Linux man -l Format String Vulnerability

man is the manual page viewing program, available with the Linux Operating System in this implementation. It is freely distributed and openly maintained.

A problem with the man command may allow for the elevation of privileges. Due to the handling of format strings by the -l argument of the man command, it may be possible for a local user to pass format strings through the man command, which could allow a user to write to a specific address in the stack and overwrite variables, including the return address of functions on the stack. man, as implemented with some distributions of the Linux operating system, is included as an SUID root binary.

It may be possible for a malicious user with local access to execute arbitrary code on the stack, and potentially gain elevated privileges, including administrative access.


 

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