NFS server could allow remote users to create device files through mknod

nfs-mknod (78) The risk level is classified as HighHigh Risk


A potentially vulnerable version of NFS MKNOD has been detected as running. Found on some older NFS servers, NFS MKNOD may allow normal users to create special devices that could require root access. When non-administrative users can do this, then an attacker could create a kmem (kernel memory) device and change access to root and circumvent system security.

This attack allows an attacker to map a remote volume to any resource on the target system, including hard drives, microphones, video cameras, and monitors. With this level of access, an attacker effectively controls the system.


Gain Privileges


Upgrade to the latest version of the NFS server, available from your vendor. Many mountd programs support a -nodev option that turns off the ability to create a device. Contact your vendor or refer to your operating system documentation for more information.

For Sun systems:
Apply the NFS jumbo patch (Patch-ID# 100173-13), available from the Sun Microsystems Web site. See References.


Platforms Affected:

  • Compaq Tru64
  • Data General DG/UX
  • HP HP-UX
  • Linux Kernel
  • SCO SCO Unix
  • Sun Solaris
  • Various vendors Unix running NFS
  • Wind River BSDOS


May 01, 1990

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