USN-1117-1: PolicyKit vulnerability

19 April 2011

policykit-1 vulnerability

A security issue affects these releases of Ubuntu and its derivatives:

  • Ubuntu 10.10
  • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS
  • Ubuntu 9.10


Local users could gain root access by using the pkexec tool in PolicyKit.

Software Description

  • policykit-1 - framework for managing administrative policies and privileges


Neel Mehta discovered that PolicyKit did not correctly verify the user making authorization requests. A local attacker could exploit this to trick pkexec into running applications with root privileges.

Update instructions

The problem can be corrected by updating your system to the following package versions:

Ubuntu 10.10
libpolkit-backend-1-0 - 0.96-2ubuntu1.1
Ubuntu 10.04 LTS
libpolkit-backend-1-0 - 0.96-2ubuntu0.1
Ubuntu 9.10
libpolkit-backend-1-0 - 0.94-1ubuntu1.1

To update your system, please follow these instructions:

After a standard system update you need to reboot your computer to make all the necessary changes.