Tunnelblick Arbitrary File Overwrite

Using hardlinks to overwrite root owned files

Posted by NSEcho on 2023-07-30 10:12:06


Following the Assisted LPE vulnerability in Tunnelblick, I have decided to dig some more and discovered Arbitrary File Overwrite which allows non-root user to overwrite root-owned files. This vulnerability is the same as NoMachine Arbitrary File Overwrite.


Tunnelblick writes logs to location /tmp/tunnelblick-installer-log.txt and this file is owned by root. If we can manage to to create file /tmp/tunnelblick-installer-log.txt which points to some root-wowned file, we can overwrite that file because the process that writes to this file is run as root.

To confirm that the file is indeed owned by root, we will issue ls -l command on the file.

Log file


For the demonstration purposes, let’s say that we know that the Tunnelblick is installed, but not started (file /tmp/tunnelblick-installer-log.txt is not present).

To exploit it, we will create a file /Library/secret as a root user and we will give read/write permissions to that file to the root user.

After that, we will create hardlink named /tmp/tunnelblick-installer-log.txt that points to that /Library/secret file and once the write to the log file has been triggered, file that is pointed to by the hardlink(/Library/secret) will be overwritten.

We can see that the contents of the /Library/secret and /tmp/tunnelblick-installer-log.txt are the same.

Exploited overwrite