Re: Serious privacy leak in Python for Windows

From: Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton (lkcl@SAMBA-TNG.ORG)
Date: 01/17/02

Date:         Wed, 16 Jan 2002 23:51:22 +0000
From: Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton <lkcl@SAMBA-TNG.ORG>

----- Forwarded message from Guido van Rossum <> -----

Subject: Re: [rms@COMPUTERBYTESMAN.COM: Serious privacy leak in Python for Windows]
From: Guido van Rossum <>
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 08:13:02 -0500

> [contents of private discussion with guido deleted]
> [...]
> ? i _really_ don't get this.
> the _python_ language should block the read request?

I don't get that part either -- the problem is in win32all.

But I think that's a real security hole waiting to be exploited:
win32all enables scripting by default (well, in conjunction with IE)
and it uses the rexec module to restrict the powers of Python scripts.
But rexec hasn't really been carefully verified. There are tons of
way in Python to cause stack overflows (e.g. by doing things to
self-referential objects) and I wouldn't be surprised if one of those
could be exploited. Buffer overflows in Python also haven't been the
subject of careful study until very recently -- and we fixed a number
that could affect Python 2.1 and before.

--Guido van Rossum (home page:

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

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