Vulnerability Note VU#331694

Apple Mac OS X chpass/chfn/chsh utilities do not properly validate external programs

Original Release date: 16 May 2005 | Last revised: 25 May 2005


Apple Mac OS X Directory Service utilities use external programs insecurely, potentially allowing an attacker to execute arbitrary code.


The OS X Directory Services have three utilities chpass, chfn, and chsh to update information in the user database, such as user name, password, shell, group affiliation, home directory, etc. When these utilities are executed, certain code paths may invoke separate, external programs in an insecure manner. A local attacker may be able to manipulate the calls to external programs made by chpass/chfn/chsh to execute arbitrary code.

Note that chpass, chfn, and chsh are the same utility. In addition, this utility can execute with administrative privileges, possibly root.

Please refer to Apple Security update 2005-005 for more information.


An attacker may be able to execute arbitrary code to gain elevated privileges, possibly root.


Apply Update

Apple has released Apple Security update 2005-005 to correct this issue.

Systems Affected (Learn More)

VendorStatusDate NotifiedDate Updated
Apple Computer Inc.Affected-17 May 2005
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



This vulnerability was reported by Apple Product Security.

This document was written by Jeff Gennari.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: CAN-2005-1335
  • Date Public: 03 May 2005
  • Date First Published: 16 May 2005
  • Date Last Updated: 25 May 2005
  • Severity Metric: 15.94
  • Document Revision: 97


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