USN-956-1: sudo vulnerability

30 June 2010

sudo vulnerability

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

  • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS
  • Ubuntu 9.10
  • Ubuntu 9.04
  • Ubuntu 8.04 LTS
  • Ubuntu 6.06 LTS


Under certain conditions, a user might be able to run commands with administrative privileges.

Software Description

  • sudo - Provide limited super user privileges to specific users


Evan Broder and Anders Kaseorg discovered that sudo did not properly sanitize its environment when configured to use secure_path (the default in Ubuntu). A local attacker could exploit this to execute arbitrary code as root if sudo was configured to allow the attacker to use a program that interpreted the PATH environment variable.

Update instructions

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

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS
sudo - 1.7.2p1-1ubuntu5.1
sudo-ldap - 1.7.2p1-1ubuntu5.1
Ubuntu 9.10
sudo - 1.7.0-1ubuntu2.4
sudo-ldap - 1.7.0-1ubuntu2.4
Ubuntu 9.04
sudo - 1.6.9p17-1ubuntu3.3
sudo-ldap - 1.6.9p17-1ubuntu3.3
Ubuntu 8.04 LTS
sudo - 1.6.9p10-1ubuntu3.8
sudo-ldap - 1.6.9p10-1ubuntu3.8
Ubuntu 6.06 LTS
sudo - 1.6.8p12-1ubuntu6.3
sudo-ldap - 1.6.8p12-1ubuntu6.3

To update your system, please follow these instructions:

In general, a standard system update will make all the necessary changes.