Macromedia Contribute File Permission Setting Lets Local Users Modify a File to Gain Elevated Privileges
SecurityTracker Alert ID: 1009412|
SecurityTracker URL: http://securitytracker.com/id/1009412
(Links to External Site)
Date: Mar 12 2004
Modification of system information, Root access via local system, User access via local system|
Fix Available: Yes Vendor Confirmed: Yes |
A vulnerability was reported in Apple Mac OS X versions of the Macromedia installers (including Macromedia Contribute 2) in the e-licensing client. A local user can obtain elevated privileges on the target system.|
Macromedia reported that the software installs the 'AuthenticationService' file with permissions that allow local users to write to the file and also with set user id (setuid) privileges. The report indicates that if a user without administrative privileges modifies the file, the operating system will remove the setuid setting. However, a local user can reportedly modify the file and then cause a target user to execute the service directly (and not through a Macromedia product) to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the target user.
According to the vendor, the current versions of all Macromedia products will detect that the file has been changed and refuse to execute the modified file.
The vendor credits Chris Irvine of Dark Horse Comics, Inc. with reporting this vulnerability.
A local user can modify a file to contain arbitrary code and then cause a target user to execute the modified file, giving the local user elevated privileges on the system.|
The vendor has released a patch, available at:|
As a workaround, a user with an admin account and password can manually change permissions on the file to resolve this problem. The vendor has provided the following instructions [quoted]:
"Activate a Terminal session and type in the following command.
sudo chmod 4775 "/Library/Application Support/Macrovision/AuthenticationService"
Enter your admin user password at the prompt and then the command will run and set the permissions on the file."
Vendor URL: www.macromedia.com/software/mx2004/ (Links to External Site)
Access control error, Configuration error|
|Underlying OS: UNIX (macOS/OS X)|
|Underlying OS Comments: Mac OS X|
Source Message Contents
Subject: Security Patch Available for Installer "Privilege Escalation"|
Potential Security Risk with Macromedia E-Licensing Client
Macintosh versions of the Macromedia installers and
e-licensing client install a service whose file permissions
allow "other" users to write to the file. This may allow one
local user to obtain the permissions of another local user
(including an admin user). This leads to a threat typically
This potential vulnerability affects only products installed
on machines with multiple users. Further, it does not appear
to be a threat under typical installation of Macromedia
products where the computer's only user is already considered
A patch can be downloaded from the Macromedia website to
protect users of current versions of Macromedia products:
Alternatively, a work-around is described in the "Making
the Changes" section of this bulletin.
Affected Software Versions:
All supported Macintosh versions of Macromedia MX 2004
products as well as Contribute 2 may be affected.
Macromedia categorizes this issue as a Moderate update
(see http://www.macromedia.com/go/DMJL_AABA) and recommends
that administrators of systems supporting multiple users
apply the patch located at:
Macintosh OS X versions of the Macromedia installers and
e-licensing client install the 'AuthenticationService'
as an SUID service whose file permissions allow "other"
users to write to the file. By default, these permissions
allow the code in the service to be changed by any local
user. In the event of modification by any non-admin user,
the operating system removes the SUID property.
The current behavior of Macromedia products using this
service mitigates all known attack vectors. All current
Macromedia products detect the file change, refuse to
execute the modified service, and reinstall the original,
unmodified binary. Therefore, a successful exploitation
requires the attacker to cause another user to execute
the service independent of any Macromedia product.
If the AuthenticationService file is manually deleted, a
reapplication of the patch may be required.
Making the Changes:
With an admin account and password, permissions on the
file can be manually changed to resolve this problem.
Activate a Terminal session and type in the following
sudo chmod 4775 "/Library/Application Support/Macrovision/
Enter your admin user password at the prompt and then
the command will run and set the permissions on the file.
NOTE: Back up your existing files before making changes.
As always, test the changes in a nonproduction environment
before applying the changes to production servers.
Macromedia would like to thank Chris Irvine of Dark Horse
Comics, Inc. for reporting this vulnerability and for
working with us to help protect our customers' security.
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