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

Vulnerability Note VU#331694

Original Release Date: 2005-05-16 | Last Revised: 2005-05-25


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.

Vendor Information


Apple Computer Inc. Affected

Updated:  May 17, 2005



Vendor Statement

Apple: This issue is addressed in Security Update 2005-005 and further information is available in

Vendor Information

The vendor has not provided us with any further information regarding this vulnerability.


Please see for more information.

If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.

CVSS Metrics

Group Score Vector



This vulnerability was reported by Apple Product Security.

This document was written by Jeff Gennari.

Other Information

CVE IDs: CVE-2005-1335
Severity Metric: 15.94
Date Public: 2005-05-03
Date First Published: 2005-05-16
Date Last Updated: 2005-05-25 13:30 UTC
Document Revision: 97

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