-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution
ESB-2005.0124 -- iDEFENSE Security Advisory 02.08.05
IBM AIX auditselect Local Format String Vulnerability
9 February 2005
AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary
Operating System: AIX
Impact: Root Compromise
Execute Arbitrary Code/Commands
Access: Existing Account
Original Bulletin: http://www.idefense.com/application/poi/display?id=193
- --------------------------BEGIN INCLUDED TEXT--------------------
IBM AIX auditselect Local Format String Vulnerability
iDEFENSE Security Advisory 02.08.05
February 08, 2005
The auditselect program is a setuid root application, installed by
default under multiple versions of IBM AIX, that selects audit records
for analysis according to defined criteria.
Local exploitation of a format string vulnerability in the auditselect
command included by default in multiple versions of IBM Corp.'s AIX
operating system could allow for arbitrary code execution as the root
The vulnerability specifically exists due to an improperly used
formatted printing function. When provided with an incorrect argument
(argv) that contains a format string, the format string will be fed
into a formatted printing function, and the user supplied format string
will be evaluated, allowing for a malicious user to examine stack memory
and write to arbitrary memory locations. With a properly crafted string,
this can lead to the execution of arbitrary code.
This vulnerability can only be exploited by a local user who has been
granted access to the "audit" group. Successful exploitation leads to
Due to the nature of the vulnerability, information leakage is trivial
and aids the attacker in exploitation.
iDEFENSE has confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in IBM AIX
version 5.2. It is suspected that previous versions are also vulnerable.
IBM has reported that AIX 5.3 is also vulnerable.
Only allow trusted users local access to security critical systems. Only
allow trusted system administrators access to the "audit" group.
Alternately, remove the setuid bit from auditselect using chmod u-s
VI. VENDOR RESPONSE
The vendor has not released a patch for this issue, however, the
following details have been published:
VII. CVE INFORMATION
A Mitre Corp. Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) number has not
been assigned yet.
VIII. DISCLOSURE TIMELINE
12/21/2004 Initial vendor notification
01/07/2005 Initial vendor response
02/08/2005 Public disclosure
iDEFENSE Labs is credited with this discovery.
Get paid for vulnerability research
X. LEGAL NOTICES
Copyright (c) 2005 iDEFENSE, Inc.
Permission is granted for the redistribution of this alert
electronically. It may not be edited in any way without the express
written consent of iDEFENSE. If you wish to reprint the whole or any
part of this alert in any other medium other than electronically, please
email email@example.com for permission.
Disclaimer: The information in the advisory is believed to be accurate
at the time of publishing based on currently available information. Use
of the information constitutes acceptance for use in an AS IS condition.
There are no warranties with regard to this information. Neither the
author nor the publisher accepts any liability for any direct, indirect,
or consequential loss or damage arising from use of, or reliance on,
- --------------------------END INCLUDED TEXT--------------------
You have received this e-mail bulletin as a result of your organisation's
registration with AusCERT. The mailing list you are subscribed to is
maintained within your organisation, so if you do not wish to continue
receiving these bulletins you should contact your local IT manager. If
you do not know who that is, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
and we will forward your request to the appropriate person.
NOTE: Third Party Rights
This security bulletin is provided as a service to AusCERT's members. As
AusCERT did not write the document quoted above, AusCERT has had no control
over its content. The decision to follow or act on information or advice
contained in this security bulletin is the responsibility of each user or
organisation, and should be considered in accordance with your organisation's
site policies and procedures. AusCERT takes no responsibility for consequences
which may arise from following or acting on information or advice contained in
this security bulletin.
NOTE: This is only the original release of the security bulletin. It may
not be updated when updates to the original are made. If downloading at
a later date, it is recommended that the bulletin is retrieved directly
from the author's website to ensure that the information is still current.
Contact information for the authors of the original document is included
in the Security Bulletin above. If you have any questions or need further
information, please contact them directly.
Previous advisories and external security bulletins can be retrieved from:
If you believe that your computer system has been compromised or attacked in
any way, we encourage you to let us know by completing the secure National IT
Incident Reporting Form at:
Australian Computer Emergency Response Team
The University of Queensland
Internet Email: email@example.com
Facsimile: (07) 3365 7031
Telephone: (07) 3365 4417 (International: +61 7 3365 4417)
AusCERT personnel answer during Queensland business hours
which are GMT+10:00 (AEST).
On call after hours for member emergencies only.
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----