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Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2018 18:34:23 -0400
From: Alex Gaynor <>
Cc: Bob Friesenhahn <>
Subject: Re: ghostscript: bypassing executeonly to escape
 -dSAFER sandbox (CVE-2018-17961)

Would they consider making a build-time "safe PS only" flag that ensured it
was compiled without things like shell-invocation? Then we could just try
to convince Linux distros to package it that way :-)


On Tue, Oct 9, 2018 at 6:33 PM Tavis Ormandy <> wrote:

> On Tue, Oct 9, 2018 at 3:27 PM Perry E. Metzger <>
> wrote:
> > I keep wondering if there isn't a way to fully remove the dangerous
> > bits from a postscript interpreter so it can _only_ be used to view
> > the document and literally has no file system access compiled in at
> > all, so there's no way to touch the fs etc. regardless of what flags
> > the interpreter is invoked with.
> >
> > (I, too, find removing the ability to look at historical postscript
> > documents a bit more draconian than I like.)
> >
> >
> I've discussed it with upstream, it's a hard no because they feel it would
> make ghostscript non-conforming (i.e. non-conforming with the Adobe
> PostScript Language Reference Manual)
> We probably have similar thoughts on this, but that is the final word from
> upstream.
> Tavis.

All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing.

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