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Category:   Application (Generic)  >   Performance Co-Pilot (PCP) Vendors:   SGI (Silicon Graphics)
(SGI Does Not Confirm But Provides Recommendations) Re: SGI's Performance Co-Pilot (PCP) Suite Lets Local Users Obtain Root Level Privileges on the Server
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1001789
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   GENERIC-MAP-NOMATCH   (Links to External Site)
Date:  Jun 20 2001
Impact:   Execution of arbitrary code via local system

Description:   A vulnerability has been reported in SGI's Performance Co-Pilot (PCP) system management framework that allows local users to get root level privileges.

The vulnerability is reportedly a symlink handling problem in the pmpost utility, designed to manage text messages. The pmpost utility will reportedly follow symlinks. If the linked file is configured with setuid root privileges, this will allow a local user to obtain root level privileges.

A demonstration exploit script is provided in the Source Message.

Impact:   A local user can obtain root level privileges on the host.
Solution:   No vendor solution was available at the time of this entry. Note that SGI has acknowledge the original vulnerability report (see the Message History) but has not confirmed the vulnerability. Even so, SGI has provided some configuration recommendations (see the Source Message).
Vendor URL: (Links to External Site)
Cause:   Access control error
Underlying OS:  Linux (Any), UNIX (Any)
Underlying OS Comments:  tested on SuSE 7.1

Message History:   This archive entry is a follow-up to the message listed below.
Jun 19 2001 SGI's Performance Co-Pilot (PCP) Suite Lets Local Users Obtain Root Level Privileges on the Server

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  SGI PCP pmpost symlink vulnerability


                           SGI Security Advisory

         Title:  PCP pmpost vulnerability
        Number:  20010601-01-A
          Date:  June 19, 2001

SGI provides this information freely to the SGI user community for its
consideration, interpretation, implementation and use.   SGI recommends
that this information be acted upon as soon as possible.

SGI provides the information in this Security Advisory on an "AS-IS" basis
only, and disclaims all warranties with respect thereto, express, implied
or otherwise, including, without limitation, any warranty of merchantability
or fitness for a particular purpose.  In no event shall SGI be liable for
any loss of profits, loss of business, loss of data or for any indirect,
special, exemplary, incidental or consequential damages of any kind arising
from your use of, failure to use or improper use of any of the instructions
or information in this Security Advisory.

SGI acknowledges the PCP pmpost vulnerability reported by Paul Starzetz on
BUGTRAQ and is currently
investigating.  No further information is available at this time.

As further information becomes available, additional advisories will be

For the protection of all our customers, SGI does not disclose, discuss
or confirm vulnerabilities until a full investigation has occurred and
any necessary patch(es) or release streams are available for all vulnerable
and supported Linux and IRIX operating systems.

Until SGI has more definitive information to provide, customers are
encouraged to assume all security vulnerabilities as exploitable and take
appropriate steps according to local site security policies and requirements.

To minimize the pmpost vulnerability until patches are made available run
the following command as root:

On IRIX:   /sbin/chmod 555 /usr/pcp/bin/pmpost
On Linux:  chmod 555 /usr/share/pcp/bin/pmpost

This workaround will disable the ability for non-root processes to append
to /var/adm/pcplog/NOTICES (IRIX) or /var/log/pcp/NOTICES (Linux).

As further information becomes available, additional advisories will be
issued via the normal SGI security information distribution methods
including the wiretap mailing list.

- -----------------------------------------
- --- SGI Security Information/Contacts ---
- -----------------------------------------

If there are questions about this document, email can be sent to


SGI provides security information and patches for use by the entire
SGI community.  This information is freely available to any person
needing the information and is available via anonymous FTP and the Web.

The primary SGI anonymous FTP site for security advisories and patches
is (  Security advisories and patches
are located under the URL

The SGI Security Headquarters Web page is accessible at the URL

For issues with the patches on the FTP sites, email can be sent to

For assistance obtaining or working with security patches, please
contact your SGI support provider.


SGI provides a free security mailing list service called wiretap and
encourages interested parties to self-subscribe to receive (via email) all
SGI Security Advisories when they are released. Subscribing to the mailing
list can be done via the Web (
or by sending email to SGI as outlined below.

% mail
subscribe wiretap <YourEmailAddress>

In the example above, <YourEmailAddress> is the email address that you
wish the mailing list information sent to.  The word end must be on a
separate line to indicate the end of the body of the message. The
control-d (^d) is used to indicate to the mail program that you are
finished composing the mail message.


SGI provides a comprehensive customer World Wide Web site. This site is
located at .


For reporting *NEW* SGI security issues, email can be sent to or contact your SGI support provider.  A
support contract is not required for submitting a security report.

    This information is provided freely to all interested parties and
    may be redistributed provided that it is not altered in any way,
    SGI is appropriately credited and the document retains and includes
    its valid PGP signature.

Version: 2.6.2

    Copyright 2001, Silicon Graphics, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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