TUCoPS :: SGI :: m-080.txt

SGI IRIX fsr xfs Vulnerability (CIAC M-080)


                       The U.S. Department of Energy
                     Computer Incident Advisory Center
                           ___  __ __    _     ___
                          /       |     /_\   /
                          \___  __|__  /   \  \___

                             INFORMATION BULLETIN

                         SGI IRIX fsr_xfs Vulnerability
                     [SGI Security Advisory 20020504-01-I]

May 9, 2002 17:00 GMT                                             Number M-080
PROBLEM:       A vulnerability has been identified in the fsr_xfs (XFS 
               filesystem reorganizer) program. 
PLATFORM:      All systems running IRIX 6.5 to 6.5.10. 
               The fsr_xfs binary is installed by default on IRIX 6.5 systems 
               as part of eoe.sw.base. 
DAMAGE:        A malicious user could cause critical system files to be 
               overwritten and obtain root privileges. 
SOLUTION:      Upgrade to IRIX 6.5.11 or later versions. A temporary 
               workaround has been provided by SGI in the advisory. 
VULNERABILITY  The risk is LOW. A local user account is required to exploit 
ASSESSMENT:    this vulnerability. 
 CIAC BULLETIN:      http://www.ciac.org/ciac/bulletins/m-080.shtml 
 ORIGINAL BULLETIN:                                                           

[***** Start SGI Security Advisory 20020504-01-I *****]



                          SGI Security Advisory

        Title:      fsr_xfs vulnerability
        Number:     20020504-01-I
        Date:       May 8, 2002
        Reference:  CAN-2002-0356

- -----------------------
- --- Issue Specifics ---
- -----------------------

It's been reported that there is a problem with the fsr_xfs (XFS filesystem
reorganizer) program that can, under certain circumstances, be manipulated
by someone with malicious intent into causing critical system files to be
overwritten.  This could potentially lead to a root exploit.

SGI has investigated the issues and recommends the following steps for
neutralizing the exposure.  It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that these measures be
implemented on ALL vulnerable SGI systems.

- --------------
- --- Impact ---
- --------------

To determine the version of IRIX you are running, execute the following

  # uname -R

That will return a result similar to the following:

    # 6.5 6.5.15f

The first number ("6.5") is the release name, the second ("6.5.15f" in this
case) is the extended release name.  The extended release name is the
"version" we refer to throughout this document.

The fsr_xfs binary is installed by default on IRIX 6.5 systems as part of

These vulnerabilities may not be exploited by a remote user, a local account
is required.  This vulnerability can lead to a root exploit.

This vulnerability has been fixed in IRIX 6.5.11 and later versions of IRIX.

This vulnerability was assigned the following CVE:

- ----------------------------
- --- Temporary Workaround ---
- ----------------------------

As a temporary workaround until you can upgrade the operating system to
6.5.11 or later, you can change root's crontab to run fsr_xfs with the -f
option and point at a directory that normal users can't write to, such as

To set up this workaround, follow these steps:

1) Become the superuser

   $ su -

2) Use vi or your favorite text editor to edit the file

   # vi /var/spool/cron/crontabs/root

3) Look for a line that looks like this:

   0       3       *       *       0       if test -x /usr/etc/fsr; then (cd
/usr/tmp; /usr/etc/fsr) fi

4) Change it to this:

   0       3       *       *       0       if test -x /usr/etc/fsr; then (cd
/usr/tmp; /usr/etc/fsr -f /var/adm/.fsrlast) fi

5) Save the file and exit from the editor.  crond will automatically detect
the changes to the file, so it is not necessary to stop and restart crond.

However, SGI recommends upgrading to at least IRIX 6.5.11, with later
versions being preferred.

- ----------------
- --- Solution ---
- ----------------

SGI has not provided patches for this vulnerability. Our
recommendation is to upgrade to IRIX 6.5.11 or a later version of IRIX.

   OS Version     Vulnerable?     Patch #      Other Actions
   ----------     -----------     -------      -------------
   IRIX 3.x        unknown                     Note 1
   IRIX 4.x        unknown                     Note 1
   IRIX 5.x        unknown                     Note 1
   IRIX 6.0.x      unknown                     Note 1
   IRIX 6.1        unknown                     Note 1
   IRIX 6.2        unknown                     Note 1
   IRIX 6.3        unknown                     Note 1
   IRIX 6.4        unknown                     Note 1
   IRIX 6.5          yes                       Notes 2 & 3
   IRIX 6.5.1        yes                       Notes 2 & 3
   IRIX 6.5.2        yes                       Notes 2 & 3
   IRIX 6.5.3        yes                       Notes 2 & 3
   IRIX 6.5.4        yes                       Notes 2 & 3
   IRIX 6.5.5        yes                       Notes 2 & 3
   IRIX 6.5.6        yes                       Notes 2 & 3
   IRIX 6.5.7        yes                       Notes 2 & 3
   IRIX 6.5.8        yes                       Notes 2 & 3
   IRIX 6.5.9        yes                       Notes 2 & 3
   IRIX 6.5.10       yes                       Notes 2 & 3
   IRIX 6.5.11       no
   IRIX 6.5.12       no
   IRIX 6.5.13       no
   IRIX 6.5.14       no
   IRIX 6.5.15       no


     1) This version of the IRIX operating has been retired. Upgrade to an
        actively supported IRIX operating system.  See
        http://support.sgi.com/irix/news/index.html#policy for more

     2) If you have not received an IRIX 6.5.X CD for IRIX 6.5, contact your
        SGI Support Provider or URL: http://support.sgi.com/irix/swupdates/

     3) Upgrade to IRIX 6.5.11 or a later version of IRIX.

- ------------------------
- --- Acknowledgments ----
- ------------------------

SGI wishes to thank John Vanderpool, FIRST and the users of the Internet
Community at large for their assistance in this matter.

- --------------
- --- Links ---
- -------------

SGI Security Advisories can be found at:
http://www.sgi.com/support/security/ and

SGI Security Patches can be found at:
http://www.sgi.com/support/security/ and

SGI patches for IRIX can be found at the following patch servers:
http://support.sgi.com/irix/ and ftp://patches.sgi.com/

SGI freeware updates for IRIX can be found at:

SGI fixes for SGI open sourced code can be found on:

SGI patches and RPMs for Linux can be found at:
http://support.sgi.com/linux/ or

SGI patches for Windows NT or 2000 can be found at:

IRIX 5.2-6.4 Recommended/Required Patch Sets can be found at:
http://support.sgi.com/irix/ and ftp://patches.sgi.com/support/patchset/

IRIX 6.5 Maintenance Release Streams can be found at:

IRIX 6.5 Software Update CDs can be obtained from:

The primary SGI anonymous FTP site for security advisories and patches is
patches.sgi.com (  Security advisories and patches are
located under the URL ftp://patches.sgi.com/support/free/security/

For security and patch management reasons, ftp.sgi.com (mirrors
patches.sgi.com security FTP repository) lags behind and does not do a
real-time update.

- -----------------------------------------
- --- SGI Security Information/Contacts ---
- -----------------------------------------

If there are questions about this document, email can be sent to


SGI provides security information and patches for use by the entire SGI
community.  This information is freely available to any person needing the
information and is available via anonymous FTP and the Web.

The primary SGI anonymous FTP site for security advisories and patches is
patches.sgi.com (  Security advisories and patches are
located under the URL ftp://patches.sgi.com/support/free/security/

The SGI Security Headquarters Web page is accessible at the URL:

For issues with the patches on the FTP sites, email can be sent to

For assistance obtaining or working with security patches, please
contact your SGI support provider.


SGI provides a free security mailing list service called wiretap and
encourages interested parties to self-subscribe to receive (via email) all
SGI Security Advisories when they are released. Subscribing to the mailing
list can be done via the Web
(http://www.sgi.com/support/security/wiretap.html) or by sending email to
SGI as outlined below.

% mail wiretap-request@sgi.com
subscribe wiretap <YourEmailAddress>

In the example above, <YourEmailAddress> is the email address that you wish
the mailing list information sent to.  The word end must be on a separate
line to indicate the end of the body of the message. The control-d (^d) is
used to indicate to the mail program that you are finished composing the
mail message.


SGI provides a comprehensive customer World Wide Web site. This site is
located at http://www.sgi.com/support/security/ .


If there are general security questions on SGI systems, email can be sent to

For reporting *NEW* SGI security issues, email can be sent to
security-alert@sgi.com or contact your SGI support provider.  A support
contract is not required for submitting a security report.

      This information is provided freely to all interested parties
      and may be redistributed provided that it is not altered in any
      way, SGI is appropriately credited and the document retains and
      includes its valid PGP signature.

Version: 2.6.2


[***** End SGI Security Advisory 20020504-01-I *****]


CIAC wishes to acknowledge the contributions of SGI for the 
information contained in this bulletin.

CIAC, the Computer Incident Advisory Center, is the computer
security incident response team for the U.S. Department of Energy
(DOE) and the emergency backup response team for the National
Institutes of Health (NIH). CIAC is located at the Lawrence Livermore
National Laboratory in Livermore, California. CIAC is also a founding
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This document was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an
agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States
Government nor the University of California nor any of their
employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any
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