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Date: Sun,  1 May 2016 10:02:15 -0400 (EDT)
From: cve-assign@...re.org
To: carnil@...ian.org
Cc: cve-assign@...re.org, oss-security@...ts.openwall.com
Subject: Re: CVE Request: libpam-sshauth: local root privilege escalation

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Hash: SHA256

> Due to a programming error, libpam-sshauth returned PAM_SUCCESS where
> it should fail with PAM_AUTH_ERR. This was fixed in Debian in the last
> upload to unstable with the attached patch.
> 
> https://bazaar.launchpad.net/~ltsp-upstream/ltsp/libpam-sshauth/revision/114

We can assign a CVE ID because it appears that something definitely is
wrong from the Debian perspective, either the code itself or
documentation/lack-of-documentation about how the code was supposed to
be used.

Use CVE-2016-4422.

However, we don't completely understand the issue:

> Introduced with:
> https://bazaar.launchpad.net/~ltsp-upstream/ltsp/libpam-sshauth/revision/93/src/pam_sshauth.c

Here, the commit message for revision 93 was "Succeed for system
accounts."

We don't know why introducing the undocumented behavior of "Is it a
system user? Fail" would be better than simply not checking
"pwent->pw_uid < UID_MIN" at all. Also, is there any risk that, with
this libpam-sshauth update, a system's PAM configuration might
suddenly provide no way for root to login via SSH?

Is it possible that the original motivation for revision 93 was that
the PAM_SUCCESS from pam_sm_authenticate was supposed to be specially
handled elsewhere in the "pwent->pw_uid < UID_MIN" case?

Although not directly applicable to libpam-sshauth, the examples
section of the
http://www.linux-pam.org/Linux-PAM-html/sag-pam_succeed_if.html man
page shows that a set of rules is sometimes designed with UID_MIN
special cases.

- -- 
CVE Assignment Team
M/S M300, 202 Burlington Road, Bedford, MA 01730 USA
[ A PGP key is available for encrypted communications at
  http://cve.mitre.org/cve/request_id.html ]
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