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Status Future consideration
Workspace AIX
Created by Guest
Created on May 18, 2021

AIX/PowerSC Trusted Execution (TE) vulnerability

A script can still be run on an AIX system where trusted execution (TE) has been enabled, even if TE is enabled with CHKSCRIPT=YES etc.
Even if script "my_script" is not in the TSD, it can be executed by
ksh ./my_script
or similar variation / shell
Thus creating a rather large security hole in AIX TE environment, with administrators blissfully unaware that there is an exposure.

Idea priority High
  • Guest
    Apr 13, 2022


    Thanks, I am glad that this is being looked into again.

    If I could make one request, could you be more general, so that if TE is on and any file in the TSD is opened, it is checked, that way if any shell opens a text file for execution, it would be checked - similarly any configuration file that is opened by a daemon or an application, it would be checked too?

    I appreciate that this will have more impact, but would cover way more situations.

    Thanks for your consideration.

  • Guest
    Apr 7, 2022
    .Due to additional interests in the RFE, we are re-considering the improvement for the use case:
    1) when used with the default shell, currently ksh88, later ksh93.
    2) when ksh interprets or source a script file as in ksh script or . scripts, will attempt to validate the integrity of the file.
  • Guest
    Jul 13, 2021

    When you run "ksh ./my_script", while the signature of "my_script" is not checked, but the permission of running each command in scripts and their respective integrity is still be checked. Let's say we could check the signature of "my_script", user may still bypass the signature check by running each command in script individually.

    The main goal of checking the script digital signature integrity to protect some system critical programs/scripts from being tempered.

  • Guest
    Jun 10, 2021

    Hello Michael,
    The problem is that it is allowed to run with :
    # ksh sh1.ksh

    As in that case, in fact this is ksh executing, sh1.ksh is just read and interpreted so don't go through the TE exec checks.

  • Guest
    May 20, 2021

    I cannot replicate this - what am I doing differently?

    aixtools@x064:[/home/aixtools/trustchk]trustchk -p TE CHKSCRIPT STOP_UNTRUSTD
    aixtools@x064:[/home/aixtools/trustchk]ls -l
    total 16
    -rwxrw-r-- 1 aixtools aixtools 8 May 20 11:21 sh1.ksh
    -rwxrw-r-- 1 aixtools aixtools 23 May 20 11:22 sh2.ksh
    aixtools@x064:[/home/aixtools/trustchk]for i in *; do^J./$i^Jdone
    ksh[2]: ./sh1.ksh: 0403-006 Execute permission denied.
    ksh[2]: ./sh2.ksh: 0403-006 Execute permission denied.
    aixtools@x064:[/home/aixtools/trustchk]oslevel -s
    sh: /usr/bin/rpm: cannot execute

    aixtools@x064:[/home/aixtools/trustchk]pr -n *

    Thu May 20 11:21:17 UTC 2021 sh1.ksh Page 1

    1 echo $0

    Thu May 20 11:22:05 UTC 2021 sh2.ksh Page 1

    1 #!/usr/bin/ksh
    2 echo $0