A race condition exists when parallel code accesses shared data without proper coordination. An attack that uses a race-condition weakness takes advantage of the unsafe data access to manipulate how one of the parallel sections of code reacts. Even though each process runs as intended, the outcome is unexpected. For example, consider a bank service that depends on an encryption key that it reads from a known location. An independent cryptography service is responsible for generating the key and placing it where the bank is expected to read it in a timely manner. If the bank and cryptography services do not coordinate with each other, then the bank may read a blank encryption key before cryptography writes the key to the location. This can effectively turn off all encryption for the bank without either service, or the administrator, knowing that something has gone wrong.
This accepts filename arguments; if an attacker can move those files, a race condition results..
The highlighted line of code below is the trigger point of this particular Centos 6 race weakness.
#ifndef F_OK # define F_OK 0 # define X_OK 1 # define W_OK 2 # define R_OK 4 #endif /* Declare overridden functions. */ #if defined GNULIB_POSIXCHECK /* The access() function is a security risk. */ _GL_WARN_ON_USE (access, "the access function is a security risk - " "use the gnulib module faccessat instead"); #endif #if @GNULIB_CHDIR@ _GL_CXXALIAS_SYS (chdir, int, (const char *file) _GL_ARG_NONNULL ((1))); _GL_CXXALIASWARN (chdir); #elif defined GNULIB_POSIXCHECK # undef chdir # if HAVE_RAW_DECL_CHDIR _GL_WARN_ON_USE (chown, "chdir is not always in <unistd.h> - " "use gnulib module chdir for portability"); # endif #endif #if @GNULIB_CHOWN@ /* Change the owner of FILE to UID (if UID is not -1) and the group of FILE to GID (if GID is not -1). Follow symbolic links. Return 0 if successful, otherwise -1 and errno set. See the POSIX:2008 specification <http://pubs.opengroup.org/onlinepubs/9699919799/functions/chown.html. */ # if @REPLACE_CHOWN@ # if !(defined __cplusplus && defined GNULIB_NAMESPACE) # undef chown # define chown rpl_chown # endif _GL_FUNCDECL_RPL (chown, int, (const char *file, uid_t uid, gid_t gid) _GL_ARG_NONNULL ((1))); _GL_CXXALIAS_RPL (chown, int, (const char *file, uid_t uid, gid_t gid)); # else # if !@HAVE_CHOWN@ _GL_FUNCDECL_SYS (chown, int, (const char *file, uid_t uid, gid_t gid) _GL_ARG_NONNULL ((1))); # endif _GL_CXXALIAS_SYS (chown, int, (const char *file, uid_t uid, gid_t gid));