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Home » Hacking News » FreeBSD-SA-02:30-Users may trace previously privileged processes

FreeBSD-SA-02:30-Users may trace previously privileged processes

by Nikola Strahija on July 14th, 2002 The ktrace utility is a debugging tool that allows users to trace system calls, I/O, and file system lookup operations executed by or on behalf of a process and its children. Since this could potentially reveal sensitive information, the kernel will normally only allow a user to trace his or her own processes, and will immediately stop tracing a process that gains special privileges, for instance by executing a setuid or setgid binary. The ktrace utility depends on the KTRACE kernel option, which is enabled by default.

II. Problem Description

If a process that had special privileges were to abandon them, it
would become possible for the owner of that process to trace it.
However, that process might still possess and / or communicate
sensitive information that it had obtained before abandoning its
privileges, which would then be revealed to the tracing user.

III. Impact

In theory, local users on systems where ktrace is enabled through
the KTRACE kernel option might obtain sensitive information, such
as password files or authentication keys. No specific utility is
currently known to be vulnerable to this particular problem.

IV. Workaround

Recompile the kernel without the KTRACE option, and reboot.

V. Solution

The following patch has been verified to apply to FreeBSD 4.4, 4.5, and
4.6 systems.

a) Download the relevant patch from the location below, and verify the
detached PGP signature using your PGP utility.

# fetch
# fetch

b) Apply the patch.

# cd /usr/src
# patch and reboot the

VI. Correction details

The following list contains the revision numbers of each file that was
corrected in FreeBSD.

Path Revision
- -------------------------------------------------------------------------
- -------------------------------------------------------------------------

VII. References

Version: GnuPG v1.0.7 (FreeBSD)


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