[UNIX] IBM AIX lspath Local File Access Vulnerability

From: SecuriTeam (support_at_securiteam.com)
Date: 02/13/05

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      IBM AIX lspath Local File Access Vulnerability
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    SUMMARY

    The lspath program is "a setuid root application, installed by default
    under newer versions of IBM AIX. It is used to display information about
    MultiPath I/O devices".

    Local exploitation of a file access vulnerability in the lspath command
    included by default in multiple versions of IBM Corp.'s AIX operating
    system could allow for the reading of one line of any file on the system,
    regardless of permissions.

    DETAILS

    Vulnerable Systems:
     * IBM AIX version 5.2

    The problem specifically exists in the -f option. If a user specifies a
    file with the -f option, the first line (up to the first space) in that
    file will be displayed on the screen along with an error message.

    Analysis:
    The format of sensitive AIX authentication files (namely
    /etc/security/passwd) limit the impact of this vulnerability due to the
    fact that there is no protected data on the first line of the file.
    However, exploitation does not require any knowledge of application
    internals, making exploitation of this vulnerability trivial, even for
    unskilled attackers.

    Workaround:
    Only allow trusted users local access to security critical systems.
    Alternately, remove the setuid bit from lspath using chmod u-s
    /usr/sbin/lspath

    Vendor Status:
    Vendor advisories for this issue are available at:

     * For AIX 5.2:
     
    <https://techsupport.services.ibm.com/server/pseries.subscriptionSvcs?mode=1&heading=AIX52&topic=SECURITY&month=ALL> AIX 5.2 Security Advisories

     * For AIX 5.3:
     
    <https://techsupport.services.ibm.com/server/pseries.subscriptionSvcs?mode=1&heading=AIX53&topic=SECURITY&month=ALL> AIX 5.3 Security Advisories

    Disclosure Timeline:
    12/21/2004 - Initial vendor notification
    01/07/2004 - Initial vendor response
    02/10/2004 - Coordinated public disclosure

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

    The information has been provided by
    <mailto:idlabs-advisories@idefense.com> iDEFENSE.
    The original article can be found at:
    <http://www.idefense.com/application/poi/display?id=195&type=vulnerabilities> http://www.idefense.com/application/poi/display?id=195&type=vulnerabilities

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