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CERT Vendor-Initiated Bulletin VB-95:05 - OSF

  • From: CERT Bulletin
  • Date: Fri Jul 21 17:19:51 1995

CERT Vendor-Initiated Bulletin VB-95:05
July 21, 1995

Topic: OSF/DCE Security Hole 
Source: Open Software Foundation (OSF)


To aid in the wide distribution of essential security information, the CERT
Coordination Center is forwarding the following information from the Open
Software Foundation. OSF urges you to act on this information as soon as
possible. OSF contact information is included in the forwarded text
below; please contact them if you have any questions or need further
information.


========================FORWARDED TEXT STARTS HERE============================

                   Advisory on OSF/DCE Security Hole
                             July 19, 1995
     
    
       It has been discovered that OSF/DCE security has a flawed aliasing
       mechanism in its registry that can potentially yield a less secure
       DCE cell.

     PROBLEM:
       Multiple administrators in a DCE cell (i.e., principals with the
       privileges required to create principals and accounts within the DCE
       registry), some of which are intended to be less trusted than the
       cell administrator (e.g., principals intended to be restricted to
       create principals and accounts only within a subset of DCE registry
       name space), cannot be prevented from acquiring full privileges of
       the cell administrator. Due to a flaw in the DCE security registry
       such less privileged administrators are able to gain full privileges
       by creating an alias to the cell administrator. The security server
       grants an alias principal full rights of the principal it is aliased
       to.

       DCE security registry principals are generally not allowed to create
       accounts. Only an account designated as some type of administrator,
       by explicitly creating ACL entries for that principal, allows it to
       do things to the registry that normal users are not allowed to do,
       that is, create principals and accounts in a certain part of the
       security name space. In OSF/DCE as it ships, only cell_admin is
       given such privileges. To that effect, the DCE cell administrator can
       prevent any loss of security by following the guidelines described
       below.

     HOW TO AVOID:
       This security hole has existed in all releases of OSF/DCE todate.
       To avoid the problem in releases prior to OSF/DCE 1.1, the DCE cell
       administrators should not explicitly give registry administration
       rights to principals that would not otherwise have access to the
       cell administrator account itself. As distributed by OSF, only
       cell_admin is given such rights.

       OSF is in the process of providing a fix for this defect to DCE 1.1
       support licensees for them to apply to their DCE 1.1 based products.
       The end-users may ask their DCE vendors for such a fix. All future
       releases of OSF/DCE will have this fix incorporated.

     **********************************************************************

     OSF Systems Engineering

     Open Software Foundation
     11 Cambridge Center,
     Cambridge, MA 02142

     Telephone: +1 617 621 8990
     E-mail:    dce-support-admin@osf.org


=========================FORWARDED TEXT ENDS HERE=============================


CERT bulletins, CERT advisories, information about FIRST representatives, and
other information related to computer security are available for anonymous 
FTP from info.cert.org. 

CERT advisories and bulletins are also posted on the USENET newsgroup
comp.security.announce. If you would like to have future advisories and
bulletins mailed to you or to a mail exploder at your site, please send mail
to cert-advisory-request@cert.org.

If you wish to send sensitive incident or vulnerability information to
CERT staff by electronic mail, we strongly advise that the e-mail be
encrypted.  The CERT Coordination Center can support a shared DES key, PGP
(public key available via anonymous FTP on info.cert.org), or PEM (contact
CERT staff for details).

Internet email: cert@cert.org
Telephone: +1 412-268-7090 (24-hour hotline)
           CERT personnel answer 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. EST(GMT-5)/EDT(GMT-4),
           and are on call for emergencies during other hours.
Fax: +1 412-268-6989

CERT Coordination Center
Software Engineering Institute
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
USA




CERT is a service mark of Carnegie Mellon University.




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