,
without permission, in whole or in part, by other security incident response
teams (both commercial and non-commercial), provided the above copyright is
kept intact and due credit is given to IBM-ERS.

This security alert may be reproduced and distributed, without permission,
in its entirety only, by any person provided such reproduction and/or
distribution is performed for non-commercial purposes and with the intent of
increasing the awareness of the Internet community.


Version: 2.7.1


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