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Home : Advisories : global port allows remote compromise through CGI script

Title: global port allows remote compromise through CGI script
Released by: FreeBSD
Date: 6th November 2000
Printable version: Click here


FreeBSD-SA-00:64                                           Security Advisory

                                                                FreeBSD, Inc.

Topic:          global port allows remote compromise through CGI script

Category:       ports

Module:         global

Announced:      2000-11-06

Credits:        Shigio Yamaguchi 

Affects:        Ports collection prior to the correction date.

Corrected:      2000-10-09

Vendor status:  Updated version released

FreeBSD only:   NO

I.   Background

global is a source-code tagging system for indexing and searching

large bodies of source code.

II.  Problem Description

The global port, versions 3.5 through to 3.55, contains a

vulnerability in the CGI script generated by the htags utility which

allows a remote attacker to execute code on the local system as the

user running the script, typically user 'nobody' in most


There is no vulnerability in the default installation of the port, but

if an administrator uses the 'htags -f' command to generate a CGI

script enabling the browsing of source code, then the system is

vulnerable to attack caused by incorrect validation of input.

An older version of global was included in previous releases of

FreeBSD; this is not vulnerable to the problem described here.

The global port is not installed by default, nor is it "part of

FreeBSD" as such: it is part of the FreeBSD ports collection, which

contains over 4100 third-party applications in a ready-to-install

format.  The ports collections shipped with FreeBSD 3.5.1 and 4.1.1

contain this problem since it was discovered after the releases, but

it was corrected prior to the release of FreeBSD 4.2.

FreeBSD makes no claim about the security of these third-party

applications, although an effort is underway to provide a security

audit of the most security-critical ports.

III. Impact

If the 'htags -f' command is used to generate a CGI script which is

then installed under a webserver, then remote users may execute

arbitrary commands on the local system as the user which runs the CGI


If you have not chosen to install the global port/package, or you have

not used the 'htags -f' command to produce a CGI script, then your

system is not vulnerable to this problem.

IV.  Workaround

Deinstall the global port/package, if you you have installed it, or

remove the 'global.cgi' file installed on the website.

V.   Solution

One of the following:

1) Upgrade your entire ports collection and rebuild the global port.

2) Deinstall the old package and install a new package dated after the

correction date, obtained from:






3) download a new port skeleton for the cvsweb port from:


and use it to rebuild the port.

4) Use the portcheckout utility to automate option (3) above. The

portcheckout port is available in /usr/ports/devel/portcheckout or the

package can be obtained from:







Version: GnuPG v1.0.4 (FreeBSD)

Comment: For info see http://www.gnupg.org







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