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CERT Coordination Center

Apple Mac OS X "at" utilities fail to drop privileges properly

Vulnerability Note VU#678150

Original Release Date: 2005-01-27 | Last Revised: 2005-01-28


Apple's Mac OS X operating system may allow local privilege escalation in family of "at" commands.


Mac OS X includes the "at" family of commands in order to schedule tasks. However, a flaw in these commands results in the commands not dropping privileges correctly. This may allow a malicious local user to run commands with additional privileges, read or remove protected files, or gain other unintended access.

The affected commands include: at, atq, atrm, atrun, and batch.


These commands are disabled by default in Mac OS X. If they have been enabled, a malicious local user may gain additional privileges including the ability to remove or read protected files, or run programs with additional privileges.


Apply a patch

Apple advises all users to apply Apple Security Update 2005-001, as it fixes this flaw and other critical security flaws.

Vendor Information


Apple Computer Inc. Affected

Updated:  January 27, 2005



Vendor Statement

Please see the following link for the statement from Apple Computer Inc.:


Vendor Information

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


US-CERT has no additional comments at this time.

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

CVSS Metrics

Group Score Vector
Base 0 AV:--/AC:--/Au:--/C:--/I:--/A:--
Temporal 0 E:ND/RL:ND/RC:ND
Environmental 0 CDP:ND/TD:ND/CR:ND/IR:ND/AR:ND



Thanks to Apple Product Security for reporting this vulnerability. Apple in turn thanks Kevin Finisterre of Immunity, Inc. for reporting this vulnerability.

This document was written by Ken MacInnis.

Other Information

CVE IDs: CVE-2005-0125
Severity Metric: 8.10
Date Public: 2005-01-18
Date First Published: 2005-01-27
Date Last Updated: 2005-01-28 15:55 UTC
Document Revision: 15

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