GNU Tar "Pointy Feather" Vulnerability Disclosed (CVE-2016-6321)
Written by Michael Larabel in GNU on 27 October 2016 at 11:09 AM EDT. 4 Comments
GNU --
Last week was the disclosure of the Linux kernel's Dirty COW vulnerability while the latest high-profile open-source project going public with a new security CVE is GNU's Tar. Tar CVE-2016-6321 is also called POINTYFEATHER according to the security researchers.

The GNU Pointy Feather vulnerability comes down to a pathname bypass on the Tar extraction process. Regardless of the path-name(s) specified on the command-line, the attack allows for file and directory overwrite attacks using specially crafted tar archives.

The CVE notice explains, "GNU `tar' archiver attempts to avoid path traversal attacks by removing offending parts of the element name at extract. This sanitizing leads to a vulnerability where the attacker can bypass the path name(s) specified on the command line...The discovered vulnerability, described in more detail below, enables file and directory overwrite attacks against the user or system by using a crafted tar archive. The attack requires that the victim or system extract the crafted tar archive prepared by the attacker. Automated systems extracting paths from archives originating from untrusted sources are in particular danger, especially if the extract operation is performed with elevated privileges."
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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