TkMail /tmp file symlink attack

tkmail-tmp-file-symlink (10307) The risk level is classified as MediumMedium Risk


TkMail is vulnerable to a symlink attack. TkMail creates temporary files insecurely. A local attacker could exploit this vulnerability by creating symbolic links from TkMail temporary files to other files on the system, which could be overwritten with the privileges of another TkMail user, once the user executes TkMail.


File Manipulation


For Debian GNU/Linux:
Upgrade to the appropriate tkmail packages, as listed below. Refer to DSA 172-1 for more information. See References.

Debian 2.2 (potato): 4.0beta9-4.1 or later
Debian 3.0 (woody): 4.0beta9-8.1 or later

For other distributions:
Contact your vendor for upgrade or patch information.


  • TkMail Web site: TkMail - a X Window Mail Reader.
  • BID-5911: TkMail Insecure Temporary Files Vulnerability
  • CVE-2002-1193: tkmail before 4.0beta9-8.1 allows local users to create or overwrite files as users via a symlink attack on temporary files.
  • DSA-172: tkmail -- insecure temporary files
  • OSVDB ID: 14506: TkMail Temp File Symlink Arbitrary File Manipulation

Platforms Affected:

  • Debian Debian Linux 2.2
  • Debian Debian Linux 3.0
  • Paul Raines TkMail prior to 4.0beta9-9


Oct 08, 2002

The information within this database may change without notice. Use of this information constitutes acceptance for use in an AS IS condition. There are NO warranties, implied or otherwise, with regard to this information or its use. Any use of this information is at the user's risk. In no event shall the author/distributor (IBM Internet Security Systems X-Force) be held liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of or in connection with the use or spread of this information.

For corrections or additions please email ignore thisxforceignore this@ignore thisus.ignore thisibm.comignore this

Return to the main page