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Re: tar: symlinks unpacked to empty files (tar security problem?)

On Fri, Jul 09, 2010 at 06:26:18PM -0600, Eric Blake wrote:
>On 07/04/2010 11:17 AM, Christopher Faylor wrote:
>> On Sun, Jul 04, 2010 at 04:50:41AM -0500, Yaakov (Cygwin/X) wrote:
>>> With tar-1.23-1 and recent snapshot:
>>> echo foo > foo
>>> ln -s $PWD/foo bar
>>> tar cf test.tar bar foo
>>> rm -f bar foo
>>> tar xf test.tar
>>> ls -l bar foo
>>> You will see that 'bar' is a 0-byte file with 0000 permissions instead
>>> of a symlink.  The symlink reference need not be absolute; it also
>>> happens with relative links in different directories, but does not
>>> happen if I just "ln -s foo bar".
>> That's because of the way that tar handles symlinks.  If you have a
>> reference to an absolute path, tar makes a zero-length regular file
>> placeholder.  Then when it is done extracting, tar is supposed to remove
>> this file and create the real symlink.  However, the test to make sure
>> that it is ok to do this was broken by a recent DLL change.  The inode
>> returned the first time that the file was created was != the inode when
>> the file is checked later.  So tar thought that the zero-length file was
>> modified and silently decided not to create the symlink.
>For the longest time, I was carrying a cygwin-specific patch that
>ignored the inode check.  Thinking that it was leftovers from 1.5, I
>removed that cygwin-specific patch (that is, re-enabled the inode
>check), because I didn't have a test case that would trigger it.  It
>looks like you have demonstrated the test case, and if cgf fixed the dll
>to report the same inode in both situations, then great.  But since I'm
>on vacation at the moment, with only limited email access, it will be
>another week before I can even think about re-building tar to re-enable
>the cygwin-specific patch.  I'll do that, unless cygwin 1.7.6 is
>released first and fixes the problem in the meantime.

AFAIK, this was a problem only in snapshots so there is no reason for a
new release.

(who's also on vacation)

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