Public Vulnerability Reports

Adobe Version Cue VCNative Arbitrary File Overwrite Vulnerability



Adobe Version Cue is a software version tracking system for Adobe
products distributed with Adobe Creative Suite and select Adobe


Local exploitation of a design error in Adobe Systems, Inc. Version Cue
allows local attackers to gain root privileges. Version Cue includes a
setuid root application named VCNative which is vulnerable to a symlink
attack. The vulnerability specifically exists due to the use of
predictable log file names. VCNative uses a format such as
"VCNative-[pid].log" for the filename and stores the file in the
current working directory. Attackers can easily predict the created
filename and supply user-controlled data via the "-host" and "- port"
options. A carefully supplied value can cause a crafted "log file" to
be written. Crafted strings written to root-owned files can lead to
arbitrary code execution with root privileges.


Successful exploitation allows local attackers to write to arbitrary
files with user-supplied data. Data written to the linked file will
include some corrupted data as well as user-suppplied data, potentially
corrupting a file completely and preventing the execution of system
commands. In addition, a carefully crafted input value can be used in
conjunction with standard system tools such as cron to gain root

A workaround solution has been provided for this vulnerability. In
addition, the vulnerability affects only the Apple OS X platform and is
only installed with Adobe Creative Suite or other Adobe products.


iDEFENSE Labs has confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in
Adobe Version Cue version 1 on the Apple OS X platform.


As a workaround solution, remove the setuid bit from the VCNative
binary and execute the application as a root user when necessary.


Adobe Version Cue Update 2 which addresses this vulnerability, is
available for download at:

The vendor advisory for this vulnerability is located at:


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the
name CAN-2005-1842 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in
the CVE list (, which standardizes names for
security problems.


06/27/2005 Initial vendor notification
06/27/2005 Initial vendor response
08/29/2005 Public disclosure


vade79 ( is credited with this discovery.

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Copyright © 2005 Verisign, Inc.

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