FreeBSD Ports Security Advisory:

FreeBSD Security Advisories security-advisories at
Mon Nov 6 12:14:20 PST 2000


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 <shigio at> 
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


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