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Date: Sat, 22 Nov 2014 09:25:31 -0800
From: Russ Allbery <>
To: Tim Brown <>
Subject: Re: Running Java across a privilege boundry

Tim Brown <> writes:

> Does anyone know of any obvious cases where Java is executed across a
> privilege boundary? I'm specifically thinking of cases where it might be
> executed via sudo, via another set[ug]id binary or where it gets called
> from an untrusted working directory i.e. one not owned by the calling
> user?

"sudo service tomcat6 restart" would be a pretty obvious example that I
suspect is not uncommon in server environments.

In general, Java is a general-purpose programming language, so I think
there are plenty of examples of this just like there are with any other
programming language.  Any large system written in Java probably has a few
Java command-line tools or ways to spawn Java daemons, and in the normal
course of setting up a system, it's likely that someone is granting access
to run those tools via sudo.

Russ Allbery (              <>

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