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Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2018 17:32:20 -0600
From: Leonid Isaev <>
Subject: Re: Re: More Ghostscript Issues: Should we disable PS
 coders in policy.xml by default?

On Wed, Sep 05, 2018 at 03:13:53PM -0400, Stuart Gathman wrote:
> Postscript is a general purpose programming language.  It can do
> anything to your system that a C or Python program could.  The SAFER
> sandbox was supposed to be able to prevent untrusted postscript code
> from doing serious damage.  But this series of bugs shows that the
> sandbox is very flawed, and running untrusted postscript relying only on
> the SAFER sandbox is a very bad idea.
> What I need to study, is whether random PDF files from the internet (as
> opposed to general postscript) are therefore malware vectors.  I thought
> that PDF used a restricted subset of operations that "rendered" it not a
> general purpose language and therefore "safe".   But if SAFER was the
> implementation of that restricted subset, then all internet PDFs are
> suspect.

In addition to that, pdf files can contains things like javascript... There are
some python tools to analyze them and detect (even obfuscated JS) -- see [1]
and links therein. But yes, unless you generate a pdf/ps file yourself (e.g.
with pdflatex or a graphics program), you should consider it untrusted.



Leonid Isaev

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