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Date: Wed, 5 Feb 2020 13:45:21 +0100
From: Matthias Gerstner <mgerstner@...e.de>
To: oss-security@...ts.openwall.com
Subject: CVE-2019-18901: mariadb: possible symlink attack for the mysql user
 in the SUSE specific mysql-systemd-helper script

Hello list,

in the course of a review of the mariadb packaging in the SUSE Linux
distribution I discovered that a SUSE specific helper script
"mysql-systemd-helper" unsafely operates with root privileges in
the /var/lib/mysql directory [1].

During initial package installation and during upgrade scenarios the
file /var/lib/mysql/mysql_upgrade_info is created/overwritten and
modified using the following shell commands:

```
echo -n "$MYSQLVER" > "$datadir"/mysql_upgrade_info
chmod 640 "$datadir/mysql_upgrade_info"
```

Since the unprivileged mysql user owns the parent directory it can
remove this file and replace it with a symlink to write/overwrite in
privileged file systems locations. This could mostly be used for
denial-of-service purposes, a full privilege escalation should not be
easily achieved by this vulnerability, since the file content cannot be
controlled by a potential attacker.

Future SUSE mariadb packages will keep this file in a safe location in
/var/lib/misc. Older, still supported packages will be fixed soon.

Cheers

Matthias

References
----------

[1]: https://bugzilla.suse.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1160895

-- 
Matthias Gerstner <matthias.gerstner@...e.de>
Dipl.-Wirtsch.-Inf. (FH), Security Engineer
https://www.suse.com/security
Phone: +49 911 740 53 290
GPG Key ID: 0x14C405C971923553

SUSE Software Solutions Germany GmbH
HRB 36809, AG Nürnberg
Geschäftsführer: Felix Imendörffer

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