Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 858766
systemd: systemd-tmpfiles path name race condition
Last modified: 2015-12-22 17:12:13 EST
systemd-tmpfiles traverses directories potentially not owned by root and fixes permissions and SELinux labels according to configuration files in /etc/tmpfiles.d.
tmpfiles/tmpfiles.c:recursive_relabel_children(): This uses path names instead of file descriptors and O_NOFOLLOW/AT_SYMLINK_NOFOLLOW (and fchownat, fchmodat). As a result, a local user who has write permissions on a directory which contains a subdirectory subject to permission fixing (say /var/lib/owned-by-user is owned by the user, and there are directives fixing permissions in /var/lib/owned-by-user/subdir) could trick systemd-tmpfiles into changing permissions in other directories (by replacing /var/lib/owned-by-user/subdir with a symbolic link while it is being processed).
Given that label_fix cannot use descriptor-relative system calls (bug 858760), an approach based on fchdir is necessary. fts_open/fts_read provide that, and is already used by restorecon in policycoreutils.
For this vulnerability to materialize, a package has to ship confuguration files in /etc/tmpfiles.d which direct systemd-tmpfiles to perform permission fixing in critical directories. The Fedora 17 default desktop installation does not contain such configuration files, so I'm not sure if a CVE is needed for this.
honestly, I am pretty sure i don't want to work around this with chdir(). I'd rather see the kernel provide fsetxattrat() instead.
I recommend taking that to firstname.lastname@example.org then, because we don't have the resources to implement every RFE we get.
It might be worth pointing out that 3.6 contains this commit:
Author: Kees Cook <email@example.com>
Date: Wed Jul 25 17:29:07 2012 -0700
fs: add link restrictions
This adds symlink and hardlink restrictions to the Linux VFS.
A long-standing class of security issues is the symlink-based
time-of-check-time-of-use race, most commonly seen in world-writable
directories like /tmp. The common method of exploitation of this flaw
is to cross privilege boundaries when following a given symlink (i.e. a
root process follows a symlink belonging to another user). For a likely
incomplete list of hundreds of examples across the years, please see:
The solution is to permit symlinks to only be followed when outside
a sticky world-writable directory, or when the uid of the symlink and
follower match, or when the directory owner matches the symlink's owner.
Some pointers to the history of earlier discussion that I could find:
1996 Aug, Zygo Blaxell
1996 Oct, Andrew Tridgell
1997 Dec, Albert D Cahalan
2005 Feb, Lorenzo Hernández García-Hierro
2010 May, Kees Cook
Past objections and rebuttals could be summarized as:
- Violates POSIX.
- POSIX didn't consider this situation and it's not useful to follow
a broken specification at the cost of security.
- Might break unknown applications that use this feature.
- Applications that break because of the change are easy to spot and
fix. Applications that are vulnerable to symlink ToCToU by not having
the change aren't. Additionally, no applications have yet been found
that rely on this behavior.
- Applications should just use mkstemp() or O_CREATE|O_EXCL.
- True, but applications are not perfect, and new software is written
all the time that makes these mistakes; blocking this flaw at the
kernel is a single solution to the entire class of vulnerability.
- This should live in the core VFS.
- This should live in an LSM. (https://lkml.org/lkml/2010/5/31/135)
- This should live in an LSM.
- This should live in the core VFS. (https://lkml.org/lkml/2010/8/2/188)
On systems that have user-writable directories on the same partition
as system files, a long-standing class of security issues is the
hardlink-based time-of-check-time-of-use race, most commonly seen in
world-writable directories like /tmp. The common method of exploitation
of this flaw is to cross privilege boundaries when following a given
hardlink (i.e. a root process follows a hardlink created by another
user). Additionally, an issue exists where users can "pin" a potentially
vulnerable setuid/setgid file so that an administrator will not actually
upgrade a system fully.
The solution is to permit hardlinks to only be created when the user is
already the existing file's owner, or if they already have read/write
access to the existing file.
Many Linux users are surprised when they learn they can link to files
they have no access to, so this change appears to follow the doctrine
of "least surprise". Additionally, this change does not violate POSIX,
which states "the implementation may require that the calling process
has permission to access the existing file".
This change is known to break some implementations of the "at" daemon,
though the version used by Fedora and Ubuntu has been fixed for
a while. Otherwise, the change has been undisruptive while in use in
Ubuntu for the last 1.5 years.
This patch is based on the patches in Openwall and grsecurity, along with
suggestions from Al Viro. I have added a sysctl to enable the protected
behavior, and documentation.
Signed-off-by: Kees Cook <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Acked-by: Ingo Molnar <email@example.com>
Signed-off-by: Andrew Morton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Signed-off-by: Al Viro <email@example.com>
It might not be a perfect solution to this bug (I honestly can't tell), but it sounds like it might help the concern on the race condition.
(In reply to comment #3)
> The solution is to permit symlinks to only be followed when outside
> a sticky world-writable directory, or when the uid of the symlink and
> follower match, or when the directory owner matches the symlink's owner.
This is insufficient if we're fixing up stuff in directories owned by other users because the sticky bit won't necessarily be set.
> The solution is to permit hardlinks to only be created when the user is
> already the existing file's owner, or if they already have read/write
> access to the existing file.
This helps in a wide range of scenarios indeed (but not with the issue raised in this bug).
Is anybody planning to post this to linux-kernel? I can try to implement fsetattrat, to get the discussion started.
Josh is the hard link/soft link protection in F18 kernels?
(In reply to comment #5)
> Josh is the hard link/soft link protection in F18 kernels?
Yes. It went in around 3.6-rc1, and F18 is now on the 3.6.x stable series of kernels. 3.6.x will also be in F17 this week and likely F16 next week.