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Re: Arithmetic + array allows for code injection


From: Chet Ramey
Subject: Re: Arithmetic + array allows for code injection
Date: Mon, 02 Jun 2014 09:44:14 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.9; rv:24.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/24.5.0

On 6/2/14, 8:21 AM, Greg Wooledge wrote:
> On Fri, May 30, 2014 at 09:28:13PM -0500, Dan Douglas wrote:
>> The problem is most people don't realize how "variables" are evaluated.
>> Any time the shell needs to reference a variable, it takes a string
>> like: "arr[$foo]" and, if there's an index, the string within the index
>> gets processed for expansions. The arithmetic evaluator is no exception.
> 
> I'm trying to understand this, but it's not clear to me yet.
> 
> imadev:~$ x='$(date)' 
> imadev:~$ : $(($x))
> bash: $(date): syntax error: operand expected (error token is "$(date)")
> 
> That looks OK.
> 
> imadev:~$ : $((a[$x]))
> bash: Mon Jun 2 08:06:39 EDT 2014: syntax error in expression (error token is 
> "Jun 2 08:06:39 EDT 2014")
> 
> There's the code-injection problem that started the thread.
> 
> imadev:~$ : ${a[$x]}
> bash: $(date): syntax error: operand expected (error token is "$(date)")
> 
> That also looks OK.
> 
> Why is there no code injection in the last example?  There is an index.
> According to your paragraph, "... the string within the index gets
> processed for expansions. The arithmetic evaluator is no exception."

The arithmetic evaluator is, in fact, an exception.  That, combined with
the expansions that happen before the arithmetic evaluator gets hold of
the expression -- and it is an expression -- leads to the difference.

In the first case, the arithmetic evaluator sees `a[$(date)]' as the
expression after parameter expansion is performed:

"All tokens in the expression undergo parameter and variable expansion,
command substitution, and quote removal.  The result  is  treated  as  the
arithmetic expression  to  be evaluated."

Since that expression looks like a variable expansion, the following
sentence in the description of arithmetic evaluation is applicable:

"Within an expression, shell variables may also be referenced by name
without  using  the  parameter expansion  syntax.  A shell variable that
is null or unset evaluates to 0 when referenced by name without using the
parameter expansion syntax."

The a[$(date)] is identified as an array index, so the $(date) is expanded
like any other index, and evaluated as an expression.

This is what lets you use things like 'x+1' and 'x[y+1]' in arithmetic
expansions.

The parameter expansion example (${a[$x]}) doesn't undergo that `extra'
expansion.  The index that ends up being passed to the evaluator is `$x',
which is expanded to `$(date)'.  That is treated as an expression and
evaluation fails.

Chet
-- 
``The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.'' - Chaucer
                 ``Ars longa, vita brevis'' - Hippocrates
Chet Ramey, ITS, CWRU    address@hidden    http://cnswww.cns.cwru.edu/~chet/



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