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Category:   Application (Generic)  >   Emacs Vendors:   GNU [multiple authors]
GNU Emacs vcdiff Unsafe Temporary File Lets Local Users Gain Elevated Privileges
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1019909
SecurityTracker URL:  http://securitytracker.com/id/1019909
CVE Reference:   CVE-2008-1694   (Links to External Site)
Date:  Apr 21 2008
Impact:   Modification of system information, Modification of user information, User access via local system
Fix Available:  Yes  Vendor Confirmed:  Yes  
Version(s): 22.2 and prior versions
Description:   A vulnerability was reported in GNU Emacs in the vcdiff script. A local user can obtain elevated privileges on the target system.

The vcdiff script uses a temporary file with a predictable filename. A local user can create a symbolic link (symlink) from a file on the system to a temporary file to be used by vcdiff. Then, when the target user invokes the vcdiff script, the symlinked file will be written to with the privileges of the target user.

A local user may be able to exploit this to gain elevated privileges.

Steve Grubb reported this vulnerability.

Impact:   A local user can obtain elevated privileges on the target system.
Solution:   The vendor has issued a source code fix.
Vendor URL:  www.gnu.org/software/emacs/emacs.html (Links to External Site)
Cause:   Access control error
Underlying OS:  Linux (Any)

Message History:   None.


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