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Category:   Application (Generic)  >   Cron Vendors:   Vixie, Paul
(Turbo Linux Issues Fix) Re: Cron Utility Allows Local Users to Obtain Root-Level Privileges
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1001604
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   GENERIC-MAP-NOMATCH   (Links to External Site)
Date:  May 24 2001
Impact:   Execution of arbitrary code via local system, Root access via local system
Fix Available:  Yes  Vendor Confirmed:  Yes  
Version(s): prior to 3.0pl1-57.3
Description:   A vulnerability was reported in the Vixie cron utility that allows local users to obtain root-level privileges on the host.

It is reported that a recent (fall 2000) security fix to cron introduced this vulnerability. The utility apparently does not properly release privileges before invoking the editor, allowing a local user to execute commands on the host with root-level privileges.

Impact:   A local user can execute commands on the host with root-level privileges, thereby obtaining root level access to the host.
Solution:   Turbo Linux has issued a fix. See the Source Message for the advisory.
Vendor URL: (Links to External Site)
Cause:   State error
Underlying OS:  Linux (Turbo Linux)
Underlying OS Comments:  This may only affect Debian, but that has not yet been confirmed

Message History:   This archive entry is a follow-up to the message listed below.
May 8 2001 Cron Utility Allows Local Users to Obtain Root-Level Privileges

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  [TL-Security-Announce] TLSA2001022 vixie-cron-3.0.1-47

Hash: SHA1


                     Turbolinux Security Announcement

        Package:  vixie-cron
        Vulnerable Packages: All Turbolinux versions previous to 3.0.1-47
        Date: 05/21/2001 5:00 PDT

        Affected Turbolinux platforms: TL Server 6.5,
                                       TL 6.1 Workstation,
                                       All Turbolinux versions
                                       6.0.5 and earlier

        Turbolinux Advisory ID#:  TLSA2001022

        Credits: Vulnerability discovered by Sebastian Krahmer


A security hole has been discovered in the package vixie-cron.  Please
update the packages in your installation as soon as possible.

1. Problem Summary
   When a parsing error occurs after a modification operation, crontab will fail to drop 
   privileges correctly for subsequent modification operations. 

2. Impact

   It is possible for a local user to gain root privileges.

3. Solution
   Update the packages from our ftp server by running the following

   rpm -Uvh ftp_path_to_filename

   Where ftp_path_to_filename is the following: 

   The source RPM can be downloaded here:

  **Note: You must rebuild and install the RPM if you choose to download
  and install the SRPM.  Simply installing the SRPM alone WILL NOT CLOSE

 Please verify the MD5 checksums of the updates before you install:

  MD5 sum                               Package Name
- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  e278af00ebb3f8d71ecf235d15428cb6      vixie-cron-3.0.1-47.i386.rpm
  f250f52c96ac6c955d34829da6e0e3eb      vixie-cron-3.0.1-47.src.rpm

These packages are GPG signed by Turbolinux for security. Our key
is available here:

To verify a package, use the following command:

 rpm --checksig name_of_rpm

To examine only the md5sum, use the following command:

 md5sum name_of_rpm

**Note: Checking GPG keys requires RPM 3.0 or higher.


You can find more updates on our ftp server: 

for TL6.x Workstation and Server security updates

Our webpage for security announcements:

If you want to report vulnerabilities, please contact:

Subscribe to the Turbolinux Security Mailing lists:

  TL-security - A moderated list for discussing security issues
                Turbolinux products.
  Subscribe at

  TL-security-announce - An announce-only mailing list for security
                         updates and alerts.

  Subscribe at:

Version: GnuPG v1.0.4 (GNU/Linux)
Comment: pgpenvelope 2.10.0 -


TL-Security-Announce mailing list


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