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Author sstewartgallus
Recipients gregory.p.smith, larry, sstewartgallus
Date 2014-06-01.02:11:06
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I agree that this is not a likely scenario but I can think of one
mildly plausible scenario. Suppose some web server runs a Python CGI
script but has a bug that leaks a file descriptor into the script. The
web server sandboxes the Python CGI script a little bit with resource
limits so the leaked file descriptor is higher than the script's file
descriptor maximum. The Python CGI script then runs a sandboxed
(perhaps it's run as a different user) utility and leaks the file
descriptor again (because the descriptor is above the resource
limits). This utility is somehow exploited by an attacker over the
internet by being fed bad input. Because of the doubly leaked file
descriptor the attacker could possibly break out of a chroot or start
bad input through a sensitive file descriptor. Anyways, the bug should
be fixed regardless.

Thanks for correcting me on the location of the fd closing code. Some

Strangely, there seems to be a _close_fds method in the Python
subprocess module that is not used anywhere. Either it should be
removed or fixed similarly. For understandability if it is fixed it
should simply delegate to the C code.

The bug I mentioned earlier about concurrently modifing the fd dir and
reading from it occurs in _close_open_fd_range_safe which is a genuine
security issue (although I don't know if it's ver likely to happen in
practise). Because _close_open_fd_range_safe can't allocate memory the
code there will be pretty ugly but oh well.

There doesn't seem to be any point to caching max_fd in a variable on
module load. Why not just use sysconf every time it is needed? Is
there some need for really fast performance? Does sysconf allocate
memory or something?

Anyways, the code should be refactored to not use max_fd on the
platforms that support that.

Thank you for your thoughts. Also, should I keep discussion of some of
the bugs I observed here or raise them in other issues so they don't
get lost?
Date User Action Args
2014-06-01 02:11:12sstewartgallussetrecipients: + sstewartgallus, gregory.p.smith, larry
2014-06-01 02:11:12sstewartgallussetmessageid: <>
2014-06-01 02:11:12sstewartgalluslinkissue21618 messages
2014-06-01 02:11:07sstewartgalluscreate