Date: 22 December 2004
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AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution
ESB-2004.0814 -- IBM Security Advisory
Buffer overflow in paginit command
22 December 2004
AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary
Operating System: AIX 5.2 and 5.3
Impact: Root Compromise
Access: Existing Account
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IBM SECURITY ADVISORY
First Issued: Mon Dec 20 12:57:11 CST 2004
VULNERABILITY: Buffer overflow vulnerability in paginit command
allows local users to gain root privileges.
PLATFORMS: AIX 5.2 and 5.3.
SOLUTION: Apply the workaround or APARs as described below.
THREAT: A local user can gain root privileges.
CERT VU Number: N/A
CVE Number: N/A
A vulnerability was discovered in the paginit command that allows a local
user to gain root privileges. Exploits for this vulnerability are publicly
The command affected by this issue ships as part of the bos.rte.security
fileset. This fileset is installed as part of the Base Operating System
Any local user can exploit this buffer overflow vulnerability to gain root
A. Official Fix
IBM provides the following fixes:
APAR number for AIX 5.2.0: IY64522 (available)
APAR number for AIX 5.3.0: IY64312 (available)
NOTE: Affected customers are urged to upgrade to 5.2.0 or 5.3.0 at the
latest maintenance level. Although a related AIX 5.1 APAR is available,
this issue is not exploitable on AIX 5.1 since the paginit command
is not available on 5.1.
Setting the file mode bits to 500 will allow only the root user to execute
the paginit command. This can be done by executing the following command as
# chmod 500 /usr/bin/paginit
Verify that the file mode bits have been changed to 500:
# ls -la /usr/bin/paginit
- - -r-x------ 1 root security 7354 2002-09-15 20:39 /usr/bin/paginit
IV. Obtaining Fixes
AIX Version 5 APARs can be downloaded from the eServer pSeries Fix Central
Security related Emergency Fixes can be downloaded from:
V. Contact Information
If you would like to receive AIX Security Advisories via email, please visit:
Comments regarding the content of this announcement can be directed to:
To request the PGP public key that can be used to communicate securely
with the AIX Security Team send email to email@example.com
with a subject of "get key". The key can also be downloaded from a
PGP Public Key Server. The key id is 0x9391C1F2.
Please contact your local IBM AIX support center for any assistance.
eServer is a trademark of International Business Machines Corporation.
IBM, AIX and pSeries are registered trademarks of International Business
Machines Corporation. All other trademarks are property of their
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