svn commit: r199983 - in head: lib/libc/stdlib tools/regression/environ

Robert Watson rwatson at
Tue Dec 1 15:16:04 UTC 2009

On Mon, 30 Nov 2009, Colin Percival wrote:

> Brian Feldman wrote:
>>   Do not gratuitously fail *env(3) operations due to corrupt ('='-less)
>>   **environ entries.  This puts non-getenv(3) operations in line with
>>   getenv(3) in that bad environ entries do not cause all operations to
>>   fail.  There is still some inconsistency in that getenv(3) in the
>>   absence of any environment-modifying operation does not emit corrupt
>>   environ entry warnings.
>>   I also fixed another inconsistency in getenv(3) where updating the
>>   global environ pointer would not be reflected in the return values.
>>   It would have taken an intermediary setenv(3)/putenv(3)/unsetenv(3)
>>   in order to see the change.
> The FreeBSD Security Team is currently dealing with a security issue 
> relating to this code.  Please back out your change (at least to getenv.c; I 
> don't particularly care about the regression tests) until we've finished, 
> and then submit the patch to us for review along with a detailed explanation 
> of what it does.
> We've already had two major security issues arising out of getenv.c in the 
> past year, and I'd like to make sure we don't have a third.

I think it's fair to say that the POSIXization of the environment code has 
been an unmitigated disaster, and speaks to the necessity for careful review 
of those sorts of code changes.

Robert N M Watson
Computer Laboratory
University of Cambridge

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