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GNU Automake symbolic link vulnerability


1.  Gentoo Linux Security Advisory

Version Information

Advisory Reference GLSA 200404-08 / automake
Release Date April 08, 2004
Latest Revision January 31, 2005: 05
Impact normal
Exploitable local
Package Vulnerable versions Unaffected versions Architecture(s)
sys-devel/automake <= 1.8.5-r2 >= 1.8.5-r3, revision >= 1.7.9-r1, < 1.7 All supported architectures

Related bugreports: #45646


Automake may be vulnerable to a symbolic link attack which may allow an attacker to modify data or elevate their privileges.

2.  Impact Information


Automake is a tool for automatically generating `' files which is often used in conjuction with Autoconf and other GNU Autotools to ease portability among applications. It also provides a standardized and light way of writing complex Makefiles through the use of many built-in macros.


Automake may be vulnerable to a symbolic link attack which may allow an attacker to modify data or escalate their privileges. This is due to the insecure way Automake creates directories during compilation. An attacker may be able to create symbolic links in the place of files contained in the affected directories, which may potentially lead to elevated privileges due to modification of data.


An attacker may be able to use this vulnerability to modify data in an unauthorized fashion or elevate their privileges.

3.  Resolution Information


A workaround is not currently known for this issue. All users are advised to upgrade to the latest version of the affected package.


Automake users should upgrade to the latest versions:

Code Listing 3.1: Resolution

# emerge --sync
# emerge --ask --oneshot --verbose sys-devel/automake


Page updated April 08, 2004

Summary: This is a Gentoo Linux Security Advisory

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