bugGNU Octave - Bugs: bug #62872, mkoctfile potentially executes...


bug #62872: mkoctfile potentially executes uncontrolled commands

Submitter:  Markus Mützel <mmuetzel>
Submitted:  Sun 07 Aug 2022 09:23:04 AM UTC
Category:  Other Severity:  3 - Normal
Priority:  5 - Normal Item Group:  None
Status:  Need Info Assigned to:  None
Originator Name:  Open/Closed:  * Open
Release:  * dev Operating System:  * Any
Fixed Release:  None Planned Release:  None
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Fri 02 Sep 2022 02:52:08 PM UTC, comment #1: 

I closed those alerts on GitHub as "won't fix".

Keeping this open in case anyone has an idea how the security risk could be mitigated.

Please, feel free to close if you think we shouldn't bother.

Markus Mützel <mmuetzel>
Group Member
Sun 07 Aug 2022 09:23:04 AM UTC, original submission:  

GitHub's CodeQL identified a couple of places in `mkoctfile.cc` that might lead to uncontrolled commands being executed:

`mkoctfile.cc` is generated from `mkoctfile.cc.in`. Afaict, the corresponding lines in that source are:

IIUC, the concern raised is that the commands that are being executed are potentially constructed from the values of environment variables, and there is no check whether those values are "sane".
That's indeed the case: We allow, e.g., to override the default C++ compiler by setting the environment variable `CXX`. And IIUC, we want to allow that.

Afaict, to "exploit" this a user would need to be able to set environment variables and run commands on the system where `mkoctfile` is running. And, IIUC, the spawned processes will run with the same rights as `mkoctfile`. So, the impact is pretty limited, and anything going wrong might be a "user error" imho.
But, I'd like to hear from others if they think differently.

Markus Mützel <mmuetzel>
Group Member


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