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Category:   Application (Database)  >   InterBase Vendors:   Borland
Borland Interbase Unsafe Permissions on 'admin.ib' Let Local Users Gain Database Administrative Privileges
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1009500
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   GENERIC-MAP-NOMATCH   (Links to External Site)
Date:  Mar 20 2004
Impact:   Modification of user information, User access via local system
Exploit Included:  Yes  
Version(s): 7.1 (Confirmed on Linux)
Description:   iDEFENSE reported a vulnerability in Borland's Interbase database. A local user can gain database administrator privileges.

It is reported that the 'admin.ib' user database file is installed with world-writable permissions. A local user can reportedly add or modify database accounts.

Larry Cashdollar is credited with discovering this flaw.

The vendor was reportedly notified on February 9, 2004 and March 1, 2004 without response.

Impact:   A local user can gain database administrator privileges.
Solution:   No solution was available at the time of this entry.

The report indicates that, as a workaround, you can remove the global write permissions from the affected 'admin.ib' file.

Vendor URL: (Links to External Site)
Cause:   Access control error
Underlying OS:  Linux (Any), UNIX (Any)

Message History:   None.

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  iDEFENSE Security Advisory 03.19.04: Borland Interbase admin.ib Administrative

Borland Interbase admin.ib Administrative Access Vulnerability

iDEFENSE Security Advisory 03.19.04
March 19, 2004


Borland Interbase is a small, high performance commercial database for
Linux, Solaris, and Windows operating systems. More information about
Borland Interbase is available at


Exploitation of default file permissions in Borland Interbase can allow
local attackers to gain database administrative privileges.

The vulnerability specifically exists due to insecure permissions on the
admin.ib user database file. Local attackers can add or modify existing
accounts to gain administrative privileges.

The default file permissions are shown below:

     [root@labs interbase]# ls -l /opt/interbase/admin.ib

     -rw-rw-rw- 1 root root 616497 Dec 30 11:17 /opt/interbase/admin.ib


Successful exploitation yields administrative privileges over the
database to local attackers. This can lead to further compromise as any
information stored within the database is now available to the attacker.
This may include: authentication information, financial information and
personal information.

Exploit code for this issue is unnecessary.


iDEFENSE has confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in Borland
Interbase 7.1 for Linux. It is suspected that previous versions of
Borland Interbase for Linux are also vulnerable.


Remove global write permissions from the admin.ib user database file.

     [root@labs interbase]# chmod 664 /opt/interbase/admin.ib

     [root@labs interbase]# ls -l /opt/interbase/admin.ib

     -rw-rw-r-- 1 root root 616497 Dec 30 11:17 /opt/interbase/admin.ib


A Mitre Corp. Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) number has not
been assigned yet.


January 13, 2004    Vulnerability acquired by iDEFENSE
February 9, 2004    Initial vendor notification sent - no response
February 12, 2004   iDEFENSE clients notified
March 1, 2004       Secondary vendor notification sent - no response
March 19, 2004      Public disclosure


Larry Cashdollar ( is credited with this discovery.

Get paid for vulnerability research


Copyright (c) 2004 iDEFENSE, Inc.

Permission is granted for the redistribution of this alert
electronically. It may not be edited in any way without the express
written consent of iDEFENSE. If you wish to reprint the whole or any
part of this alert in any other medium other than electronically, please
email for permission.

Disclaimer: The information in the advisory is believed to be accurate
at the time of publishing based on currently available information. Use
of the information constitutes acceptance for use in an AS IS condition.
There are no warranties with regard to this information. Neither the
author nor the publisher accepts any liability for any direct, indirect,
or consequential loss or damage arising from use of, or reliance on,
this information.


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