[UNIX] KDM Vulnerabilities (pam_setcred, session cookie)
From: SecuriTeam (support_at_securiteam.com)
To: email@example.com Date: 17 Sep 2003 13:58:34 +0200
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KDM Vulnerabilities (pam_setcred, session cookie)
Two issues have been discovered in KDM:
a) Privilege escalation with specific PAM modules
b) Session cookies generated by KDM are potentially insecure
KDM does not check for successful completion of the pam_setcred() call. In
case of error conditions in the installed PAM modules, KDM might grant
local root access to any user with valid login credentials.
It has been reported that a certain configuration of the MIT pam_krb5
module can result in a failing pam_setcred() call leaving the session
alive and providing root access to a regular user.
Additionally the session cookie generation algorithm used by KDM was
considered too weak to supply full 128 bits of entropy. This enables
non-authorized users to brute-force the session cookie.
All versions of KDM as distributed with KDE up to and including KDE 3.1.3.
If KDM is used in combination with the MIT pam_krb5 module and given a
valid username and password of an existing user, the login attempt
succeeds and establishes a session with excessive privileges. This may
enable a local root compromise of the system.
It is possible that the same vulnerability exists if KDM is used with
other PAM modules. At the date of this advisory we are however not aware
of any other PAM module being affected by this vulnerability.
The weak cookie generation may allow non-authorized users to guess the
session cookie by a brute force attack, which allows, assuming hostname /
IP restrictions can be bypassed, to authorize to the running session and
gain full access to it.
a) Privilege escalation with specific PAM modules:
The patch listed in section 5 adds error checking to KDM and aborts the
login attempt if an error occurs during the pam_setcred() call.
There is no intermediate workaround known. Users who do not use PAM with
KDM and users who use PAM with regular UNIX crypt/MD5 based authentication
are not affected.
b) Weak cookie generation:
The patch listed in section 5 adds a new cookie generation algorithm,
which uses /dev/urandom as non-predictable source of entropy.
Users of KDE 2.2.2 are advised to upgrade to KDE 3.1.4. A patch for KDE
2.2.2 is available for users who are unable to upgrade to KDE 3.1.
Users of KDE 3.0.x are advised to upgrade to KDE 3.1.4. A patch for KDE
3.0.5b is available for users who are unable to upgrade to KDE 3.1.
Users of KDE 3.1.x are advised to upgrade to KDE 3.1.4.
Time line and credits:
12/06/2002 Posting on suse-security mailing list describing the PAM
08/06/2003 Notification of KDE Security and the KDM maintainer about the
PAM vulnerability by Stephan Kulow.
08/09/2003 Patches for the PAM vulnerability applied to KDE CVS.
08/20/2003 George Lebl notifies Oswald Buddenhagen about weak session
cookie generation in KDM.
08/26/2003 Impact analysis and advisory finished.
09/04/2003 Patches for the weak cookie vulnerability applied to CVS.
09/16/2003 Public advisory.
The information has been provided by <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> Dirk
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