CVE Vulnerabilities

CVE-2010-5171

Concurrent Execution using Shared Resource with Improper Synchronization ('Race Condition')

Published: Aug 25, 2012 | Modified: Aug 27, 2012
CVSS 3.x
N/A
Source:
NVD
CVSS 2.x
6.2 MEDIUM
AV:L/AC:H/Au:N/C:C/I:C/A:C
RedHat/V2
RedHat/V3
Ubuntu

** DISPUTED ** Race condition in Outpost Security Suite Pro 6.7.3.3063.452.0726 and 7.0.3330.505.1221 BETA on Windows XP allows local users to bypass kernel-mode hook handlers, and execute dangerous code that would otherwise be blocked by a handler but not blocked by signature-based malware detection, via certain user-space memory changes during hook-handler execution, aka an argument-switch attack or a KHOBE attack. NOTE: this issue is disputed by some third parties because it is a flaw in a protection mechanism for situations where a crafted program has already begun to execute.

Weakness

The program contains a code sequence that can run concurrently with other code, and the code sequence requires temporary, exclusive access to a shared resource, but a timing window exists in which the shared resource can be modified by another code sequence that is operating concurrently.

Extended Description

This can have security implications when the expected synchronization is in security-critical code, such as recording whether a user is authenticated or modifying important state information that should not be influenced by an outsider. A race condition occurs within concurrent environments, and is effectively a property of a code sequence. Depending on the context, a code sequence may be in the form of a function call, a small number of instructions, a series of program invocations, etc. A race condition violates these properties, which are closely related:

A race condition exists when an “interfering code sequence” can still access the shared resource, violating exclusivity. Programmers may assume that certain code sequences execute too quickly to be affected by an interfering code sequence; when they are not, this violates atomicity. For example, the single “x++” statement may appear atomic at the code layer, but it is actually non-atomic at the instruction layer, since it involves a read (the original value of x), followed by a computation (x+1), followed by a write (save the result to x). The interfering code sequence could be “trusted” or “untrusted.” A trusted interfering code sequence occurs within the program; it cannot be modified by the attacker, and it can only be invoked indirectly. An untrusted interfering code sequence can be authored directly by the attacker, and typically it is external to the vulnerable program.

Potential Mitigations

  • Minimize the usage of shared resources in order to remove as much complexity as possible from the control flow and to reduce the likelihood of unexpected conditions occurring.
  • Additionally, this will minimize the amount of synchronization necessary and may even help to reduce the likelihood of a denial of service where an attacker may be able to repeatedly trigger a critical section (CWE-400).

References