Vulnerability Note VU#747736

SCO OpenServer/UnixWare vi creates temporary files insecurely

Original Release date: 09 Oct 2001 | Last revised: 09 Oct 2001


The implementation of vi, a text editor, provided with SCO Openunix creates insecure temporary files with predictable names. Using a symbolic link attack, an intruder can overwrite any file writable by the user of vi.


vi is a screen-oriented text editor. The implementation distributed with SCO Openunix creates temporary files in the world-writable directory /tmp with predictable names, and fails to check for prior ownership and protection of these files.


By creating symbolic links named for the files that vi creates, an intruder may overwrite any file writable by the user of vi. Since the intruder cannot control the content of the overwritten files, it does not seem likely that an increase in privilege will result.


Apply vendor patches; see the Systems Affected section below.

Systems Affected (Learn More)

VendorStatusDate NotifiedDate Updated
SCOAffected18 Sep 200120 Sep 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



This vulnerability was first reported by Richard Johnson.

This document was last edited by Tim Shimeall

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: CAN-2001-0627
  • Date Public: 31 May 2001
  • Date First Published: 09 Oct 2001
  • Date Last Updated: 09 Oct 2001
  • Severity Metric: 1.01
  • Document Revision: 13


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