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Date: Tue, 9 Jan 2018 08:37:08 -0700
From: Kurt Seifried <>
To: oss-security <>
Subject: Re: Own on install. How grave it is?

Many OS installs/etc take a password during install, either manually
(e.g. prompting you at the command line), or the OS is installed using
tools that allow a password to be set (e.g. Red Hat kickstarter,
Satellite, CloudForms).

In general if an OS install does NOT give you any way to set a
password during install and forces you to install the product, boot it
and then login with blank credentials and set a password you end up
with a CVE since a network based attacker can easily win that race, a
good example being FreeNAS CVE-2014-5334. If the installer can prompt
for a password or take a password through other means (e.g.
kickstarter) than there's a safe option so no CVE is needed typically.

On Tue, Jan 9, 2018 at 6:42 AM, Georgi Guninski <> wrote:
> [don't know if this is ontopic. Not on the list so CC me].
> This is well known, haven't seen it discussed.
> In short doing clean install (factory defaults) has a window of
> opportunity when the device is vulnerable to a known network attack.
> It used to be common sense to reinstall after compromise (probably
> doesn't apply to the windows world where the antivirus takes care).
> All versions of windoze are affected by the SMB bug to my knowledge.
> Debian jessie (old stable) is vulnerable to malicious mirror attack.
> More of interest to me are devices where the installation media is
> fixed and can't be changed.
> This includes smartphones and wireless routers.
> Some smartphones might be vulnerable to wifi RCE (found by google?).
> Some wireless routers might be vulnerable to wifi RCE or
> default admin password attack over wifi.
> Internet of Things will make things worse (some NAS devices are
> affected).
> Shielding the device might not be solution since updates must be
> applied.
> Are the above concerns real?
> Have this been studied systematically?


Kurt Seifried -- Red Hat -- Product Security -- Cloud
PGP A90B F995 7350 148F 66BF 7554 160D 4553 5E26 7993
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