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Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2012 18:05:40 +0100
From: Frank Lanitz <>
To: Jan Lieskovsky <>
Cc: "Steven M. Christey" <>,, Nick Treleaven
 <>, Colomban Wendling
 <>, Enrico Troeger <>,
 Matthew Brush <>,,
Subject: Re: Geany IDE not escaping filenames during compilation / build - a
 security issue or not?

Hi folks, 

On Wed, 12 Dec 2012 11:51:33 -0500 (EST)
Jan Lieskovsky <> wrote:

>   Background: Geany is a small and fast integrated development
> enviroment with basic features and few dependencies to other packages
> or Desktop Environments.
> Based on (you might need to click 'Yes, I agree' OK to
> get the exploit code in [2]):
> [1]
> [2]
> it was found that Geany is not escaping filenames (when compiling /
> building source) prior passing the final command line to shell.
> The questions:
> 1) should Geany escape the filenames?,
> 2) is this a security issue or not?
> Two views:
> * view #1 - it shouldn't escape the filenames. It's just IDE,
> so what it obtains as input is passed to shell for execution.
> * view #2 - it should escape the filenames (because this is what
> shell / bash is doing) prior making the build.
> Obviously, even for gcc you can pass specially-crafted filename,
> when attempt to build it would lead to "ls -la" command (for example)
> to be executed.
> I by myself am not sure / not able to decide here.
> Steve, could you hint? Does Mitre have some guidance / document,
> how to deal with cases like this one?

I didn't try it out by now. 

Even though this is really not the best behavior at least I don't see
a real security issue here. Of course you could download a file called
foo.c"rm -rf /", open it and try to run it, but this would only be
executed with user's context which in the end doesn't make any
differences whether you having a shell script like

rm -rf /;

or"rm -rf /" downloading. /dev/user is needed

However, should be fixed of course as its dangerous behavior
nevertheless. ;)

Just my 2ct. 

Frank Lanitz <>

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