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Category:   OS (UNIX)  >   uidadmin Vendors:   Santa Cruz Operations
SCO UnixWare uidadmin '-S' Buffer Overflow Lets Local Users Gain Root Privileges
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1015342
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   CVE-2005-3903   (Links to External Site)
Date:  Dec 12 2005
Impact:   Execution of arbitrary code via local system, Root access via local system
Fix Available:  Yes  Vendor Confirmed:  Yes  
Version(s): UnixWare 7.1.3, 7.1.4
Description:   iDEFENSE reported a vulnerability in uidadmin on SCO UnixWare. A local user can gain elevated privileges.

The uidadmin command does not properly limit the length of user-supplied file names when invoked with the '-S' command line switch. A local user can supply a specially crafted file name that is longer than 1,600 bytes to trigger a buffer overflow. Arbitrary code can be executed with root level privileges.

The vendor was notified on October 12, 2005.

iDefense Labs discovered this vulnerability.

The original advisory is available at:

Impact:   A local user can gain root privileges.
Solution:   The vendor has issued a fix, available at:

The vendor's advisory is available at:

Vendor URL: (Links to External Site)
Cause:   Boundary error

Message History:   None.

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  iDefense Security Advisory 12.12.05: SCO Unixware Setuid 'uidadmin'

SCO Unixware Setuid 'uidadmin' Scheme Buffer Overflow Vulnerability

iDefense Security Advisory 12.12.05
December 12, 2005


SCO Unixware is a Unix operating system that runs on many OEM platforms.


Local exploitation of a buffer overflow vulnerability in the uidadmin
binary included in multiple versions of The SCO Group Inc.'s Unixware
allows attackers to gain root privileges.

The vulnerability specifically exists because of a failure to check the
length of user specified file input. If the user prepares a file longer
than 1,600 bytes and supplies the path to that file using the "-S"
option of uidadmin, a stack based buffer overflow occurs. This leads to
the execution of arbitrary code with root privileges, as uidadmin is
setuid root by default.


Successful exploitation of this vulnerability requires that a user have
local access to the system. This would allow the user to gain super user


iDefense has confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in SCO
Unixware versions 7.1.3 and 7.1.4. All previous versions of SCO Unixware
are  suspected to be vulnerable.


Remove the setuid bit from the ppp binary:

 chmod u-s /unixware/usr/bin/uidadmin


The vendor has released the following update to address this


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the
name CVE-2005-3903 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in
the CVE list (, which standardizes names for
security problems.


10/12/2005  Initial vendor notification
10/13/2005  Initial vendor response
12/12/2005  Coordinated public disclosure


iDefense Labs is credited with the discovery of this vulnerability.

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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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