Public Vulnerability Reports

IBM AIX libodm ODMPATH Stack Overflow Vulnerability



AIX applications use libodm to access system settings and device configuration data stored in the Object Database Manager. The Manager is responsible for accessing and updating such things as currently installed software packages and devices. Many of the applications that use libodm are installed set-uid root.


Local exploitation of a buffer overflow vulnerability in IBM Corp.'s AIX libodm library could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code on a targeted host.

The vulnerability exists in the processing of the ODMPATH environment variable within the odm_searchpath() function. This function reads the ODMPATH variable from the user provided environment, and then copies it into a fixed sized stack buffer without properly validating its length. This results in a stack-based buffer overflow, and allows the saved return address to be overwritten.


Exploitation allows an attacker to execute code with root privileges.

Since this is a local attack, an attacker has complete control over the process environment and can reliably place shellcode at known addresses. This makes exploitation of this vulnerability trivial.


iDefense has confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in AIX version 5.3 SP 4. Previous versions may be vulnerable.


iDefense is currently unaware of any workarounds for this issue.


IBM Corp. has addressed this vulnerability with interim fixes. More information is available at the following URL.


A Mitre Corp. Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) number has not been assigned yet.


04/02/2007 Initial vendor notification
04/05/2007 Initial vendor response
07/09/2007 Coordinated public disclosure


The discoverer of this vulnerability wishes to remain anonymous.

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Copyright © 2007 Verisign, Inc.

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