It was recently discovered that the compressed pdf handler script
(zxpdf) that shipped in the Debian xpdf package handles tempfiles
insecurely. Due to this flaw, a specifically-crafted pdf file name can
be used to delete files from the user's system (by taking advantage of
the tempfile cleanup trap; i.e. "rm -f <part of crafted file name>").
Note that as of version 3.02-13 (uploaded to Debian unstable on March
4th, 2011), the zxpdf became the default xpdf pdf file handler. With
this being a default, the problem was promulgated to a much wider user
base; thus precipitating discovery of the flaw. I've now fixed the
problem in version 3.02-19 (uploaded to unstable on July 29th, 2011,
entered testing on July 31st).
Credit goes to Chung-chieh Shan from Harvard for discovering the
See his bug report for more background and details:
Please assign an id.