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  • CERT Advisory CA-1990-04 Apollo Domain/OS suid_exec Problem

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Original issue date: July 27, 1990
Last revised: September 17, 1997
Attached Copyright Statement

A complete revision history is at the end of this file.

The CERT/CC has received the following report of a vulnerability in the Hewlett Packard/Apollo Domain/OS system. This information was provided to the CERT/CC by the Apollo Systems Division of Hewlett Packard:

This message is to alert administrators of Domain/OS systems of a serious security problem in all versions of Domain/OS Release sr10.2 and in Beta versions of sr10.3 earlier than bl67. This problem is NOT present in sr10.1 or earlier versions of Domain/OS. This problem can be referred to as APR number DE278, other APRs have been filed against this problem.

There is a known flaw in the file /etc/suid_exec. This file should be deleted IMMEDIATELY from the /etc directories on all HP/Apollo nodes AND from all authorized areas on HP/Apollo networks from which software can be installed.

The files that must be deleted are:

On each node:

In each Authorized Area:
You must be 'root' or 'locksmith' in order to delete these files.

The removal of these files will resolve the security vulnerability immediately.

This procedure will require that the install tool should be run with the -x option ( continue on error - see Installing Software with Apollo's Release and Installation Tools, Apollo order number 008860-A00, chapter 4) for all subsequent installations until the replacement files have been obtained. The absence of these files in the authorized areas will generate an error message during the installation process, and, if the -x option is not specified when invoking the installation tool, will terminate the install.

This file is normally required by the Korn Shell to run set-id Korn Shell scripts, but is a no-op on HP/Apollo systems since Domain/OS does NOT support the execution of set-id shell scripts. Its purpose is to serve as the 'agent' described in the manual page for the Korn Shell under 'Execution'. An error during compilation introduced the reported vulnerability. The removal of this file will have no affect on the functionality provided by HP/Apollo systems, but will affect the installation procedure as mentioned in the previous paragraph.

HP/Apollo is creating an incremental software release that will replace these files with the correctly compiled version of the suid_exec program. This incremental release will be made available to software maintenance customers shortly. Those users not on a HP/Apollo maintenance contract should be able to order the replacement files as HP/Apollo part number 018669-A00, SR10.2 Incremental Software Release. Once installed, the replacement files will permit normal installation of software. They will NOT permit set-id shell scripts to be run on Domain/OS installations.

The repaired file will also be available as patch_m0170 on 68000-based systems, and patch_p0136 on DN10000-based systems. These patches are scheduled to be on the August patch tape. The problem has already been addressed in the next release of Domain/OS.

For more information, please contact Hewlett Packard/Apollo Customer Service.

Thanks to John G. Griffith of Hewlett Packard for this information.

Copyright 1990 Carnegie Mellon University.

Revision History
September 17,1997  Attached Copyright Statement
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