Sep 25th, 2014
Red Hat has been made aware of a vulnerability affecting all versions of the bash package as shipped with RedHat/CentOS/Debian and other products.
This vulnerability allows arbitrary code execution. Certain services and applications allow remote unauthenticated attackers to provide environment variables, allowing them to exploit this issue.
This issue affects all products which use the Bash shell and parse values of environment variables. This issue is especially dangerous as there are many possible ways Bash can be called by an application. Quite often if an application executes another binary, Bash is invoked to accomplish this. Because of the pervasive use of the Bash shell, this issue is quite serious and should be treated as such.
To better understand the magnitude of this issue and how it affects various configurations, the below list is not exhaustive, but is meant to give some examples of how this issue affects certain configurations, and why the high level of complexity makes it impossible to specify something is not affected by this issue. The best course of action is to upgrade Bash to a fixed version.
|httpd||CGI scripts are likely affected by this issue: when a CGI script is run by the web server, it uses environment variables to pass data to the script. These environment variables can be controlled by the attacker. If the CGI script calls Bash, the script could execute arbitrary code as the httpd user. mod_php, mod_perl, and mod_python do not use environment variables and we believe they are not affected.|
|Secure Shell (SSH)||It is not uncommon to restrict remote commands that a user can run via SSH, such as rsync or git. In these instances, this issue can be used to execute any command, not just the restricted command.|
|dhclient||The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol Client (dhclient) is used to automatically obtain network configuration information via DHCP. This client uses various environment variables and runs Bash to configure the network interface. Connecting to a malicious DHCP server could allow an attacker to run arbitrary code on the client machine.|
|CUPS||It is believed that CUPS is affected by this issue. Various user supplied values are stored in environment variables when cups filters are executed.|
|sudo||Commands run via sudo are not affected by this issue. Sudo specifically looks for environment variables that are also functions. It could still be possible for the running command to set an environment variable that could cause a Bash child process to execute arbitrary code.|
|Firefox||We do not believe Firefox can be forced to set an environment variable in a manner that would allow Bash to run arbitrary commands. It is still advisable to upgrade Bash as it is common to install various plug-ins and extensions that could allow this behavior.|
|Postfix||The Postfix server will replace various characters with a ?. While the Postfix server does call Bash in a variety of ways, we do not believe an arbitrary environment variable can be set by the server. It is however possible that a filter could set environment variables.|
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