Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Responsible Disclosure, and Amarok 1.4.10

Filed under
Software

Yesterday we released Amarok 1.4.10, an unanticipated security release. From the Release Anouncement you may notice that we gave thanks to Google Alerts for notifying us of this vulnerability. This was perfectly accurate.

I want to say up front that the security value of this vulnerability rates so low that it's amazing Secunia even bothered with it. It requires local access (or at least, a shell prompt), and it requires our code parsing a file whose name was hardcoded to execute the code (doesn't)/overflow a buffer (doesn't)/do things incorrectly (doesn't). At worst, you could maybe make Amarok crash, and since this would be a race condition, you'd have to be extremely lucky, and this could only happen between when the user was downloading the Magnatune database and when it was being parsed. Not exactly mission-critical. So, the actual threat of the vulnerability was approximately nil. That wasn't the driving factor behind the sudden release -- the driving factor was the fact that since Secunia did issue an advisory, we wanted to respond to it as soon as possible. Which should have been 36 hours before. Here's where the bungling comes in.

At midnight Tuesday morning, Dwayne Litzenberger posts a bug report on the public Debian bug tracker with snippets of code from Amarok, and the following:

I'm not familiar enough with Qt to be sure, but it looks to me like the code creating a temporary file insecurely. At minimum, I think this code will break if another user has already created /tmp/album_info.xml (thus preventing the current user from deleting it).

More Here




More in Tux Machines

35 Open Source Tools for the Internet of Things

In a nutshell, IoT is about using smart devices to collect data that is transmitted via the Internet to other devices. It's closely related to machine-to-machine (M2M) technology. While the concept had been around for some time, the term "Internet of Things" was first used in 1999 by Kevin Ashton, who was a Procter & Gamble employee at the time. Read more

IoT tinkerers get new Linux hub & open platforms

Cloud Media, the maker of entertainment box Popcorn Hour, launched a project on Kickstarter, Inc. that will add to the growing number of smart hubs for people to connect and control smart devices. Called the STACK Box, it features a Cavium ARM11 core processor, 256MB DDR3 RAM, 512MB flash, SD slot, 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth LE 4.0, Z-Wave, standard 10/100 Ethernet port, optional X10 wired communication, 5 USB 2.0 ports, RS-232 port, 2 optocoupler I/O, Xbee Bus, Raspberry Pi-compatible 26-pin bus and runs Linus Kernel 3.10. IT also features optional wireless communications for Dust Networks and Insteon with RF433/315, EnOcean, ZigBee, XBee, DCLink, RFID, IR coming soon. Read more

Citrix and Google partner to bring native enterprise features to Chromebooks

Chromebooks are making inroads into the education sector, and a push is coming for the enterprise with new native Chrome capabilities from Citrix. Google and Citrix have announced Citrix Receiver for Chrome, a native app for the Chromebook which has direct access to the system resources, including printing, audio, and video. To provide the security needed for the enterprise, the new Citrix app assigns a unique Receiver ID to each device for monitoring, seamless Clipboard integration across remote and local applications, end user experience monitoring with HDX Insight, and direct SSL connections. Read more

Is Open Source an Open Invitation to Hack Webmail Encryption?

While the open source approach to software development has proven its value over and over again, the idea of opening up the code for security features to anyone with eyeballs still creates anxiety in some circles. Such worries are ill-founded, though. One concern about opening up security code to anyone is that anyone will include the NSA, which has a habit of discovering vulnerabilities and sitting on them so it can exploit them at a later time. Such discoveries shouldn't be a cause of concern, argued Phil Zimmermann, creator of PGP, the encryption scheme Yahoo and Google will be using for their webmail. Read more