{ Josh Rendek }

<3 Ruby & Go

Why setuid Is Bad and What You Can Do

Feb 26, 2013 - 11 minutes

Why setuid is Bad

setuid allows a binary to be run as a different user then the one invoking it. For example, ping needs to use low level system interfaces (socket, PF_INET, SOCK_RAW, etc) in order to function properly. We can watch this in action by starting ping in another terminal window ( ping google.com ) and then using strace to see the syscall’s being made:

sudo strace -p PID and we get the following:

1munmap(0x7f329e7ea000, 4096)            = 0stat("/etc/resolv.conf", {st_mode=S_IFREG|0644, st_size=185, ...}) = 0
2socket(PF_INET, SOCK_DGRAM|SOCK_NONBLOCK, IPPROTO_IP) = 4
3connect(4, {sa_family=AF_INET, sin_port=htons(53), sin_addr=inet_addr("8.8.8.8")}, 16) = 0

We can find all setuid programs installed by issuing the command:

1sudo find / -xdev \( -perm -4000 \) -type f -print0 -exec ls -l {} \;

This will find all commands that have the root setuid bit set in their permission bit.

Of particular interest in OpenBSD, where a lot of work was done to remove and switch programs from needing to use setuid/gid permissions. OpenIndiana is the worst offender and has the widest vector for attack.

setuid escalation is a common attack vector and can allow unprivileged code to be executed by a regular user, and then escalate itself to root and drop you in on the root shell.

Here are a few examples:

CVE-2012-0056: Exploiting /proc/pid/mem

http://blog.zx2c4.com/749 - C code that uses a bug in the way the Linux kernel checked permissions on /proc/pid/mem and then uses that to exploit the su binary to give a root shell.

CVE-2010-3847: Exploiting via $ORIGIN and file descriptors

http://www.exploit-db.com/exploits/15274/ - By exploiting a hole in the way the $ORIGIN is checked, a symlink can be made to a program that uses setuid and exec’d ‘to obtain the file descriptors which then lets arbitrary code injection (in this case a call to system("/bin/bash")).

More of these can be found at http://www.exploit-db.com/shellcode/ and just searching google for setuid exploits.

So you may not want to completely disable the setuid flag on all the binaries for your distribution, but we can turn on some logging to watch when they’re getting called and install a kernel patch that will secure the OS and help prevent 0-days that may prey on setuid vulnerabilities.

How to log setuid calls

I will detail the steps to do this on Ubuntu, but they should apply to the other audit daemons on CentOS.

Let’s first install auditd: sudo apt-get install auditd

Let’s open up /etc/audit/audit.rules, and with a few tweaks with vim, we can insert the list we generated with find into the audit rule set (explanation of each flag after the jump):

 1# This file contains the auditctl rules that are loaded# whenever the audit daemon is started via the initscripts.
 2# The rules are simply the parameters that would be passed
 3# to auditctl.
 4
 5# First rule - delete all
 6-D
 7
 8# Increase the buffers to survive stress events.
 9# Make this bigger for busy systems
10-b 320
11
12# Feel free to add below this line. See auditctl man page
13
14-a always,exit -F path=/usr/lib/pt_chown -F perm=x -F auid>=500 -F auid!=4294967295 -k privileged
15-a always,exit -F path=/usr/lib/eject/dmcrypt-get-device -F perm=x -F auid>=500 -F auid!=4294967295 -k privileged
16-a always,exit -F path=/usr/lib/dbus-1.0/dbus-daemon-launch-helper -F perm=x -F auid>=500 -F auid!=4294967295 -k privileged
17-a always,exit -F path=/usr/lib/openssh/ssh-keysign -F perm=x -F auid>=500 -F auid!=4294967295 -k privileged
18-a always,exit -F path=/usr/sbin/uuidd -F perm=x -F auid>=500 -F auid!=4294967295 -k privileged
19-a always,exit -F path=/usr/sbin/pppd -F perm=x -F auid>=500 -F auid!=4294967295 -k privileged
20-a always,exit -F path=/usr/bin/at -F perm=x -F auid>=500 -F auid!=4294967295 -k privileged
21-a always,exit -F path=/usr/bin/passwd -F perm=x -F auid>=500 -F auid!=4294967295 -k privileged
22-a always,exit -F path=/usr/bin/mtr -F perm=x -F auid>=500 -F auid!=4294967295 -k privileged
23-a always,exit -F path=/usr/bin/sudoedit -F perm=x -F auid>=500 -F auid!=4294967295 -k privileged
24-a always,exit -F path=/usr/bin/traceroute6.iputils -F perm=x -F auid>=500 -F auid!=4294967295 -k privileged
25-a always,exit -F path=/usr/bin/chsh -F perm=x -F auid>=500 -F auid!=4294967295 -k privileged
26-a always,exit -F path=/usr/bin/sudo -F perm=x -F auid>=500 -F auid!=4294967295 -k privileged
27-a always,exit -F path=/usr/bin/chfn -F perm=x -F auid>=500 -F auid!=4294967295 -k privileged
28-a always,exit -F path=/usr/bin/gpasswd -F perm=x -F auid>=500 -F auid!=4294967295 -k privileged
29-a always,exit -F path=/usr/bin/newgrp -F perm=x -F auid>=500 -F auid!=4294967295 -k privileged
30-a always,exit -F path=/bin/fusermount -F perm=x -F auid>=500 -F auid!=4294967295 -k privileged
31-a always,exit -F path=/bin/umount -F perm=x -F auid>=500 -F auid!=4294967295 -k privileged
32-a always,exit -F path=/bin/ping -F perm=x -F auid>=500 -F auid!=4294967295 -k privileged
33-a always,exit -F path=/bin/ping6 -F perm=x -F auid>=500 -F auid!=4294967295 -k privileged
34-a always,exit -F path=/bin/su -F perm=x -F auid>=500 -F auid!=4294967295 -k privileged
35-a always,exit -F path=/bin/mount -F perm=x -F auid>=500 -F auid!=4294967295 -k privileged
1-a: appends the always, and exit rules. This says to always make a log at syscall entry and syscall exit.
2-F
3     path= says filter to the executable being called
4     perm=x says filter on the program being executable
5     auid>= says log all calls for users who have a UID above 500 (regular user accounts start at 1000 generally)
6     auid!=4294967295 sometimes a process may start before the auditd, in which case it will get a auid of 4294967295
7-k passes a filter key that will be put into the record log, in this case its "privileged"

So now when we run ping google.com we can see a full audit trail in /var/log/audit/audit.log:

1type=SYSCALL msg=audit(1361852594.621:48): arch=c000003e syscall=59 success=yes exit=0 a0=f43de8 a1=d40488 a2=ed8008 a3=7fffc9c9a150 items=2 ppid=1464 pid=1631 auid=1000 uid=1000 gid=1000 euid=0 suid=0 fsuid=0 egid=1000 sgid=1000 fsgid=1000 tty=pts1 ses=6 comm="ping" exe="/bin/ping" key="privileged"type=EXECVE msg=audit(1361852594.621:48): argc=2 a0="ping" a1="google.com"
2type=BPRM_FCAPS msg=audit(1361852594.621:48): fver=0 fp=0000000000000000 fi=0000000000000000 fe=0 old_pp=0000000000000000 old_pi=0000000000000000 old_pe=0000000000000000 new_pp=ffffffffffffffff new_pi=0000000000000000 new_pe=ffffffffffffffff
3type=CWD msg=audit(1361852594.621:48):  cwd="/home/ubuntu"
4type=PATH msg=audit(1361852594.621:48): item=0 name="/bin/ping" inode=131711 dev=08:01 mode=0104755 ouid=0 ogid=0 rdev=00:00
5type=PATH msg=audit(1361852594.621:48): item=1 name=(null) inode=934 dev=08:01 mode=0100755 ouid=0 ogid=0 rdev=00:00

Next steps: Patching and upgrading the kernel with GRSecurity

GRSecurity is an awesome tool in the security-minded system administrators toolbag. It will prevent zero days (like the proc mem exploit explained above 1 ) by securing which areas a user can access. A full list can be seen at http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Grsecurity/Appendix/Grsecurity_and_PaX_Configuration_Options and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grsecurity#Miscellaneous_features, I suggest going through these and seeing if you want to continue with this.

The following below is for advanced users. Not responsible for any issues you may run into, please make sure to test this in a staging/test environment.

Here are the steps I followed to install the patch:

 1# Start by downloading the latest kernel
 2wget http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v3.0/linux-3.2.39.tar.bz2
 3
 4# Next extract it
 5tar xjvf linux-3.2.39.tar.bz2
 6cd linux-3.2.39
 7
 8# Copy over your current kernel configuration:
 9cp -vi /boot/config-`uname -r` .config
10
11# Updates the config file to match old config and prompts for any new kernel options.
12make oldconfig
13
14# This will make sure only modules get compiled only if they are in your kernel.
15make localmodconfig
16
17# Bring up the configuration menu
18make menuconfig

Once your in the menu config you can browse to the Security section and go to Grsecurity and enable it. I set the configuration method to automatic and then went to Customize. For example, you can now go to Kernel Auditing -> Exec logging to turn on some additional logging to shell activities (WARNING: this will generate a lot of log activity, decide if you want to use this or not). I suggest going through all of these and reading through their menu help descriptions (when selecting one, press the ? key to bring up the help).

Now we’ll finish making the kernel and compiling it:

1# Now we can compile the kernel
2make -j2 # where 2 is the # of CPU's + 1
3
4# Install and load the dynamic kernel modules
5sudo make modules_install
6
7# Finally install kernel
8sudo make install

We can now reboot and boot into our GRsecurity patched kernel!

Hopefully this article has provided some insight into what the setuid flag does, how it has and can be exploited, and what we can do to prevent this in the future.

Here are a few links to useful books on the subject of shellcode and exploits that I reccomend:

Below is the list of setuid binaries on each OS

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (22)

back to top

 1-rwsr-xr-x 1 root    root        31304 Mar  2  2012 /bin/fusermount-rwsr-xr-x 1 root    root        94792 Mar 30  2012 /bin/mount
 2-rwsr-xr-x 1 root    root        35712 Nov  8  2011 /bin/ping
 3-rwsr-xr-x 1 root    root        40256 Nov  8  2011 /bin/ping6
 4-rwsr-xr-x 1 root    root        36832 Sep 12 18:29 /bin/su
 5-rwsr-xr-x 1 root    root        69096 Mar 30  2012 /bin/umount
 6-rwsr-sr-x 1 daemon  daemon      47928 Oct 25  2011 /usr/bin/at
 7-rwsr-xr-x 1 root    root        41832 Sep 12 18:29 /usr/bin/chfn
 8-rwsr-xr-x 1 root    root        37096 Sep 12 18:29 /usr/bin/chsh
 9-rwsr-xr-x 1 root    root        63848 Sep 12 18:29 /usr/bin/gpasswd
10-rwsr-xr-x 1 root    root        62400 Jul 28  2011 /usr/bin/mtr
11-rwsr-xr-x 1 root    root        32352 Sep 12 18:29 /usr/bin/newgrp
12-rwsr-xr-x 1 root    root        42824 Sep 12 18:29 /usr/bin/passwd
13-rwsr-xr-x 2 root    root        71288 May 31  2012 /usr/bin/sudo
14-rwsr-xr-x 2 root    root        71288 May 31  2012 /usr/bin/sudoedit
15-rwsr-xr-x 1 root    root        18912 Nov  8  2011 /usr/bin/traceroute6.iputils
16-rwsr-xr-- 1 root    messagebus 292944 Oct  3 13:03 /usr/lib/dbus-1.0/dbus-daemon-launch-helper
17-rwsr-xr-x 1 root    root        10408 Dec 13  2011 /usr/lib/eject/dmcrypt-get-device
18-rwsr-xr-x 1 root    root       240984 Apr  2  2012 /usr/lib/openssh/ssh-keysign
19-rwsr-xr-x 1 root    root        10592 Oct  5 16:08 /usr/lib/pt_chown
20-rwsr-xr-- 1 root    dip        325744 Feb  4  2011 /usr/sbin/pppd
21-rwsr-sr-x 1 libuuid libuuid     18856 Mar 30  2012 /usr/sbin/uuidd

CentOS 6.3 (21)

back to top

 1-rwsr-xr-x. 1 root root  76056 Nov  5 05:21 /bin/mount-rwsr-xr-x. 1 root root  40760 Jul 19  2011 /bin/ping
 2-rwsr-xr-x. 1 root root  36488 Jul 19  2011 /bin/ping6
 3-rwsr-xr-x. 1 root root  34904 Jun 22  2012 /bin/su
 4-rwsr-xr-x. 1 root root  50496 Nov  5 05:21 /bin/umount
 5-rwsr-x---. 1 root dbus  46232 Sep 13 13:04 /lib64/dbus-1/dbus-daemon-launch-helper
 6-rwsr-xr-x. 1 root root  10272 Apr 16  2012 /sbin/pam_timestamp_check
 7-rwsr-xr-x. 1 root root  34840 Apr 16  2012 /sbin/unix_chkpwd
 8-rwsr-xr-x. 1 root root  54240 Jan 30  2012 /usr/bin/at
 9-rwsr-xr-x. 1 root root  66352 Dec  7  2011 /usr/bin/chage
10-rws--x--x. 1 root root  20184 Nov  5 05:21 /usr/bin/chfn
11-rws--x--x. 1 root root  20056 Nov  5 05:21 /usr/bin/chsh
12-rwsr-xr-x. 1 root root  47520 Jul 19  2011 /usr/bin/crontab
13-rwsr-xr-x. 1 root root  71480 Dec  7  2011 /usr/bin/gpasswd
14-rwsr-xr-x. 1 root root  36144 Dec  7  2011 /usr/bin/newgrp
15-rwsr-xr-x. 1 root root  30768 Feb 22  2012 /usr/bin/passwd
16---s--x--x. 2 root root 219272 Aug  6  2012 /usr/bin/sudo
17---s--x--x. 2 root root 219272 Aug  6  2012 /usr/bin/sudoedit
18-rwsr-xr-x. 1 root root 224912 Nov  9 07:49 /usr/libexec/openssh/ssh-keysign
19-rws--x--x. 1 root root  14280 Jan 31 06:30 /usr/libexec/pt_chown
20-rwsr-xr-x. 1 root root   9000 Sep 17 05:55 /usr/sbin/usernetctl

OpenBSD 5.2 (3)

back to top

1-r-sr-xr-x  1 root  bin       242808 Aug  1  2012 /sbin/ping-r-sr-xr-x  1 root  bin       263288 Aug  1  2012 /sbin/ping6
2-r-sr-x---  1 root  operator  222328 Aug  1  2012 /sbin/shutdown

OpenIndiana 11 (53)

back to top

 1-rwsr-xr-x   1 root     bin        64232 Jun 30  2012 /sbin/wificonfig--wS--lr-x   1 root     root           0 Dec 11 15:20 /media/.hal-mtab-lock
 2-r-sr-xr-x   1 root     bin       206316 Dec 11 21:00 /usr/lib/ssh/ssh-keysign
 3-rwsr-xr-x   1 root     adm        12140 Jun 30  2012 /usr/lib/acct/accton
 4-r-sr-xr-x   1 root     bin        23200 Jun 30  2012 /usr/lib/fs/ufs/quota
 5-r-sr-xr-x   1 root     bin       111468 Jun 30  2012 /usr/lib/fs/ufs/ufsrestore
 6-r-sr-xr-x   1 root     bin       106964 Jun 30  2012 /usr/lib/fs/ufs/ufsdump
 7-r-sr-xr-x   1 root     bin        18032 Jun 30  2012 /usr/lib/fs/smbfs/umount
 8-r-sr-xr-x   1 root     bin        18956 Jun 30  2012 /usr/lib/fs/smbfs/mount
 9-r-sr-xr-x   1 root     bin        12896 Jun 30  2012 /usr/lib/utmp_update
10-r-sr-xr-x   1 root     bin        35212 Jun 30  2012 /usr/bin/fdformat
11-r-s--x--x   2 root     bin       188080 Jun 30  2012 /usr/bin/sudoedit
12-r-sr-xr-x   1 root     sys        34876 Jun 30  2012 /usr/bin/su
13-r-sr-xr-x   1 root     bin        42504 Jun 30  2012 /usr/bin/login
14-r-sr-xr-x   1 root     bin       257288 Jun 30  2012 /usr/bin/pppd
15-r-sr-xr-x   1 root     sys        46208 Jun 30  2012 /usr/bin/chkey
16-r-sr-xr-x   1 root     sys        29528 Jun 30  2012 /usr/bin/amd64/newtask
17-r-sr-xr-x   2 root     bin        24432 Jun 30  2012 /usr/bin/amd64/w
18-r-sr-xr-x   1 root     bin      3224200 Jun 30  2012 /usr/bin/amd64/Xorg
19-r-sr-xr-x   2 root     bin        24432 Jun 30  2012 /usr/bin/amd64/uptime
20-rwsr-xr-x   1 root     sys        47804 Jun 30  2012 /usr/bin/at
21-r-sr-xr-x   1 root     bin         8028 Jun 30  2012 /usr/bin/mailq
22-r-sr-xr-x   1 root     bin        33496 Jun 30  2012 /usr/bin/rsh
23-r-sr-xr-x   1 root     bin        68704 Jun 30  2012 /usr/bin/rmformat
24-r-sr-sr-x   1 root     sys        31292 Jun 30  2012 /usr/bin/passwd
25-rwsr-xr-x   1 root     sys        23328 Jun 30  2012 /usr/bin/atrm
26-r-sr-xr-x   1 root     bin        97072 Jun 30  2012 /usr/bin/xlock
27-r-sr-xr-x   1 root     bin        78672 Jun 30  2012 /usr/bin/rdist
28-r-sr-xr-x   1 root     bin        27072 Jun 30  2012 /usr/bin/sys-suspend
29-r-sr-xr-x   1 root     bin        29304 Jun 30  2012 /usr/bin/crontab
30-r-sr-xr-x   1 root     bin        53080 Jun 30  2012 /usr/bin/rcp
31-r-s--x--x   2 root     bin       188080 Jun 30  2012 /usr/bin/sudo
32-r-s--x--x   1 uucp     bin        70624 Jun 30  2012 /usr/bin/tip
33-rwsr-xr-x   1 root     sys        18824 Jun 30  2012 /usr/bin/atq
34-r-sr-xr-x   1 root     bin       281732 Jun 30  2012 /usr/bin/xscreensaver
35-r-sr-xr-x   1 root     bin      2767780 Jun 30  2012 /usr/bin/i86/Xorg
36-r-sr-xr-x   1 root     sys        22716 Jun 30  2012 /usr/bin/i86/newtask
37-r-sr-xr-x   2 root     bin        22020 Jun 30  2012 /usr/bin/i86/w
38-r-sr-xr-x   2 root     bin        22020 Jun 30  2012 /usr/bin/i86/uptime
39-rwsr-xr-x   1 root     sys        13636 Jun 30  2012 /usr/bin/newgrp
40-r-sr-xr-x   1 root     bin        39224 Jun 30  2012 /usr/bin/rlogin
41-rwsr-xr-x   1 svctag   daemon    108964 Jun 30  2012 /usr/bin/stclient
42-r-sr-xr-x   1 root     bin        29324 Jun 30  2012 /usr/xpg4/bin/crontab
43-rwsr-xr-x   1 root     sys        47912 Jun 30  2012 /usr/xpg4/bin/at
44-r-sr-xr-x   3 root     bin        41276 Jun 30  2012 /usr/sbin/deallocate
45-rwsr-xr-x   1 root     sys        32828 Jun 30  2012 /usr/sbin/sacadm
46-r-sr-xr-x   1 root     bin        46512 Jun 30  2012 /usr/sbin/traceroute
47-r-sr-xr-x   1 root     bin        18016 Jun 30  2012 /usr/sbin/i86/whodo
48-r-sr-xr-x   1 root     bin        55584 Jun 30  2012 /usr/sbin/ping
49-r-sr-xr-x   3 root     bin        41276 Jun 30  2012 /usr/sbin/allocate
50-r-sr-xr-x   1 root     bin        37320 Jun 30  2012 /usr/sbin/pmconfig
51-r-sr-xr-x   3 root     bin        41276 Jun 30  2012 /usr/sbin/list_devices
52-r-sr-xr-x   1 root     bin        24520 Jun 30  2012 /usr/sbin/amd64/whodo
comments powered by Disqus