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AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution
ESB-2006.0591 -- [AIX]
A vulnerability in the setlocale() routine may allow for
18 August 2006
AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary
Operating System: AIX 5.3 and prior
Impact: Root Compromise
Access: Existing Account
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IBM SECURITY ADVISORY
First Issued: Thu Aug 17 09:21:47 CDT 2006
VULNERABILITY: A vulnerability in the setlocale() routine may allow
for privilege escalation.
PLATFORMS: AIX 5.1, 5.2 and 5.3.
SOLUTION: Apply the APAR, interim fix or workaround as
THREAT: A local attacker may gain privileges.
CERT VU Number: n/a
CVE Number: n/a
A security vulnerability was discovered in the setlocale() subroutine.
setlocale() changes or queries a program's entire current locale or
portions thereof. Applications that call setlocale() and that are installed
with the setuid and setgid bit on may be exploited to gain privileges.
setlocale() is exported via libc.a. libc.a is shipped as part of the
bos.rte.libc and bos.adt.prof filesets. Affected versions of these filesets
are listed below.
A local user may gain privileges.
A. Official Fix
IBM provides the following fixes:
APAR number for AIX 5.1.0: IY88528 (available approx. 09/06/06)
APAR number for AIX 5.2.0: IY88512 (available approx. 09/06/06)
APAR number for AIX 5.3.0: IY88183 (available approx. 09/06/06)
NOTE: Affected customers are urged to upgrade to the latest applicable
The following table shows the vulnerable versions of bos.rte.libc and
bos.adt.prof for a given Technology Level.
Technology Lower Upper
Level Level Level
5100-06 22.214.171.124 126.96.36.199
5100-07 188.8.131.52 184.108.40.206
5200-06 220.127.116.11 18.104.22.168
5200-07 22.214.171.124 126.96.36.199
5200-08 188.8.131.52 184.108.40.206
5200-09 220.127.116.11 18.104.22.168
5300-03 22.214.171.124 126.96.36.199
5300-04 188.8.131.52 184.108.40.206
5300-05 220.127.116.11 18.104.22.168
B. Interim Fix
Interim fixes are available. The ifixes can be downloaded via ftp from:
This is a compressed tarball containing this advisory, interim fix packages
and cleartext PGP signatures for each package.
Verify you have retrieved the fixes intact:
The interim fixes below are named by using the technology level
corresponding to the release that the fix applies to.
The checksums below were generated using the "sum" and "md5sum" commands
and are as follows:
The interim fixes below include prerequisite checking. This will enforce
the correct mapping between the fixes and AIX Technology Levels. The
interim fixes replace libc.a which ships as part of bos.rte.libc. When
installing these fixes, it will be necessary to remove other interim fixes
which modify libc.a.
Filename sum md5
5100-07.epkg.Z 00494 3030 a478fdcb09e7785eb6b1f541ad851bc9
5200-07.epkg.Z 56976 3155 2783a81b10c27fbbeed2e3a3adf1deb6
5200-08.epkg.Z 33794 3157 2d96dac2d94acf844b14f71f0148e4d4
5200-09.epkg.Z 00911 3175 7922cac96d0e3d5c7d3da37c842e3681
5300-03.epkg.Z 44064 3525 d347fbae1bfc93c8cc9c9e3c88c5702b
5300-04.epkg.Z 17307 3523 ade47e865f3426a2a0746a3ba2fd81ef
5300-05.epkg.Z 59371 3561 b411b92b6c36df6d163003018cda35fa
These sums should match exactly. The PGP signatures in the compressed
tarball and on this advisory can also be used to verify the integrity of
the various files they correspond to. If the sums or signatures cannot be
confirmed, double check the command results and the download site address.
If those are OK, contact IBM AIX Security at firstname.lastname@example.org
and describe the discrepancy.
The following table shows the prerequisite fileset level for the fixes
above. These levels correspond to the latest available versions of
bos.rte.libc for a given technology level.
IMPORTANT: If possible, it is recommended that a mksysb backup of the
system is created. Verify it is both bootable, and readable before
These interim fixes have not been fully regression tested; thus, IBM does
not warrant the fully correct functioning of the interim fix. Customers
install the interim fix and operate the modified version of AIX at their
Interim Installation Instructions:
These packages use the new Interim Fix Management Solution to install and
manage ifixes. More information can be found at:
To preview an epkg ifix installation execute the following command:
# emgr -e ipkg_name -p # where ipkg_name is the name of the
# ifix package being previewed.
To install an epkg ifix package, execute the following command:
# emgr -e ipkg_name -X # where ipkg_name is the name of the
# ifix package being installed.
The "X" flag will expand any filesystems if required.
Remove the setuid and setgid bits from applications that call setlocale().
To determine if an application calls setlocale() use the following command:
dump -T <application> | grep setlocale
IV. Obtaining Fixes
AIX Version 5 APARs can be downloaded from:
Security related Interim Fixes can be downloaded from:
V. Contact Information
If you would like to receive AIX Security Advisories via email, please
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 0x1B14F299.
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 respective
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