Descriptionshadow 4.8, in certain circumstances affecting at least Gentoo, Arch Linux, and Void Linux, allows local users to obtain root access because setuid programs are misconfigured. Specifically, this affects shadow 4.8 when compiled using --with-libpam but without explicitly passing --disable-account-tools-setuid, and without a PAM configuration suitable for use with setuid account management tools. This combination leads to account management tools (groupadd, groupdel, groupmod, useradd, userdel, usermod) that can easily be used by unprivileged local users to escalate privileges to root in multiple ways. This issue became much more relevant in approximately December 2019 when an unrelated bug was fixed (i.e., the chmod calls to suidusbins were fixed in the upstream Makefile which is now included in the release version 4.8).
SourceCVE (at NVD; CERT, LWN, oss-sec, fulldisc, bugtraq, EDB, Metasploit, Red Hat, Ubuntu, Gentoo, SUSE bugzilla/CVE, Mageia, GitHub code/issues, web search, more)
NVD severitymedium

Vulnerable and fixed packages

The table below lists information on source packages.

Source PackageReleaseVersionStatus
shadow (PTS)stretch1:4.4-4.1vulnerable
bullseye, sid1:4.8.1-1vulnerable

The information below is based on the following data on fixed versions.

PackageTypeReleaseFixed VersionUrgencyOriginDebian Bugs

Debian builds are compiled using -with-libpam and explicitly passing

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