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init scripts and su

The start scripts for some daemons do "su - user" or use
"start-stop-daemon -c" to launch the daemon, postgresql is one example.

During the time between the daemon launch and it closing it's file handles and 
calling setsid(2) (which some daemons don't do because they are buggy) any 
other code running in the same UID could take over the process via ptrace, 
fork off a child process that inherits the administrator tty, and then stuff 
characters into the keyboard buffer with ioctl(fd,TIOCSTI,&c) (*).

To address these issues for Fedora I have written a program named init_su.

init_su closes all file handles other than 1 and 2 (stdout and stderr).  File
handles 1 and 2 are fstat()'d, if they are regular files or pipes then they
are left open (no attack is possible through a file or pipe), otherwise they
are closed and /dev/null is opened instead.  /dev/null is opened for file
handle 0 regardless of what it might have pointed to previously.  Then
setsid() is called to create a new session for the process (make it a group
leader), this invalidates /dev/tty.  Then the uid is changed and the daemon
is started.

I have attached the source code to init_su, please check it out and tell me
what you think.  After the discussion concludes I will write a patch for 
start-stop-daemon to give similar functionality.

(*)  On system boot and shutdown there is no problem.  It's when the
administrator uses /etc/init.d/postgresql to start or stop the database that
there is potential for attack.


I have also started a similar discussion on the Fedora development list about 
this issue, see the above URL.

http://www.coker.com.au/selinux/   My NSA Security Enhanced Linux packages
http://www.coker.com.au/bonnie++/  Bonnie++ hard drive benchmark
http://www.coker.com.au/postal/    Postal SMTP/POP benchmark
http://www.coker.com.au/~russell/  My home page
#include <stdio.h>
#include <string.h>
#include <sys/types.h>
#include <sys/stat.h>
#include <fcntl.h>
#include <pwd.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <unistd.h>
#include <syslog.h>

void usage(const char * const msg)
    fprintf(stderr, "Error: %s\n\n", msg);
  fprintf(stderr, "Usage: init_su [-l] user -c command\n");

int main(int argc, char **argv)
  int i, fd;
  int login = 0;
  char *command = NULL, *user = NULL, *shell = NULL, *nu_argv[4];
  struct passwd *pw;

  int int_c = 0;
  while(int_c != -1)
    int_c = getopt(argc, argv, "-lc:s:");
      case 1:
        if(!strcmp(optarg, "-"))
          login = 1;
          user = optarg;
      case 'l':
        login = 1;
      case 's':
        shell = optarg;
      case 'c':
        command = optarg;
  if(!user || !command)
  pw = getpwnam(user);
    usage("User unknown.");
  if(setregid(pw->pw_gid, pw->pw_gid))
    usage("Can't setgid(), are you root?");
  if(setreuid(pw->pw_uid, pw->pw_uid))
    usage("Can't setuid(), are you root?");
    shell = pw->pw_shell;
    nu_argv[0] = strrchr(shell, '/');
      usage("Bad shell.");
    nu_argv[0] = strdup(nu_argv[0]);
    nu_argv[0][0] = '-';
    nu_argv[0] = shell;
  nu_argv[1] = "-c";
  nu_argv[2] = command;
  nu_argv[3] = NULL;
  for(i = 3; i < 1024; i++)
  openlog("initrc_su", LOG_CONS | LOG_NOWAIT, LOG_DAEMON);
  fd = open("/dev/null", O_RDWR);
  if(fd == -1)
    syslog(LOG_ERR, "Can't open /dev/null when trying to execute program %s", command);
    return 1;
  for(i = 0; i < 3; i++)
    struct stat sbuf;
    if(i != fd && (fstat(i, &sbuf) == -1 || (!S_ISREG(sbuf.st_mode) && !S_ISFIFO(sbuf.st_mode)) ))
      if(dup2(fd, i) != i)
        syslog(LOG_ERR, "Can't dup2() when trying to execute program %s", command);
        return 1;
  if(fd >= 3)
  setsid();  /* it's OK if this fails as we get the right result anyway */
  execv(shell, nu_argv);
  syslog(LOG_ERR, "Can't exec program %s", command);
  return 1;

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