[lkml]   [2003]   [Nov]   [24]   [last100]   RSS Feed
Views: [wrap][no wrap]   [headers]  [forward] 
Messages in this thread
SubjectRe: hard links create local DoS vulnerability and security problems
In article <>,
Jakob Lell <> wrote:

| on Linux it is possible for any user to create a hard link to a file belonging
| to another user. This hard link continues to exist even if the original file
| is removed by the owner. However, as the link still belongs to the original
| owner, it is still counted to his quota. If a malicious user creates hard
| links for every temp file created by another user, this can make the victim
| run out of quota (or even fill up the hard disk). This makes a local DoS
| attack possible.

Of course they must be created in a directory when the evil user has
write, from a directory where the evil user has... have to check if
that's read or just evecute.
| Furthermore, users can even create links to a setuid binary. If there is a
| security whole like a buffer overflow in any setuid binary, a cracker can
| create a hard link to this file in his home directory.

Not unless the admin is a total bozo... remember hard links must be in
the same filesystem, and I wouldn't expect untrusted users to have write
in /usr, /var, /lib or /opt, which is where the problem might likely to

| This link still exists
| when the administrator has fixed the security whole by removing or replacing
| the insecure program. This makes it possible for a cracker to keep a security
| whole open until an exploit is available. It is even possible to create links
| to every setuid program on the system. This doesn't create new security
| wholes but makes it more likely that they are exploited.

See above, this is less likely that you make it sound.
| To solve the problem, the kernel shouldn't allow users to create hard links to
| files belonging to someone else.

While I think you're overblowing the problem, it is an issue which might
be addressed in SE Linux or somewhere. I have an idea on that, but I
want to look before I suggest anything.
| I could reproduce the problem on linux 2.2.19 and 2.4.21 (and found nothing
| about it in the changelogs to 2.4.23-rc3).

Bear in mind it isn't a "problem" it's 'expected behaviour" for the o/s,
and might even be mentioned in SuS somehow. Interesting topic, but not a
bug, since the behaviour is as intended.
bill davidsen <>
CTO, TMR Associates, Inc
Doing interesting things with little computers since 1979.
To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to
More majordomo info at
Please read the FAQ at

 \ /
  Last update: 2005-03-22 13:58    [W:0.130 / U:1.316 seconds]
©2003-2020 Jasper Spaans|hosted at Digital Ocean and TransIP|Read the blog|Advertise on this site