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f2c: Insecure temporary file creation


1.  Gentoo Linux Security Advisory

Version Information

Advisory Reference GLSA 200501-43 / f2c
Release Date January 30, 2005
Latest Revision January 30, 2005: 01
Impact normal
Exploitable local
Package Vulnerable versions Unaffected versions Architecture(s)
dev-lang/f2c <= 20030320 >= 20030320-r1 All supported architectures

Related bugreports: #79725


f2c is vulnerable to symlink attacks, potentially allowing a local user to overwrite arbitrary files.

2.  Impact Information


f2c is a Fortran to C translator. Portage uses this package in some ebuilds to build Fortran sources.


Javier Fernandez-Sanguino Pena from the Debian Security Audit Team discovered that f2c creates temporary files in world-writeable directories with predictable names.


A local attacker could create symbolic links in the temporary files directory, pointing to a valid file somewhere on the filesystem. When f2c is executed, this would result in the file being overwritten with the rights of the user running the software, which could be the root user.

3.  Resolution Information


There is no known workaround at this time.


All f2c users should upgrade to the latest version:

Code Listing 3.1: Resolution

# emerge --sync
# emerge --ask --oneshot --verbose ">=dev-lang/f2c-20030320-r1"

4.  References


Page updated January 30, 2005

Summary: This is a Gentoo Linux Security Advisory

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