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Hello, One quick fix here could be to change user permissions with chmod or add a new group where Mathematica in /tmp doesn't have permissions to anything under /home so then even if a user is compromised, the symlink won't work because the user doesn't have permissions. A root user here is an entirely different problem, here an attacker can symlink to any directory. So a new group to setup permissions for Mathemtica /tmp access would be a better idea. Will look into a patch soon. - Vikram On Sat, Apr 14, 2012 at 6:28 PM, <paul.szabo@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote: > The problem reported for Mathematica became worse at version 8.0.4, > present for the command-line interface "math" also. > > Cheers, > > Paul Szabo psz@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx http://www.maths.usyd.edu.au/u/psz/ > School of Mathematics and Statistics University of Sydney Australia > > > --- > > http://lists.grok.org.uk/pipermail/full-disclosure/2010-May/074548.html > http://www.securityfocus.com/archive/1/511298 > http://www.securityfocus.com/bid/40169 > > > Paraphrasing what I wrote on 14 May 2010: > > "Mathematica is the world's ultimate application for computations..." > http://www.wolfram.com/products/ > > Mathematica on Linux uses the /tmp/MathLink directory in insecure ways. > Mathematica creates or re-uses an existing /tmp/MathLink directory, and > overwrites files within and follows symlinks. This type of behaviour is > "known unsafe" on multi-user machines e.g. University login servers. > As a classic example of a symlink attack, if an "attacker" uses: > > mkdir /tmp/MathLink; ln -s /home/victim/.bashrc /tmp/MathLink/.shmsrec > > then when the victim runs Mathematica his ~/.bashrc will be clobbered. > New files are created world-writable, allowing a complete compromise of > the user account by linking to ~/.bash_logout . (If root ever uses > Mathematica then the damage is greater.) > > There is no workaround: the command-line math interface is also unsafe. > > Notified support@xxxxxxxxxxx on 7 May 2010, was assigned [TS 16194]. -- Regards, Vikram Dhillon ~~~ To perceive is to suffer.
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