Broken Links in Linux File Systems can be a Security Risk

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Security

BROKEN LINKS in Linux file systems are not just annoying — they can also be a security risk. In a previous post, I discussed the potential dangers of unowned files and in this post I will talk about those annoying, resource consuming broken links usually considered simple file system “lint”.

I recently spoke to a Security Blanket™ customer and they asked me, "Why does Security Blanket report on these broken links?" I responded with a typical, technical explanation of...

"It [Security Blanket™] was trying to determine the file's existing access controls by using stat(2) not lstat(2). This call was unsuccessful because the target file was non-existent therefore, we want you to be aware of this 'lint'."

Although I could not see their face, I am sure their eyes were rolling at my somewhat cryptic response. Later that day, I contemplated the existence of broken links and realized they are a potential security risk — in the form of a Trojan Horse.

Common Uses of Links