Multiple Vendor C Library realpath() Off-By-One Buffer Overflow Vulnerability

The 'realpath()' function is a C-library procedure to resolve the canonical, absolute pathname of a file based on a path that may contain values such as '/', './', '../', or symbolic links. A vulnerability that was reported to affect the implementation of 'realpath()' in WU-FTPD has lead to the discovery that at least one implementation of the C library is also vulnerable. FreeBSD has announced that the off-by-one stack- buffer-overflow vulnerability is present in their libc. Other systems are also likely vulnerable.

Reportedly, this vulnerability has been successfully exploited against WU-FTPD to execute arbitrary instructions.

NOTE: Patching the C library alone may not remove all instances of this vulnerability. Statically linked programs may need to be rebuilt with a patched version of the C library. Also, some applications may implement their own version of 'realpath()'. These applications would require their own patches. FreeBSD has published a large list of applications that use 'realpath()'. Administrators of FreeBSD and other systems are urged to review it. For more information, see the advisory 'FreeBSD-SA-03:08.realpath'.


 

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