Security leak: Public disclosure of user data without their consent by installing software via pkg

Chris BeHanna chris at
Thu Apr 8 13:35:42 UTC 2021

On Apr 7, 2021, at 8:50 PM, Stefan Blachmann <sblachmann at> wrote:
> The answers I got from both "Security Officers" surprised me so much
> that I had to let that settle a bit to understand the implications.
> Looking at the FreeBSD Porters' Handbook
> [],
> it describes the purpose of the package pre- and postinstallation
> scripts as to "set up the package so that it is as ready to use as
> possible".
> It explicitly names only a few actions that are forbidden for them to
> do: "...must not be abused to start services, stop services, or run
> any other commands that will modify the currently running system."
> Anything else is apparently deemed “allowed”.
> Spying out the machine and its configuration, sending that data to an
> external entity – perfectly OK. Not a problem at all.
> This has been proved by the handling of this last BSDstats security
> incident, where the FreeBSD “pkg” utility is being abused to run
> spyware without the users’ pre-knowledge and without his content.
> This abuse is apparently being considered acceptable by both FreeBSD
> and HardenedBSD security officers.
> Instead of taking action, you "security officers" tell the FreeBSD
> users that it is their own guilt that they got “pwnd”.

	This is an incredibly dishonest summary of their responses to you.  Gordon in particular wrote that it is NOT acceptable; however, rather than smash down the port's maintainer with the Security Officer sledgehammer, he preferred to give the maintainer some time to address the problem.

Chris BeHanna
chris at

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