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SubjectRe: varlinks! ((in)security?)
Illuminatus Primus wrote:
> On Wed, 29 Apr 1998, Rogier Wolff wrote:
> >
> > > No, no, no... you could potentially trick an app into indirecting
> > > though a symlink it otherwise wouldn't have indirected through,
> > > getting unauthorized access to a file.
> >
> > So, I still don't get it. Explain please....
> >
> I don't think the security concerns with varlinks are any different from
> dealing with symlink races. If a program doesn't trust a symlink (or
> varlink) to remain constant, it should fopen() the file and then fstat()
> it, or whatever it likes once it has the file referenced by inode.
> Varlinks could only make changing the link destination something triggered
> internally instead of a crap shoot.. But I'm guessing that most programs
> don't modify varlink-dependant variables in between access checks and
> actual access. If so, they were doing things insecurely anyway :).
> Separate subject (TMPDIR):
> How would TMPDIR interact with suid programs? It seems like being able to
> make a suid program write it's temp files to a directory you have complete
> access to (as opposed to sticky access) wouldn't be a Good Thing.

The answer is simple. A setuid program should simply take care not to write
anything to /tmp or to $TMPDIR. Both are terribly wrong.

I've suggested "/etc/tmp" as a root-only tmpdir. Or /stmp (analogous to

I'm hoping varlinks will "solve" this. But I'm biased. Shoot ahead.


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