Vulnerability Note VU#22091

gpm-root fails to correctly release GID 0 membership for user defined menus

Original Release date: 21 May 2001 | Last revised: 01 Jun 2001


gpm-root does not properly drop group privileges. Local users can gain group privileges by starting a utility from gpm-root. The gpm package is usually included in Linux distributions, and can be started from the command line or in the startup script /etc/rc.d/rc.local.


gpm (General Purpose Mouse) is the program that lets you use the mouse in console mode when not using XWindows. It is usually included in Linux distributions, and can be started from the command line or in the startup script /etc/rc.d/rc.local. gpm-root is a program in the gpm package that allow the use of menus in console mode when Ctrl + Mousebutton is pressed. The gpm-root daemon in gpm version 1.19.1 and earlier lets the user execute any command with elevated group privileges. To exploit this problem, gpm-root must be running on a machine and the user needs both to login to that machine and to have physical access to the keyboard and mouse. When the user selects a utility from a menu, gpm-root starts the associated process with the group and supplementary groups of the gpm-root daemon. A call to setgid fails, providing the user the group privileges of the gpm-root program. The group for the gpm-root binary in the affected installations is root.


A user with console access can use this vulnerability to execute arbitrary commands with elevated group privileges.


Upgrade to gpm version 1.19.2 or later, or apply its setuid(), setgid() and initgruops() related patches.

Systems Affected (Learn More)

VendorStatusDate NotifiedDate Updated
RedHatAffected26 Jul 200001 Jun 2001
TurboLinuxAffected26 May 200001 Jun 2001
If you are a vendor and your product is affected, let us know.

CVSS Metrics (Learn More)

Group Score Vector
Base N/A N/A
Temporal N/A N/A
Environmental N/A N/A



Thanks to Egmont Koblinger for discovering this vulnerability.

This document was written by Andy Moore.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: CVE-2000-0229
  • Date Public: 22 Mar 2000
  • Date First Published: 21 May 2001
  • Date Last Updated: 01 Jun 2001
  • Severity Metric: 7.59
  • Document Revision: 19


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