[Adduser-devel] Re: [Pkg-shadow-devel] Bug#407231: passwd: users may gain system group access on package installation by coincidence

Christian Perrier bubulle at debian.org
Wed Jan 17 07:39:30 CET 2007

reassign 407231 adduser
retitle 407231 adduser: with addgroup, users may gain system group access on package installation by coincidence

Quoting Leonard Norrgård (vinsci at refactor.fi):
> Package: passwd
> Version: 1:
> Severity: critical
> Tags: security
> Justification: root security hole
> An ordinary user may end up with group ownership of system files
> in the following scenario [2]:
>  1. A user is added, and receives the user and group ids, <name>.
>  2. Later, a package is installed that asks for an identically named
>     system group to be created, using 'addgroup --system <name>'.
>  3. Addgroup returns with a success exit status, showing the message
>     'The group `<name>' already exists as a system group. Exiting.",
>     even though the pre-existing <name> group, as a group added for
>     a user has a non-system id (ie. outside the range 100-999 [1].
>  4. The user <name> now has access to all system files that are
>     installed for the <name> group.
> The problem occurs because in /usr/sbin/addgroup, the code on/after
> line 247 to existing_group_ok fails to check for and handle
> the situation where the existing GID is outside of the system GID
> boundaries.
> [1] http://www.debian.org/doc/debian-policy/ch-opersys.html#s9.2.2)
> [2] I discovered this while working on the packaging for kvm, which
>     will create a 'kvm' group, likely to collide with existing user
>     id:s on some systems.

Thanks for your detailed explanations and bug report. I won't go into
the details, essentially because this bug report is misdirected. At
first glance, you seem to be right and the bug seems easy to handle.

You identified the bug as a bug in the "addgroup" utility. However
"dpkg -S /usr/sbin/addgroup" will show you that this utility belongs
to the "adduser" package, not passwd.

I'm therefore reassigning this bug to adduser.

Again, thanks a lot for your care investigating this issue.

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