A vulnerability exists in the /usr/bin/X11/cdplayer application as shipped with SGI's IRIX operating system. By failing to shed root privileges, and creating arbitrary directories as root, cdplayer allows arbitrary users to gain root on the system.
The -dbcdir option to cdplayer specifies the directory to store information kept by cdplayer. This can be used to create arbitrary directories. By creating a directory belonging to an account whose home directory does not exist, creating a .rhosts file in this directory, and chowning the rhosts file to the account being attacked, any user on the system can obtain root status.
cdplayer -dbcdir /usr/admin/
echo "+ +" > /usr/admin/.rhosts
chown root.sys /usr/admin/.rhosts
rsh localhost -l sysadm
IRIX contains a flaw that may allow a malicious user to gain access to unauthorized privileges. The issue is triggered when a malicious user can create arbitrary directories using a command line option for the cdplayer program, which is setuid root. This flaw may lead to a loss of integrity.
Silicon Graphics, Inc. has released a patch to address this vulnerability. It is also possible to correct the flaw by implementing the following workaround: Remove the setuid bit from cdplayer.