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Re: Superuser unsanitized environment vulnerability on Android <= 4.2.x
From: Kevin Cernekee <cernekee () gmail com>
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 2013 12:19:22 -0800

On Thu, Nov 14, 2013 at 7:44 AM, Gleb O. Raiko <raiko () niisi msk ru> wrote:
Considering ChainsDD Superuser you mentioned.
Unfortunately, your mail describes just potential attack vectors. While I
can't say for sure, Superuser isn't vulnerable at all, I'd like to note that
su invokes the am script in the process with the credentials of the caller,
not root. Thus, by manipulating the environment variables, file descriptors,
signals, etc, the user can get yet another process with the same
credentials, perhaps, with a shell or with an instance of Davlik VM inside.

Full disclosure: my testing so far has been mainly focused on SuperSU
and CWM Superuser on JB 4.2/4.3, mostly due to (perceived?) Superuser
market share and the fact that the respective developers responded to
my initial problem report.

I did not hear back from ChainsDD at all, and AFAICT the project is
abandoned.  From what I've been able to piece together, it looks like
CM/AOKP users (~11-14 million[1][2]) are using the builtin CWM
Superuser, and most other active modders (~20 million) are using
SuperSU.  Actual exploits were verified against these two projects.

But you brought up an interesting question, so let's take a look.

The easiest case to consider is JB 4.2: due to the new multiuser
features, "am broadcast" requires a special system permission[3] and
responds with this (not entirely accurate) message when run from e.g.
UID 10003:

    W/ActivityManager(  413): Permission Denial: broadcast asks to run
as user -1 but is calling from user 0; this requires
android.permission.INTERACT_ACROSS_USERS_FULL or

This is why CWM Superuser and SuperSU both execute am as root.

For the pre-JB-4.2 case, ChainsDD Superuser does drop privilege before
running am.  Some random observations:

 - su will block for a little while waiting to hear back from the Java
app, making it easy for us to hijack the sequence at just the right

 - We have control over the parent's file descriptor for the socket
which the app uses to convey the verdict:

    27495 unlink("/dev/com.noshufou.android.su/.socket27495") = -1
ENOENT (No such file or directory)
    27495 bind(12, {sa_family=AF_UNIX,
path="/dev/com.noshufou.android.su/.socket27495"}, 110) = 0
    27495 listen(12, 1)                     = 0
    27495 getgid32()                        = 10003
    27495 setresgid32(0xffffffff, 0x2713, 0xffffffff) = 0
    27495 getuid32()                        = 10003
    27495 open("/acct/uid/10003/tasks", O_RDWR|O_CREAT, 0666) = -1
EACCES (Permission denied)
    27495 mkdir("/acct/uid/10003", 0775)    = -1 EEXIST (File exists)
    27495 setresuid32(0xffffffff, 0x2713, 0xffffffff) = 0
    27495 sigprocmask(SIG_BLOCK, [CHLD], []) = 0
    27495 vfork()                           = 27496
    27496 execve("/system/bin/sh", ["sh", "-c", "/system/bin/am
broadcast -a 'com.noshufou.android.su.REQUEST' --es socket
'/dev/com.noshufou.android.su/.socket27495' --ei caller_uid '10003'
--ei allow '-1' --ei version_code '17' > /dev/null"], [/* 23 vars */])
= 0

 - Not sure if I have up-to-date source code for this binary, but I've
seen at least one copy of activity.c that doesn't check the return
values from setresuid(), possibly leaving it open to a
rageagainstthecage-style attack[4]

 - Perms on /dev/com.noshufou.android.su are 0750, with Superuser's uid/gid

 - Superuser 3.2-RC3 has the android:debuggable flag set in the
manifest, so the shell user might be able to use run-as to hijack its
UID (3.1.3 doesn't)

 - The socket has a highly predictable filename

 - We have access to the intent's extra data from "su", and can
manipulate it as desired

 - The caller's UID is "usually" passed over the socket by trusted
code, but if you specify a version_code <= 15, SuRequestActivity.java
will trust the data provided on the command line.  This allows you to
spoof a request from any installed app, or even the Android System

So maybe try something like:

    BOOTCLASSPATH= su -c id &
    ps | grep su
    # note the PID and substitute below
    /system/bin/am broadcast -a 'com.noshufou.android.su.REQUEST' --es
socket '/dev/com.noshufou.android.su/.socket27495' --ei caller_uid
'1000' --ei allow '-1' --ei version_code '15'

There is a bit of a social engineering component to this, so a malware
app would probably want to recognize the UIDs of well-known root
packages in order to maximize the odds that the user will approve the

Can you think of a way to exploit ChainsDD Superuser without user
interaction on pre-4.2 devices?

[1] http://stats.cyanogenmod.com/
[2] http://stats.aokp.co/
[3] http://insitusec.blogspot.com/2013/02/interact-across-users-permission-side.html
[4] http://dtors.org/2010/08/25/reversing-latest-exploid-release/

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