Public Vulnerability Reports

IBM DB2 Universal Database Multiple File Creation Vulnerabilities



IBM Corp.'s DB2 Universal Database product is a large database server product commonly used for high end databases. For more information, visit the following URL.


Local exploitation of multiple file creation vulnerabilities in IBM Corp.'s DB2 Universal Database could allow attackers to elevate privileges to the superuser.

These vulnerabilities are due to insufficient checking being performed while handling files with elevated privileges. By setting certain combinations of environment variables, an attacker is able to create or append to arbitrary files on the system.


Exploitation allows local attackers to gain root privileges.

In at least one case, the attacker's umask will be honored when creating files. In this case, the attacker could create world-writable root-owned files anywhere on the system. By targeting specific system files, such as /etc/ or various cron data file locations, an attacker could execute arbitrary code with superuser privileges.


iDefense confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in version 9.1 Fix Pack 2 of IBM Corp.'s DB2 Universal Database installed on a Linux system. All prior versions, as well as builds for other UNIX-based operating systems, are suspected to be vulnerable.


Setting more strict permissions on the DB2 instance directory can help mitigate some of these vulnerabilities. Removing the setuid-bit from all programs included with DB2 can also help mitigate exposure. Note, these configuration changes have not been thoroughly tested and may cause adverse behavior.


IBM Corp. has addressed this vulnerability by releasing V9 Fix Pack 3 and version V8 FixPak 15 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-2007-4272 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (, which standardizes names for security problems.


03/22/2007 Initial vendor notification
03/23/2007 Initial vendor response
08/16/2007 Coordinated public disclosure


These vulnerabilities were discovered by Joshua J. Drake (iDefense Labs) and an anonymous researcher.

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Copyright © 2007 Verisign, Inc.

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