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OpenSC: Insufficient protection of smart card PIN


1.  Gentoo Linux Security Advisory

Version Information

Advisory Reference GLSA 200812-09 / opensc
Release Date December 10, 2008
Latest Revision December 10, 2008: 01
Impact normal
Exploitable local
Package Vulnerable versions Unaffected versions Architecture(s)
dev-libs/opensc < 0.11.6 >= 0.11.6 All supported architectures

Related bugreports: #233543


Smart cards formatted using OpenSC do not sufficiently protect the PIN, allowing attackers to reset it.

2.  Impact Information


OpenSC is a smart card application that allows reading and writing via PKCS#11.


Chaskiel M Grundman reported that OpenSC uses weak permissions (ADMIN file control information of 00) for the 5015 directory on smart cards and USB crypto tokens running Siemens CardOS M4.


A physically proximate attacker can exploit this vulnerability to change the PIN on a smart card and use it for authentication, leading to privilege escalation.

3.  Resolution Information


There is no known workaround at this time.


All OpenSC users should upgrade to the latest version, and then check and update their smart cards:

Code Listing 3.1: Resolution

# emerge --sync
# emerge --ask --oneshot --verbose ">=dev-libs/opensc-0.11.6"
# pkcs15-tool --test-update
# pkcs15-tool --test-update --update

4.  References


Page updated December 10, 2008

Summary: This is a Gentoo Linux Security Advisory

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