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Re: CDPATH reports to stdout and even non-interactively

From: Geoff Kuenning
Subject: Re: CDPATH reports to stdout and even non-interactively
Date: Sat, 16 Aug 2008 13:45:24 -0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.1 (gnu/linux)

> Nope.  Look at the -p option for set.  BASH_ENV can be used to cause
> scripts to go haywire, but only with your own account.

Thanks, I missed that section of the manual.  BASH_ENV is already
ignored when euid != ruid.

> Not necessarily.  In some cases, it may be that a script relies on the
> inherited CDPATH as a way for the user to tell it where to operate -
> that is, a script might treat it just like HOME, PATH, and TMPDIR.  In
> cases like that, the script can't know what value the user wants
> CDPATH to be set to.  (Though it's still true that many other scripts
> don't treat it that way and may be vulnerable to abuse.)

It would be interesting to know how many scripts use this behavior.
Unfortunately, I can't think of a way to research it.

> CDPATH and GLOBIGNORE could at least be added to the -p handling, I'd
> say.

I'd argue for that at a minimum.  It wouldn't fix the situation I
encountered, but it would help.

> The trouble with unsetting an inherited variable in non-interactive
> shells is that it screws up the situation where an interactive shell
> invokes a non-interactive shell, which then invokes another
> interactive shell.

Good point.

Chet Ramey writes:

>>     GLOBIGNORE  Should be unset in non-interactive mode.  I can't come
>>                 up with a crack in 10 seconds, but I'm confident that
>>                 within 30 minutes I could figure out a way to abuse a
>>                 script by controlling its globbing.
>I'd be interested in seeing that exploited to do something malicious.

Well, I don't really have 30 spare minutes to work something out.  But
I might start by arranging for a script that creates and then removes
temp files to fail to remove them due to globbing.  Then I might look
for situations where I could cause a denial of service by causing lock
files to not get removed.
    Geoff Kuenning   address@hidden   http://www.cs.hmc.edu/~geoff/

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new
discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..."
                -- Isaac Asimov

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