Follow @Openwall on Twitter for new release announcements and other news
[<prev] [next>] [<thread-prev] [thread-next>] [day] [month] [year] [list]
Date: Wed, 23 May 2012 11:15:48 +0200
From: Jan Lieskovsky <>
To: Matthias Weckbecker <>
CC:, "John W. Linville" <>
Subject: Re: CVE request(?): hostapd: improper file permissions
 of hostapd's config leaks credentials

Hi Matthias,

   thank you for your request.

On 05/23/2012 10:21 AM, Matthias Weckbecker wrote:
> Hi Kurt,
> Hi vendors,
> not too critical in my opinion, but I think still worth to be at least
> mentioned briefly as other distros such as Fedora 16 were affected too:
> I'm not sure whether this issue should get a CVE,

We have previously checked this with John W.Linville (Cc-ed on this post too)
with reply from him being as inlined below:


I think you understand it all correctly.



On Thu, 2012-05-17 at 12:44 +0200, Jan Lieskovsky wrote:
 > Hello John,
 >    this is due the following Novell bug:
 >    [1]
 > I have checked that Fedora hostapd versions, have permissions like
 > (thus insecure too):
 > # ls -l /etc/hostapd/hostapd.conf
 > -rw-r--r--. 1 root root 722 Feb  9  2011 /etc/hostapd/hostapd.conf
 > I am taking the default content of /etc/hostapd/hostapd.conf
 > as an example configuration (thus something which should the
 > administrator of the system to update to reflect their needs
 > to get hostapd for their wireless network configuration to
 > work properly.
 > Thus as such I would say this is just issue of proper configuration
 > (in the moment of editing the configuration file the administrator
 > should update the permissions on the config file too to ensure WPA
 > password wouldn't leak, right?), than a real security flaw.
 > Do you agree with this view or should I request CVE identifier
 > for this issue and we should get hostapd packages in Fedora updated
 > to correct this?
 > Thank you && Regards, Jan.
 > --
 > Jan iankko Lieskovsky / Red Hat Security Response Team
 > P.S.:
 > For the other part of Novell bug (permissions for hostapd.wpa_psk
 > in Fedora versions there doesn't seem to be other hostapd.wpa_psk
 > than just:
 > /usr/share/doc/hostapd-0.7.3/hostapd.wpa_psk
 > which I think is there for documentation / config sample purposes).
 > Thus I would not consider this second part as a security issue.
John W. Linville            The water won't run clean until you get                       the pigs out of the creek.


Thus basically from the above, we wouldn't look at this one as a
security flaw, because this is more question of proper configuration,
rather than a real security flaw (the administrator needs in any
case edit /etc/hostapd/hostapd.conf it to suite their needs / their
local wireless configuration before being able to use the hostapd
service. And in that moment [when entering sensitive WPA information
there], they should also change the permissions of the hostapd
configuration it to be more secure / not readable by all local users).

Thus maybe something to be explicitly mentioned in the documentation
(change permissions of the config file post update), but not a security

> but in the past similar
> vulnerabilities got a CVE (e.g. CVE-2012-0863).

 From and
mainly from:

the passwords in this case were stored in plaintext in the database,
which is something slightly different.

Hope this helps.

Regards, Jan.
Jan iankko Lieskovsky / Red Hat Security Response Team

> Thanks,
> Matthias

Powered by blists - more mailing lists

Please check out the Open Source Software Security Wiki, which is counterpart to this mailing list.

Confused about mailing lists and their use? Read about mailing lists on Wikipedia and check out these guidelines on proper formatting of your messages.