Paul Szabo has reported some security issues in Mathematica, which can be exploited by malicious, local users to potentially gain escalated privileges.
The application uses temporary files in the /tmp/MathLink directory in an insecure manner. This can be exploited to create world writable files in normally restricted directories or corrupt restricted files via symlink attacks.
NOTE: An insecure usage of the /tmp/fonts$$.conf file was also reported.
The security issues are reported in Mathematica 7 and 8 for Linux. Other Linux versions may also be affected.
Solution: Restrict local access to trusted users only. Do not run Mathematica as root.
Provided and/or discovered by: Paul Szabo
Original Advisory: http://archives.neohapsis.com/archives/fulldisclosure/2010-05/0177.html
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Subject: Mathematica for Linux Insecure Temporary Files
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