• Martin Flöser's avatar
    Disallow executing kate and kwrite as root on Linux · 9adcebd3
    Martin Flöser authored
    Running GUI applications as root is a huge security risk. Especially
    the X server is not secured for that. Non-root applications can easily
    interact with a root running application and thus try to exploit simple
    bugs in either kate/kwrite itself or in the underlying libraries such
    as Qt, XLib or xcb.
    In addition kate can be abused to just open the konsole window and any
    command can be entered using the XTest extension. This was demonstrated
    for dolphin in [1]. The application itself cannot do anything to protect
    against it.
    On Wayland the situation can be considered worse as the compositor is
    running as the normal user and is not protected to handle root windows.
    It can be rather trivial to attack the root running application from the
    compositor through interfaces such as scripting. This is not in the aim
    of the compositors to protect against.
    The common use case why users start editors as root is to edit root
    owned files. This is a valid use case, but there is no need to run the
    application as root. Instead one can use sudoedit to run the application
    as user and still be able to edit as root.
    This change introduces a check whether the application is started as
    root before any interaction with X or Wayland happens, that is prior to
    creating the QApplication. If it is detected that we run as root, we
    exit and print an information about how to properly edit an application
    in kwrite/kate as root. The text is deliberatly not translated to keep
    the threat from running as root as low as possible.
    The output is:
    martin@martin-desktop: ~ $ sudo /opt/kf5/bin/kate
    Executing Kate as root is not possible. To edit files as root use:
    SUDO_EDITOR=kate sudoedit <file>
    martin@martin-desktop: ~ $ sudo /opt/kf5/bin/kwrite
    Executing Kate as root is not possible. To edit files as root use:
    SUDO_EDITOR=kwrite sudoedit <file>
    [1] http://git.net/ml/kwrite-devel/2016-01/msg00011.html
    Test Plan: See output
    Reviewers: #kate
    Subscribers: kwrite-devel
    Differential Revision: https://phabricator.kde.org/D4634
main.cpp 12.1 KB