Public Vulnerability Reports

IBM DB2 Universal Database Administration Server File Creation Vulnerability



IBM Corp.'s DB2 Universal Database product is a large database server product commonly used for high-end databases. The DB2 Administration Server (DAS) implements the server component to which the Java-based DB2 Control Center GUI connects. For more information, visit the product website at the following URL.


Local exploitation of a file creation vulnerability in the Administration Server of IBM Corp.'s DB2 Universal Database allows attackers to elevate privileges to root.

This vulnerability exists due to unsafe file access from within the db2dasrrm program. When a user starts the DAS, the "db2dasrrm" process is started with root privileges. As part of the initialization, the "dasRecoveryIndex", "dasRecoveryIndex.tmp", ".dasRecoveryIndex.lock", and "dasRecoveryIndex.cor" files are created with root privileges. By removing and re-creating these files as symbolic links, an attacker can create arbitrary files as root.


Exploitation allows local attackers to gain root privileges. In order to exploit this vulnerability, an attacker must have access to an account that is allowed to start and stop the DB2 Administration Server. For example, the "dasusr1" account or an account with access to the "db2adm1" group.

It should be noted that an attacker does not appear to have any control over the contents of the data written. However, this does not significantly impact exploitation since the file is created using the user's umask and group.


iDefense has confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in IBM Corp.'s DB2 Universal Database 9.1 release with Fix Pack 3 installed on Linux. Other versions are also suspected to be vulnerable.


iDefense is currently unaware of any effective workaround for this issue.


IBM Corp. has addressed this vulnerability with the release of V9.1 Fix Pack 4a, V8 FixPak 16, and V9.5 Fix Pack 1 of its Universal Database product. More information can be found at the following URLs.





The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the name CVE-2007-5664 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (, which standardizes names for security problems.


10/03/2007 Initial vendor notification
10/16/2007 Initial vendor response
04/09/2008 Coordinated public disclosure


This vulnerability was discovered by Joshua J. Drake (iDefense Labs).

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