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Category:   OS (UNIX)  >   pkgadd Vendors:   Santa Cruz Operations
SCO UnixWare pkgadd Directory Traversal Bug Lets Local Users Gain Elevated Privileges
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1019787
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   CVE-2008-0310   (Links to External Site)
Date:  Apr 4 2008
Impact:   Modification of system information, Root access via local system
Fix Available:  Yes  Vendor Confirmed:  Yes  
Version(s): 7.1.4
Description:   A vulnerability was reported in pkgadd on SCO UnixWare. A local user can gain elevated privileges on the target system.

The software does not properly validate user-supplied input. A local user can set specially crafted environment variable values to cause pkgadd to create or append to arbitrary files on the target system with root privileges.

The vendor was notified on September 4, 2007.

An anonymous researcher reported this vulnerability via iDefense.

Impact:   A local user can obtain root privileges on the target system.
Solution:   The vendor has issued a patch (p534589).

The vendor's advisory is available at:

Vendor URL: (Links to External Site)
Cause:   Input validation error

Message History:   None.

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  iDefense Security Advisory 04.03.08: SCO UnixWare pkgadd Directory

iDefense Security Advisory 04.03.08
Apr 03, 2008


SCO UnixWare is a UNIX operating system that runs on many OEM platforms.
The pkgadd command is used to install packages on the system. More
information about the product is available from the URL shown below.


Local exploitation of a directory traversal vulnerability within the
pkgadd program distributed with SCO Group Inc's UnixWare operating
system allows attackers to gain root privileges.

By setting an environment variable to a value containing directory
traversal sequences, such as "../", an attacker can cause the program
to create or append to arbitrary files on the system.


Exploitation allows attackers gain root privileges. Access to execute
arbitrary shell commands is required to exploit this issue.

By targeting specific system files, an attacker can add accounts or
otherwise facilitate privilege escalation.


iDefense confirmed the existence of this vulnerability within version
7.1.4 of UnixWare with all patches available as of August 27th, 2007
installed. Previous versions are suspected to be vulnerable.


Changing the permissions of the pkgadd command to only allow root to
execute this program will prevent exploitation of this vulnerability.

  # chmod 700 /usr/sbin/pkgadd


SCO has addressed this vulnerability by releasing patches. For more
information, consult their advisory at the following URL.


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the
name CVE-2008-0310 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in
the CVE list (, which standardizes names for
security problems.


09/04/2007  Initial vendor notification
10/30/2007  Initial vendor response
04/03/2008  Coordinated public disclosure


The discoverer of this vulnerability wishes to remain anonymous.

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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
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