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Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2017 22:01:10 +0100
From: Simon McVittie <>
Subject: CVE-2017-9780: Flatpak: privilege escalation via
 setuid/world-writable file permissions

Impact: privilege escalation
Attack range: local
Vulnerable: all versions < 0.8.7, 0.9.x < 0.9.6
Fixed in: 0.8.x >= 0.8.7, all versions >= 0.9.6

Flatpak is a desktop application distribution framework for Linux.

Colin Walters discovered a security vulnerability in versions of Flatpak
prior to 0.8.7. A third-party app repository could include malicious apps
that contain files with inappropriate permissions, for example setuid or
world-writable. Older Flatpak versions would deploy the files with those
permissions, which would let a local attacker run the setuid executable
(escalating their privileges) or write to the world-writable location.

In the case of the system helper used when an app is installed
system-wide, files deployed as part of the app are owned by root, so
in the worst case the app repository could arrange for a setuid root
executable to be present.

There are several mitigations:

* The sandboxed apps installed by Flatpak are run with PR_SET_NO_NEW_PRIVS,
  so the Flatpak app itself cannot escalate privileges via setuid.
* The attacker making use of these inappropriate permissions to escalate
  privileges must be local.
* If you are using Flatpak to install apps from a third-party vendor,
  then there is already a trust relationship: the app is sandboxed, but
  the third-party vendor chooses what parameters are used for the sandbox.
* The default polkit policies will not allow apps to be installed
  system-wide unless a privileged (root-equivalent) user has added the
  third-party app repository, which indicates that the privileged user
  trusts the operator of that repository.

This vulnerability is tracked as
<>, and as CVE-2017-9780.

In the 0.8.x stable branch this vulnerability was fixed in version 0.8.7.

In the 0.9.x development branch this vulnerability was fixed in version

Simon McVittie
Collabora Ltd. / Debian

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