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iDEFENSE Security Advisory 02.08.05: IBM AIX auditselect Local Format String Vulnerability
From: idlabs-advisories () idefense com
Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2005 17:37:41 -0500
IBM AIX auditselect Local Format String Vulnerability
iDEFENSE Security Advisory 02.08.05
February 08, 2005
The auditselect program is a setuid root application, installed by
default under multiple versions of IBM AIX, that selects audit records
for analysis according to defined criteria.
Local exploitation of a format string vulnerability in the auditselect
command included by default in multiple versions of IBM Corp.'s AIX
operating system could allow for arbitrary code execution as the root
The vulnerability specifically exists due to an improperly used
formatted printing function. When provided with an incorrect argument
(argv) that contains a format string, the format string will be fed
into a formatted printing function, and the user supplied format string
will be evaluated, allowing for a malicious user to examine stack memory
and write to arbitrary memory locations. With a properly crafted string,
this can lead to the execution of arbitrary code.
This vulnerability can only be exploited by a local user who has been
granted access to the "audit" group. Successful exploitation leads to
Due to the nature of the vulnerability, information leakage is trivial
and aids the attacker in exploitation.
iDEFENSE has confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in IBM AIX
version 5.2. It is suspected that previous versions are also vulnerable.
IBM has reported that AIX 5.3 is also vulnerable.
Only allow trusted users local access to security critical systems. Only
allow trusted system administrators access to the "audit" group.
Alternately, remove the setuid bit from auditselect using chmod u-s
VI. VENDOR RESPONSE
The vendor has not released a patch for this issue, however, the
following details have been published:
VII. CVE INFORMATION
A Mitre Corp. Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) number has not
been assigned yet.
VIII. DISCLOSURE TIMELINE
12/21/2004 Initial vendor notification
01/07/2005 Initial vendor response
02/08/2005 Public disclosure
iDEFENSE Labs is credited with this discovery.
Get paid for vulnerability research
X. LEGAL NOTICES
Copyright (c) 2005 iDEFENSE, Inc.
Permission is granted for the redistribution of this alert
electronically. It may not be edited in any way without the express
written consent of iDEFENSE. If you wish to reprint the whole or any
part of this alert in any other medium other than electronically, please
email customerservice () idefense com for permission.
Disclaimer: The information in the advisory is believed to be accurate
at the time of publishing based on currently available information. Use
of the information constitutes acceptance for use in an AS IS condition.
There are no warranties with regard to this information. Neither the
author nor the publisher accepts any liability for any direct, indirect,
or consequential loss or damage arising from use of, or reliance on,
Full-Disclosure - We believe in it.
- iDEFENSE Security Advisory 02.08.05: IBM AIX auditselect Local Format String Vulnerability idlabs-advisories (Feb 09)