RedHat: man 'makewhatis' vulnerability
Posted by LinuxSecurity.com Team   
RedHat Linux The makewhatis portion of the man package used files in /tmp in an insecure fashion.
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                   Red Hat, Inc. Security Advisory

Synopsis:          man package's 'makewhatis' uses insecure handling of files in /tmp
Advisory ID:       RHSA-2000:041-02
Issue date:        2000-07-03
Updated on:        2000-07-03
Product:           Red Hat Linux
Keywords:          man /tmp makewhatis
Cross references:  N/A
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1. Topic:

The makewhatis portion of the man package used files in /tmp
in an insecure fashion. It was possible for local users to
exploit this vulnerability to modify files that they normally
could not and gain elevated privilege.

2. Relevant releases/architectures:

Red Hat Linux 5.2 - i386 alpha sparc
Red Hat Linux 6.0 - alpha i386 sparc
Red Hat Linux 6.1 - i386 alpha sparc
Red Hat Linux 6.2 - alpha i386 sparc

3. Problem description:

The makewhatis script creates files in /tmp with predictable
names. By using various symlink attacks, it is possible to
have the makewhatis script write to files it should not,
change the permissions of various files, etc.

It is recommended that users of Red Hat Linux upgrade
to the fixed packages.

4. Solution:

For each RPM for your particular architecture, run:

rpm -Fvh [filename]

where filename is the name of the RPM.

5. Bug IDs fixed  (http://bugzilla.Red Hat.com/bugzilla for more info):

N/A

6. RPMs required:

Red Hat Linux 5.2:

i386: 
ftp://updates.Red Hat.com/5.2/i386/man-1.5h1-2.5.x.i386.rpm

alpha: 
ftp://updates.Red Hat.com/5.2/alpha/man-1.5h1-2.5.x.alpha.rpm

sparc: 
ftp://updates.Red Hat.com/5.2/sparc/man-1.5h1-2.5.x.sparc.rpm

sources: 
ftp://updates.Red Hat.com/5.2/SRPMS/man-1.5h1-2.5.x.src.rpm

Red Hat Linux 6.2:

alpha: 
ftp://updates.Red Hat.com/6.2/alpha/man-1.5h1-2.6.x.alpha.rpm

i386: 
ftp://updates.Red Hat.com/6.2/i386/man-1.5h1-2.6.x.i386.rpm

sparc: 
ftp://updates.Red Hat.com/6.2/sparc/man-1.5h1-2.6.x.sparc.rpm

sources: 
ftp://updates.Red Hat.com/6.2/SRPMS/man-1.5h1-2.6.x.src.rpm

7. Verification:

MD5 sum                           Package Name
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b3476eb017b133ad4094ab961a93451d  5.2/SRPMS/man-1.5h1-2.5.x.src.rpm
835945f5b6a55072beb7ed38af02ad97  5.2/alpha/man-1.5h1-2.5.x.alpha.rpm
ee5f1fcc982be266294bbfd7f50fac53  5.2/i386/man-1.5h1-2.5.x.i386.rpm
ebcdad7749c958e9df00b0c261791b25  5.2/sparc/man-1.5h1-2.5.x.sparc.rpm
14a92fdbfea1867c771d929a078dfece  6.2/SRPMS/man-1.5h1-2.6.x.src.rpm
15cc526b17fc2b10e7cbadfe1c1c7e72  6.2/alpha/man-1.5h1-2.6.x.alpha.rpm
32bed2085c2947237185e3e973f1a2ff  6.2/i386/man-1.5h1-2.6.x.i386.rpm
0b330b0cea1e7ac1af83010cf896a2d4  6.2/sparc/man-1.5h1-2.6.x.sparc.rpm

These packages are GPG signed by Red Hat, Inc. for security.  Our key
is available at:
     http://www.Red Hat.com/corp/contact.html

You can verify each package with the following command:
    rpm --checksig  

If you only wish to verify that each package has not been corrupted or
tampered with, examine only the md5sum with the following command:
    rpm --checksig --nogpg 

8. References:

N/A