Public Vulnerability Reports

SCO UnixWare pkgadd Directory Traversal Vulnerability



SCO UnixWare is a UNIX operating system that runs on many OEM platforms. The pkgadd command is used to install packages on the system. More information about the product is available from the URL shown below.


Local exploitation of a directory traversal vulnerability within the pkgadd program distributed with SCO Group Inc's UnixWare operating system allows attackers to gain root privileges.

By setting an environment variable to a value containing directory traversal sequences, such as "../", an attacker can cause the program to create or append to arbitrary files on the system.


Exploitation allows attackers gain root privileges. Access to execute arbitrary shell commands is required to exploit this issue.

By targeting specific system files, an attacker can add accounts or otherwise facilitate privilege escalation.


iDefense confirmed the existence of this vulnerability within version 7.1.4 of UnixWare with all patches available as of August 27th, 2007 installed. Previous versions are suspected to be vulnerable.


Changing the permissions of the pkgadd command to only allow root to execute this program will prevent exploitation of this vulnerability.

 # chmod 700 /usr/sbin/pkgadd 


SCO has addressed this vulnerability by releasing patches. For more information, consult their advisory at the following URL.


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the name CVE-2008-0310 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (, which standardizes names for security problems.


09/04/2007 Initial vendor notification
10/30/2007 Initial vendor response
04/03/2008 Coordinated public disclosure


The discoverer of this vulnerability wishes to remain anonymous.

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