AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution

                     ESB-2001.297 -- RHSA-2001:095-04
    New util-linux packages available to fix vipw permissions problems
                               18 July 2001


        AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary

Product:                vipw
Vendor:                 Red Hat
Operating System:       Red Hat Linux 7.1
Platform:               i386
Impact:                 Access Privileged Data
Access Required:        Existing Account

- --------------------------BEGIN INCLUDED TEXT--------------------

- ---------------------------------------------------------------------
                   Red Hat, Inc. Red Hat Security Advisory

Synopsis:          New util-linux packages available to fix vipw permissions problems
Advisory ID:       RHSA-2001:095-04
Issue date:        2001-07-12
Updated on:        2001-07-16
Product:           Red Hat Linux
Keywords:          util-linux vipw /etc/shadow permissions
Cross references:  
- ---------------------------------------------------------------------

1. Topic:

New util-linux packages are available for Red Hat Linux 7.1. These packages
fix a problem where vipw would leave the /etc/shadow file world-readable
after editing it.

It is recommended that all users update to the fixed packages. Also, if you
have used vipw on Red Hat Linux 7.1 before, make sure to run (as root):

chmod 0400 /etc/shadow

2. Relevant releases/architectures:

Red Hat Linux 7.1 - alpha, i386, ia64

3. Problem description:

vipw, from the util-linux package in Red Hat Linux 7.1, included a new
option that allowed editing of the /etc/shadow file as well as /etc/passwd.
However, this option did not take measures to ensure that the file remained
only readable by root.

Thanks go to lloyd@acm.jhu.edu for bringing the problem to our attention.

4. Solution:

Before applying this update, make sure all previously released errata
relevant to your system have been applied.

To update all RPMs for your particular architecture, run:

rpm -Fvh [filenames]

where [filenames] is a list of the RPMs you wish to upgrade.  Only those
RPMs which are currently installed will be updated.  Those RPMs which are
not installed but included in the list will not be updated.  Note that you
can also use wildcards (*.rpm) if your current directory *only* contains the
desired RPMs.

Please note that this update is also available via Red Hat Network.  Many
people find this an easier way to apply updates.  To use Red Hat Network,
launch the Red Hat Update Agent with the following command:


This will start an interactive process that will result in the appropriate
RPMs being upgraded on your system.

Also note that users of vipw may want to run (as root):

chmod 0400 /etc/shadow

to ensure that the file has the correct permissions.

5. Bug IDs fixed (http://bugzilla.redhat.com/bugzilla for more info):

48786 - Serious security problem in vipw, util-linux  2.10s

6. RPMs required:

Red Hat Linux 7.1:





7. Verification:

MD5 sum                           Package Name
- --------------------------------------------------------------------------
96997395f6773109c6fe12f015145a4e 7.1/en/os/SRPMS/util-linux-2.10s-13.7.src.rpm
148ed6ee554cec8552a9795192deaa51 7.1/en/os/alpha/util-linux-2.10s-13.7.alpha.rpm
06f71eb2fd286d18ea45430ffe790b63 7.1/en/os/i386/util-linux-2.10s-13.7.i386.rpm
dceed158e6eb988b972f924a01fdc265 7.1/en/os/ia64/util-linux-2.10s-13.7.ia64.rpm

These packages are GPG signed by Red Hat, Inc. for security.  Our key
is available at:

You can verify each package with the following command:
    rpm --checksig  <filename>

If you only wish to verify that each package has not been corrupted or
tampered with, examine only the md5sum with the following command:
    rpm --checksig --nogpg <filename>

8. References:

Copyright(c) 2000, 2001 Red Hat, Inc.

- --------------------------END INCLUDED TEXT--------------------

You have received this e-mail bulletin as a result of your organisation's
registration with AusCERT. The mailing list you are subscribed to is
maintained within your organisation, so if you do not wish to continue
receiving these bulletins you should contact your local IT manager. If
you do not know who that is, please send an email to auscert@auscert.org.au
and we will forward your request to the appropriate person.

This security bulletin is provided as a service to AusCERT's members.  As
AusCERT did not write the document quoted above, AusCERT has had no control
over its content.  The decision to use any or all of this information is
the responsibility of each user or organisation, and should be done so in
accordance with site policies and procedures.

NOTE: This is only the original release of the security bulletin.  It may
not be updated when updates to the original are made.  If downloading at
a later date, it is recommended that the bulletin is retrieved directly
from the original authors to ensure that the information is still current.

Contact information for the authors of the original document is included
in the Security Bulletin above.  If you have any questions or need further
information, please contact them directly.

Previous advisories and external security bulletins can be retrieved from:


If you believe that your system has been compromised, contact AusCERT or
your representative in FIRST (Forum of Incident Response and Security

Internet Email: auscert@auscert.org.au
Facsimile:	(07) 3365 7031
Telephone:	(07) 3365 4417 (International: +61 7 3365 4417)
		AusCERT personnel answer during Queensland business hours
		which are GMT+10:00 (AEST).
		On call after hours for emergencies.

Version: 2.6.3i
Charset: noconv
Comment: ftp://ftp.auscert.org.au/pub/auscert/AUSCERT_PGP.key