GDM Xsession-Errors Insecure File Handling Vulnerability

It has been reported that, under some circumstances GDM (Gnome Display Manager) is prone to an insecure file handling vulnerability. GDM is installed as a setuid root binary. As a result, an attacker may be capable of disclosing the contents of a privileged file.

The issue can be exploited through the use of GDM's "examine session errors" feature, which displays the contents of the '.xsession-errors' file located in the invoking users home directory. Due to insufficient sanity checks when handling this file, it is supposedly possible for an attacker to replace the file with a symbolic link to an arbitrary file. This will effectively result in the disclosure of the file's contents, potentially revealing sensitive system information to an unprivileged user.


 

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