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Bugtraq archives for 1st quarter (Jan-Mar) 1999: IRIX 6.5 Security Features

IRIX 6.5 Security Features

SGI Security Coordinator (agent99BOYTOY.CSD.SGI.COM)
Tue, 2 Feb 1999 22:33:43 GMT


                Silicon Graphics Inc. Security Advisory

        Title:   IRIX 6.5 Security Features
        Number:  19990201-01-I
        Date:    February 2, 1999

Silicon Graphics provides this information freely to the SGI user community
for its consideration, interpretation, implementation and use.   Silicon
Graphics recommends that this information be acted upon as soon as possible.

Silicon Graphics provides the information in this Security Advisory on
an "AS-IS" basis only, and disclaims all warranties with respect thereto,
express, implied or otherwise, including, without limitation, any warranty
of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.  In no event shall
Silicon Graphics be liable for any loss of profits, loss of business, loss
of data or for any indirect, special, exemplary, incidental or consequential
damages of any kind arising from your use of, failure to use or improper
use of any of the instructions or information in this Security Advisory.

There has been some confusion on what security features are available in
the IRIX 6.5 operating system.  To clarify the situation, Silicon Graphics,
Inc. provides the following information.

- -----------------------
- --- Issue Specifics ---
- -----------------------

With the release of the IRIX 6.5 operating system, several new security
features were introduced that were previously only available as separately
purchased, optional products.  Additionally, several existing security
features were enhanced.  Together, the new base set of security features
for IRIX 6.5 has caused some confusion.

This informational advisory is not designed to be a tutorial, but an
introduction to the additions and changes in the base set of security
features normally found in IRIX operating system.

1) Access Control Lists (ACLs), /sbin/chacl

This security feature for the XFS filesystem was first introduced in
Trusted IRIX and Commercial Security Pak (CSP).  It is now a standard part
of IRIX 6.5 and is installed by default from eoe.sw.acl from the IRIX 6.5
CD.  ACLs extend the standard file permissions to allow finer control on a
user-by-user basis.  For more information on ACLs, see man chacl(1) or
chapter 4 of the IRIX Admin: Backup, Security, and Accounting guide
available as an online book.

2) Least-Privilege Capabilities, /etc/capability and /etc/irix.cap

This security concept was first introduced in Trusted IRIX and is now a
standard part of the IRIX 6.5 operating system.  Least-Privilege Capabilities
assigns specific privileges to accounts to perform operations formerly
reserved for the superuser.  For more information on Least-Privilege
Capabilities, see man chcap(1) or chapter 4 of the IRIX Admin: Backup,
Security, and Accounting guide available as an online book.

3) System Manager, /usr/sysadm/bin/sysmgr

As of IRIX 6.3, the System Manager has been revised to include the
Security and Access Control panel.  Under IRIX 6.5, this panel includes
the Improve System Security tool, the Permissions Manager and the Privilege
Manger security tools.  More information on these tools can be found in
the help menu on the System Manager.

4) Trusted IRIX (TRIX or TIRIX) Compartmented Mode Workstation (CMW) 6.5

As of IRIX 6.5, Trusted IRIX/CMW is no longer a separate operating system.
Trusted IRIX/CMW is now a separately purchased, optional add-on product for
IRIX 6.5.  This means patches for IRIX 6.5 will work with Trusted IRIX/CMW.

Trusted IRIX/CMW conforms to standard TCSEC B3 feature set, but with
assurance of security at the B1 level.  Trusted IRIX/CMW 6.5 is under
evaluation for the B1 security rating from the NCSC.  IRIX 6.5 is under
evaluation for the C2 security rating.

- -----------------
- --- Reference ---
- -----------------


 IRIX Admin: Backup, Security, and Accounting

 Trusted IRIX®/CMW Security Administrator's Guide


 NCSC Commercial Products Evaluation

 SGI Freeware (sudo, tcp wrappers, nfswatch, etc. compiled binaries for IRIX)

SGI Security Information

 Silicon Graphics Security Headquarters

 If your sites security policy does not allow http service due to the risks
 associated with web browsers, SGI Security Advisories and patches are
 available via ftp.

 Security Advisories and security patches via ftp:

 Recommended/Required Patches and 6.5 Maintenance Release Streams

- -----------------------------------------------------------
- --- Silicon Graphics Inc. Security Information/Contacts ---
- -----------------------------------------------------------

If there are questions about this document, email can be sent to


Silicon Graphics provides security information and patches for
use by the entire SGI community.  This information is freely
available to any person needing the information and is available
via anonymous FTP and the Web.

The primary SGI anonymous FTP site for security information and patches
is sgigate.sgi.com (  Security information and patches
are located under the directories ~ftp/security and ~ftp/patches,
respectively. The Silicon Graphics Security Headquarters Web page is
accessible at the URL http://www.sgi.com/Support/security/security.html.

For issues with the patches on the FTP sites, email can be sent to

For assistance obtaining or working with security patches, please
contact your SGI support provider.


Silicon Graphics provides a free security mailing list service
called wiretap and encourages interested parties to self-subscribe
to receive (via email) all SGI Security Advisories when they are
released. Subscribing to the mailing list can be done via the Web
(http://www.sgi.com/Support/security/wiretap.html) or by sending email
to SGI as outlined below.

% mail wiretap-requestsgi.com
subscribe wiretap <YourEmailAddress>

In the example above, <YourEmailAddress> is the email address that you
wish the mailing list information sent to.  The word end must be on a
separate line to indicate the end of the body of the message. The
control-d (^d) is used to indicate to the mail program that you are
finished composing the mail message.


Silicon Graphics provides a comprehensive customer World Wide Web site.
This site is located at http://www.sgi.com/Support/security/security.html.


For reporting *NEW* SGI security issues, email can be sent to
security-alertsgi.com or contact your SGI support provider.  A
support contract is not required for submitting a security report.

  This information is provided freely to all interested parties and may
  be redistributed provided that it is not altered in any way, Silicon
  Graphics is appropriately credited and the document retains and
  includes its valid PGP signature.

Version: 2.6.2