The gr_osview application is a setuid root application that provides a
graphical display of usage of certain types of operating system
resources. It is installed by default under multiple versions of IRIX 6.
Local exploitation of a file overwrite vulnerability in the gr_osview
command included in multiple versions of Silicon Graphics Inc.'s IRIX
operating system could allow for the overwriting of arbitrary files,
regardless of permissions.
The vulnerability specifically exists in the way that gr_osview opens
user specified files without dropping privileges. When a file is
specified using the "-s" option, it will be opened regardless of
permissions, and operating system usage information will be written into
it. An example follows:
user@irix$ gr_osview -s /etc/shadow
After execution of that command, the system shadow file will be
overwritten with system usage information. With a damaged shadow file,
users will no longer be able to log on remotely or locally.
All that is required to exploit this vulnerability is a local account
and an open X display, which could be the attacker's home machine or
another compromised computer. Exploitation does not require any
knowledge of application internals, making exploitation trivial, even
for unskilled attackers.
iDEFENSE has confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in SGI IRIX
version 6.5.22 (maintenance). It is suspected that previous and later
versions of both the feature and maintenance revisions of IRIX 6.5 are
Only allow trusted users local access to security-critical systems.
Alternately, remove the setuid bit from inpview using:
chmod u-s /usr/sbin/gr_osview
This vulnerability has been addressed in SGI BUG 930890.
Related security advisories are available at:
Related patches are available at:
The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the
names CAN-2005-0465 to these issues. This is a candidate for inclusion
in the CVE list (http://cve.mitre.org), which standardizes names for
02/18/2005 Initial vendor notification
02/23/2005 Initial vendor response
04/07/2005 Coordinated public disclosure
The discoverer of this vulnerability wishes to remain anonymous.
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