fcron update from bugtraq

ken_i_m at elegantinnovations.net ken_i_m at elegantinnovations.net
Tue Nov 16 11:02:57 PST 2004

Posted to bugtraq yesterday:

Multiple Security Vulnerabilities in Fcron
iDEFENSE Security Advisory 11.15.04
November 15, 2004
Fcron is a periodical command scheduler which aims at replacing Vixie
Cron, and implements most of its functionalities. More information about
Fcron is available from http://fcron.free.fr/description.php.
Multiple vulnerabilities have been found in Fcron.
**** ISSUE 1 - File contents disclosure ****
Local exploitation of a design error vulnerability in the fcronsighup
component of Fcron may allow users to view the contents of root owned
The vulnerability specifically exists within the set user id (setuid)
root program fcronsighup. When the filename of a root owned file is
passed as an argument to this program, it attempts to parse the file as
a configuration file. Any lines in the file that are not parsable will
be output as error messages. The following example demonstrates how an
attacker can abuse this vulnerability to glean sensitive information
from the /etc/shadow password file:
bash$ fcronsighup /etc/shadow
14:33:09 Unknown var name at line
root:<password-hash>:12475:0:99999:7::: : line ignored
**** ISSUE 2 - Configuration Bypass Vulnerability ****
Local exploitation of a design error vulnerability in the fcronsighup
component of Fcron may allow users to bypass access restrictions.
The problem specifically exists in the checking performed by the
fcronsighup utility on the file passed as a configuration file. It
checks if the file is root owned, and not writable by any other users.
When a setuid process is run by an ordinary user the /proc filesystem
pseudofiles associated with it are owned by root and the contents of the
"cmdline" and "evironment" files are controllable by the user.
By pointing the fcronsighup configuration file to a /proc entry owned by
root, such as /proc/self/cmdline or /proc/self/environ, it is possible
for a user to supply their own configuration settings.
**** ISSUE 3 - File Removal and Empty File Creation Vulnerability****
Local exploitation of a design error vulnerability in the fcronsighup
component of Fcron may allow users to remove arbitrary files or create
arbitrary empty files.
The vulnerability specifically exists in the fcronsighup utility which
does signaling of the running fcron daemon. Fcronsighup creates a file
named in part from a value read from configuration file. This file is
created using open() with O_RDWR|O_CREAT and 0644 parameters while
running with full root privileges. After some time has passed the file
is removed. The filename string is generated by the following code:
snprintf(sigfile, sizeof(sigfile), "%s/fcrontab.sig", fcrontabs);
By padding the front of the filename with a large number of slash
symbols ("/") it is possible to create or remove a file in an arbitrary
location. For example: to create the file /tmp/owned, the configuration
option which sets the value for "fcrontabs" can be set to contain
(sizeof(sigfile)-strlen("/tmp/owned")) "/" characters, followed by the
string "/tmp/owned". The code will attempt to append the string
"/fcrontab.sig" to this string, but the limitation imposed on it by the
call to snprintf() will cause it to fail. When the filename is resolved,
the extra "/"s in the filename are ignored, resulting in an absolute
reference to the file /tmp/owned.
**** ISSUE 4 -  Information Disclosure Vulnerability ****
Local exploitation of a design error vulnerability in the fcrontab
component of Fcron may allow users to view the contents of fcron.allow
and fcron.deny.
The problem specifically exists because Fcron leaks the file descriptors
of the opened files /etc/fcron.allow and /etc/fcron.deny to the invoked
editor. The default permissions on these files do not allow them to be
read by unprivileged users:
-rw-r----- 1 root fcron 253 Jul 29 12:45 /etc/fcron.allow
-rw-r----- 1 root fcron 255 Jul 29 12:45 /etc/fcron.deny
An attacker can exploit this vulnerability by setting the EDITOR
environment variable to a program which outputs the contents of the open
file descriptor; descriptor 3 to view the contents of fcron.allow and
descriptor 4 to view the contents of fcron.deny.
Local users can bypass configuration settings, remove arbitrary files,
create files with root permissions, read the contents of root owned
files and send a SIGHUP to any process, potentially killing it. These
actions may allow them to perform a denial of service or potentially
elevate their privileges.
iDEFENSE has confirmed that Fcron versions 2.0.1 and 2.9.4 are
vulnerable. It is suspected that earlier versions are also affected.
Consider changing the permissions on the fcronsighup binary to only
allow trusted users access. Make the binary only executable by users
in the 'trusted' group by performing the following commands as root:
# chown root:trusted /usr/bin/fcronsighup
# chmod 4110 /usr/bin/fcronsighup
Also consider performing the same operation on the fcrontab binary to
prevent exploitation of Issue 4.
The following releases are available to address these vulnerabilities:
2.0.2 : stable branch
   http://fcron.free.fr/archives/fcron-2.0.2.src.tar.gz (France)
   ftp://ftp.seul.org/pub/fcron/fcron-2.0.2.src.tar.gz (USA) : dev branch
   http://fcron.free.fr/archives/fcron-  (France)
   ftp://ftp.seul.org/pub/fcron/fcron- (USA)
The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the
following names to these issues:
ISSUE 1 - File contents disclosure
ISSUE 2 - Configuration Bypass Vulnerability
ISSUE 3 - File Removal and Empty File Creation Vulnerability
ISSUE 4 -  Information Disclosure Vulnerability
These are candidates for inclusion in the CVE list
(http://cve.mitre.org), which standardizes names for security problems.
10/21/2004  Initial vendor notification
10/21/2004  Initial vendor response
11/15/2004  Coordinated public disclosure
Karol Wiesek is credited with discovering these vulnerabilities.
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 customerservice at idefense.com 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.
I think, therefore, ken_i_m
Chief Gadgeteer, Elegant Innovations
Founder, Bozeman Linux Users Group
(406) 581-0495

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