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  • CERT Advisory CA-1993-09a SunOS/Solaris /usr/lib/expreserve Vulnerability

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CA-93:09a                     CERT Advisory
                              July 1, 1993
    REVISION NOTICE: SunOS/Solaris /usr/lib/expreserve Vulnerability 
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                 *** SUPERSEDED BY CA-96.19 ***

This REVISED CERT advisory contains Solaris patch information.

The CERT Coordination Center has received updated patch information concerning
a vulnerability in /usr/lib/expreserve in Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Sun)
operating system (SunOS).  This vulnerability affects all sun3 and sun4
architectures and supported versions of SunOS including 4.1, 4.1.1, 4.1.2,
4.1.3, Solaris 2.0 (SunOS 5.0), Solaris 2.1 (SunOS 5.1), and Solaris 2.2
(SunOS 5.2).  This problem has become widely known, and CERT recommends that
sites take action to address this vulnerability as soon as possible.

Sun has produced a patch for SunOS 4.1, 4.1.1, 4.1.2, and 4.1.3 addressing
this vulnerability for sun3 and sun4 architectures.  Sun has also developed a
patch for SunOS 5.x/Solaris 2.x systems.   This revised advisory provides the
information for obtaining the patch for SunOS 5.x/Solaris 2.x systems.  

A workaround is provided below that can be used on all systems, including
Solaris, until a patch is installed.

The patch can be obtained from local Sun Answer Centers worldwide as
well as through anonymous FTP from the ftp.uu.net (192.48.96.9) system
in the /systems/sun/sun-dist directory.  In Europe, this patch is
available from mcsun.eu.net (192.16.202.1) in the /sun/fixes directory.

System        Patch ID     Filename           BSD Checksum  Solaris Checksum
- ------        --------     ---------------    -----------   ----------------
SunOS         101080-01    101080-01.tar.Z    45221    13   Not applicable
Solaris 2.0   101119-01    101119-01.tar.Z    47944    27   61863   54 
Solaris 2.1   101089-01    101089-01.tar.Z    07227    27    4501   54 
Solaris 2.2   101090-01    101090-01.tar.Z    02491    27   44985   54 

The checksums shown above are from the BSD-based checksum (on Solaris,
/usr/ucb/sum; on 4.x, /bin/sum) and from the SysV version that Sun released on
Solaris (/usr/bin/sum). Please note that Sun sometimes updates patch files.
If you find that the checksum is different please contact Sun or CERT for
verification.

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I.   Description

     Expreserve is a utility that preserves the state of a file being
     edited by vi(1) or ex(1) when an edit session terminates abnormally
     or when the system crashes.  A vulnerability exists that allows 
     users to overwrite any file on the system.

II.  Impact

     It is possible to gain root privileges using this vulnerability.

III. Solution

     A.  Obtain and install the appropriate patch according to the 
         instructions included with the patch.

     B.  Until you are able to install the appropriate patch, CERT
         recommends the following workaround be used on all systems.
         This workaround will disable expreserve functionality.
         The result of this workaround is that if vi(1) or ex(1) is running,
         and the sessions are interrupted, the files being edited will not
         be preserved and all edits not explicitly saved by the user will
         be lost.  Users should be encouraged to save their files often.

         As root, remove the execute permissions on the existing
         /usr/lib/expreserve program:

         # /usr/bin/chmod  a-x  /usr/lib/expreserve 
         
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The CERT Coordination Center wishes to thank Christopher Lott of
Universitaet Kaiserslautern for reporting this vulnerability,
and Sun Microsystems, Inc. for their response to this problem.
- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you believe that your system has been compromised, contact the CERT
Coordination Center or your representative in FIRST (Forum of Incident
Response and Security Teams).

Internet E-mail: cert@cert.org
Telephone: 412-268-7090 (24-hour hotline)
           CERT personnel answer 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. EST(GMT-5)/EDT(GMT-4),
           and are on call for emergencies during other hours.

CERT Coordination Center
Software Engineering Institute
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890

Past advisories, information about FIRST representatives, and other
information related to computer security are available for anonymous FTP
from cert.org (192.88.209.5).

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