Note: This is an archival copy of Security Sun Alert 275650 as previously published on
Latest version of this security advisory is available from as Sun Alert 1021784.1.
Article ID : 1021784.1
Article Type : Sun Alerts (SURE)
Last reviewed : 2010-04-14
Audience : PUBLIC
Copyright Notice: Copyright © 2010, Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates.

A Race Condition Security Vulnerability in the OpenSolaris "automake" Utility may Allow Modification of Package Files or Execution of Arbitrary Code


Release Phase

Bug Id


Date of Resolved Release

GNU "Automake" contains a race condition security vulnerability:

1. Impact

GNU Automake is a tool for automatically generating "" files compliant with the GNU Coding Standards. GNU Automake contains a race condition security vulnerability that may allow a local unprivileged user to make unauthorized changes to package files or execute arbitrary code with the privileges of another local user when that user is running the "dist" and "distcheck" targets.

This issue is also described in the following document:
2. Contributing Factors

This issue can occur in the following releases:

SPARC Platform
  • OpenSolaris based upon builds snv_71 through snv_131
x86 Platform
  • OpenSolaris based upon builds snv_71 through snv_131
Note 1: Solaris 8, 9 and 10 are not impacted by this issue.

Note 2: This vulnerability only affects OpenSolaris systems that have installed the Automake package (beginning with SUNWgnu-automake). The SUNWgnu-automake
package is not installed by default. To determine if the SUNWgnu-automake package is installed, the following command can be run:
    $ pkg list 'SUNWgnu-automake*'
SUNWgnu-automake-110    1.10-0.129      installed  u----
SUNWgnu-automake-19     1.9.6-0.129     installed  u----
Note 3: OpenSolaris distributions may include additional bug fixes above and beyond the build from which it was derived.  To determine the base build of OpenSolaris, the following command can be used:
    $ uname -v
3. Symptoms

There are no predictable symptoms that would indicate the described issue has been exploited.

4. Workaround

To work around the described issue, download and build a newer version of automake (1.10.3, 1.11.1 or later). For example 1.10.3 can be obtained from:
5. Resolution

This issue is resolved in the following releases:

SPARC Platform
  • OpenSolaris based upon builds snv_132 or later
x86 Platform
  • OpenSolaris based upon builds snv_132 or later

For more information 
on Security Sun Alerts, see  1009886.1.
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