Bug 12760 - lxc new security issue CVE-2013-6441
Summary: lxc new security issue CVE-2013-6441
Alias: None
Product: Mageia
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Security (show other bugs)
Version: 4
Hardware: i586 Linux
: Normal major
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: QA Team
QA Contact: Sec team
URL: http://lwn.net/Vulnerabilities/586062/
Whiteboard: MGA3TOO has_procedure mga3-32-ok mga3...
Keywords: validated_update
Depends on:
Reported: 2014-02-13 20:39 CET by David Walser
Modified: 2014-05-08 18:05 CEST (History)
7 users (show)

See Also:
Source RPM: lxc-0.9.0-5.mga4.src.rpm
Status comment:


Description David Walser 2014-02-13 20:39:25 CET
Ubuntu has issued an advisory on February 12:

Patched packages uploaded for Mageia 3, Mageia 4, and Cauldron.


Updated lxc packages fix security vulnerability:

Florian Sagar discovered that the LXC sshd template set incorrect mount permissions. An attacker could possibly use this flaw to cause privilege escalation on the host (CVE-2013-6441).


Updated packages in core/updates_testing:

from SRPMS:


Steps to Reproduce:
Comment 1 Colin Guthrie 2014-02-15 13:13:46 CET
Can you explain how to create an lxc container to test this issue?

I've tried:

[root@marley ~]# lxc-create -n foooo -t lxc-sshd
lxc-create: unknown template 'lxc-sshd'
lxc-create: aborted
[root@marley ~]# lxc-create -n foooo -t sshd
lxc-create: unknown template 'sshd'
lxc-create: aborted
[root@marley ~]# lxc-create -n foooo -t /usr/libexec/lxc/templates/lxc-sshd
lxc-create: unknown template '/usr/libexec/lxc/templates/lxc-sshd'
lxc-create: aborted

Note that all command previously complained:

lxc-create: configuration path '/var/lib/lxc' not found

until I mkdir'ed that folder.

I guess I'm doing something wrong?

It's a pretty trivial change however, so I'd have no problem suggesting it be pushed regardless of issue specific testing.
Comment 2 Lewis Smith 2014-02-16 22:05:32 CET
Testing MGA4 64-bit


First, the actual change described and highlighted:

I got over the problem in Comment 1 by citing the full template pathname 'but only discovered this *after* updating lxc). The relationship template-config file is not really mentioned at all in the extensive man lxc page. It seems you create a  container config file citing a template.

lxc-create -n lxcsshd -t /usr/share/lxc/templates/lxc-sshd
lxc-create: No config file specified, using the default config /etc/lxc/default.conf
Generating public/private rsa key pair
Generating public/private dsa key pair.
'/usr/share/lxc/templates/lxc-sshd' template installed
'lxcsshd' created

And the important line in /usr/share/lxc/templates/lxc-sshd:
lxc.mount.entry = /usr/share/lxc/templates/lxc-sshd sbin/init none ro,bind 0 0
of which the 'ro' mount attribute is what was changed [from nothing => rw I think].

So this looks OK.
Comment 3 claire robinson 2014-02-18 13:36:15 CET
Testing mga3 32

Things are a bit different. It's a bit unfinished.

Templates are stored in /usr/libexec/lxc/templates/

# ll /usr/libexec/lxc/templates/lxc-sshd
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 5150 Apr  1  2013 /usr/libexec/lxc/templates/lxc-sshd*

lxc-create fails with missing /var/lib/lxc which is the hard coded configuration path in the /usr/bin/lxc-create script, lxc_path, but not created/owned by any package. It seems to create directories there for the containers, at a glance.

# grep /var/lib/lxc /usr/bin/lxc*
Binary file /usr/bin/lxc-execute matches
Binary file /usr/bin/lxc-restart matches
/usr/bin/lxc-setcap:    test -e /var/lib/lxc || mkdir -p /var/lib/lxc
/usr/bin/lxc-setcap:    chmod 0777 /var/lib/lxc
/usr/bin/lxc-setcap:    chmod 0755 /var/lib/lxc
/usr/bin/lxc-setuid:    test -e /var/lib/lxc || mkdir -p /var/lib/lxc
/usr/bin/lxc-setuid:    chmod 0777 /var/lib/lxc
/usr/bin/lxc-setuid:    chmod 0755 /var/lib/lxc
Binary file /usr/bin/lxc-start matches

Appears to need either lxc-setcap or lxc-setuid to be run before it can be used, which isn't documented anywhere, have no man pages and are really designed to allow usage by non root users.

I think this directory should be created during installation. Adding 'feedback' for now.
Comment 4 claire robinson 2014-02-18 13:38:22 CET
Adding some previous committers.
Comment 5 David Walser 2014-02-24 21:37:41 CET
I synced some changes that had been made to the package post-Mageia 3 (which mainly changes some of the directories that are used) and made sure the /var/lib/lxc directory gets installed with the main package.

Mageia 3 updated packages are now:

from lxc-0.8.0-1.2.mga3.src.rpm
Comment 6 claire robinson 2014-02-25 08:44:20 CET
Testing mga3 64

Still a no go I'm afraid.

# urpmf --media "Core Updates Testing" ^lxc: | grep templates

# lxc-create -n lxcsshd -t /usr/share/lxc/templates/lxc-sshd
lxc-create: unknown template '/usr/share/lxc/templates/lxc-sshd'
lxc-create: aborted

# lxc-create -n lxcsshd -t lxc-sshd
lxc-create: unknown template 'lxc-sshd'
lxc-create: aborted

# ll /usr/share/lxc/templates/lxc-sshd
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 5153 Feb 24 20:27 /usr/share/lxc/templates/lxc-sshd*

# ll /usr/libexec/lxc/
total 12
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 11624 Feb 24 20:27 lxc-init*

# rpm -q lxc
Comment 7 Anne Nicolas 2014-02-25 08:57:07 CET
Using Lewis process, update validated on Mageia 4 32
Comment 8 David Walser 2014-02-25 12:40:08 CET
Hmm, well considering the SPEC changes I made, this should be the same in Mageia 3 now as Mageia 4.  If it still isn't working, the software itself must be broken (it is an older version).  I'm not sure what we can do about that.
Comment 9 David Walser 2014-02-25 16:44:24 CET
OK, strace helped me figure this out.  You have to run it as:

lxc-create -n lxcsshd -t sshd
Comment 10 David Walser 2014-02-25 17:31:40 CET
And on that note, testing complete for me on Mageia 3 i586 using Lewis's procedure.
Comment 11 claire robinson 2014-02-25 18:13:51 CET
Well done :) Testing mga3 64 now.
Comment 12 claire robinson 2014-02-25 18:49:49 CET
Testing complete mga3 64

A word of caution for next time..

*DON'T* use lxc-destroy to try and remove the container you created, it starts to delete your / filesystem..

Comment 13 David Walser 2014-02-25 18:50:57 CET
(In reply to claire robinson from comment #12)
> Testing complete mga3 64
> A word of caution for next time..
> *DON'T* use lxc-destroy to try and remove the container you created, it
> starts to delete your / filesystem..
> Oops.

Ouch!  Is this true with the /release version and the update?
Comment 14 claire robinson 2014-02-25 18:52:33 CET
Difficult to test now :D
Comment 16 David Walser 2014-02-25 19:00:26 CET
(In reply to claire robinson from comment #15)
> https://www.mail-archive.com/lxc-users@lists.sourceforge.net/msg04640.html

I think that's just complaining that it deletes data at all, not that it deletes the *host* root filesystem.  Something else is wrong here.
Comment 17 David Walser 2014-02-25 19:04:47 CET
So lxc-destroy is just a shell script, the rm -rf command is the last line.  The $lxc_path directory is defined correctly in the script at the top as /var/lib/lxc, so damage *should* be limited to underneath there, and the --one-file-system --preserve-root options it uses should prevent it from recursing into other mount points or deleting the root filesystem, so it's not obvious why it did that.
Comment 18 claire robinson 2014-02-25 19:54:45 CET
I interrupted it ctrl-c when it couldn't unmount stuff.
I guess there is no error checking in the script so it happily rm -rf'd what was mounted.
Comment 19 claire robinson 2014-02-25 19:58:51 CET
If that is the case and it's configured to allow non root to use it is it possible that non root could destroy the root fs?
Comment 20 David Walser 2014-02-25 21:33:32 CET
(In reply to claire robinson from comment #19)
> If that is the case and it's configured to allow non root to use it is it
> possible that non root could destroy the root fs?

No, it's a shell script.  It runs with the privileges of the user that executes it.
Comment 21 claire robinson 2014-02-26 08:45:04 CET
Adding the OK. I think the problem was driver error, but it's dangerous behaviour and makes it onto the QA sh1t list..
Comment 22 Rémi Verschelde 2014-02-26 12:31:22 CET
Validating, advisory uploaded. Please push to 3 & 4 core/updates.
Comment 23 Thomas Backlund 2014-02-26 19:44:33 CET
Update pushed:

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