Oracle Gridengine sgepasswd Buffer Overflow


Name: Oracle Gridengine sgepasswd Buffer Overflow
Release Date: 30 November 2012
Reference: NGS00107
Discoverer: Edward Torkington <>
Vendor: Oracle
Vendor Reference:
Systems Affected: Multiple packages – version 6_2u7
Risk: High
Status: Published


Discovered:  1 August 2011
Released:  1 August 2011
Approved:  1 August 2011
Reported:  3 August 2011
Fixed: 17 April 2012
Published: 30 November 2012


“Oracle Grid Engine software is a distributed resource management (DRM) system that manages the distribution of users’ workloads to available compute resources. While compute resources in a typical datacenter have utilization rates that are on average 10%-25%, Oracle Grid Engine can help
a company increase utilization to 80%, 90% or even 95%. This significant improvement comes from the intelligent distribution of workload to the most appropriate available resources.

When users submit their work to Oracle Grid Engine as jobs, the software monitors the current state of all resources in the cluster and is able to assign these jobs to the best-suited resources. Oracle Grid Engine gives administrators both the flexibility to accurately model their computing
environments as resources and to translate business rules into policies that govern the use of those resources.”

Technical Details

After installation an sgepasswd binary used as part of Oracle Gridengine is marked as a SUID binary:

[dave@localhost lx24-x86]$ ls -al sgepasswd
-r-s–x–x    1 root     root      1109010 Dec 20  2010 sgepasswd

This binary appears to be vulnerable to a number of buffer overflows. The easiest to exploit is in the delete a password for a named account (-d) function. Other exploits can corrupt the sgepasswd file which appears to be written in another directory. If it is corrupt sgepasswd will not run
anymore. A sample exploit is shown below:

[dave@localhost lx24-x86]$ ./sgepasswd -d perl -e 'print "x90"x127 . " lt;exploit bytes obfuscated gt;"'
sh-2.05b# id
uid=0(root) gid=0(root) groups=500(dave)

This would a allow a local low-privileged attacker to escalate their privileges.

Fix Information

This has been addresses as part of oracle April update:

Download patch notification

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