How do I add users using Python scripts on a Linux machine

Lawrence D'Oliveiro ldo at geek-central.gen.new_zealand
Wed Jan 10 07:46:46 CET 2007

In message <m2bqlctbce.fsf at ordesa.lan>, Piet van Oostrum wrote:

> Lawrence D'Oliveiro <ldo at geek-central.gen.new_zealand> (LD) wrote:
> In message <m2hcv651ta.fsf at>, Piet van Oostrum wrote:
>> The scenario is as follows: Suppose the script starts with the line:
>> #!/usr/bin/python
>> (using #!/usr/bin/env python would be disastrous because the user could
>> supply his own `python interpreter' in his PATH.)
>> Now a malicious user can make a link to this file in his own directory,
>> e.g. to /Users/eve/myscript1. Because permissions are part of the file
>> (inode), not of the file name, this one is also suid.
>> Now she execs /Users/eve/myscript1. The kernel, when honoring suid
>> scripts, would startup python with effective uid root with the command
>> line: /usr/bin/env /Users/eve/myscript1
>>LD> No it wouldn't. This security hole was fixed years ago.
> How?

Systems which allow set-uid scripts also usually support referring to open
file descriptors n via a pathname like /dev/fd/n. This might be done by
mounting a special pseudo-filesystem (fdfs) on /dev/fd. (This was how I
remember it being done on DEC UNIX.)

So when a the kernel detects that an executable file is actually a script,
it opens the script file on some file descriptor n, and passes the
name /dev/fd/n to the script interpreter, instead of the original script
pathname. That way, there is no opportunity for deceiving the process into
executing the wrong script with set-uid privileges.

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