New D-Bus Uploaded

Scott James Remnant scott at
Mon Jan 19 12:37:58 GMT 2009

If your package contains a D-Bus system bus service, you need to pay

It was discovered that the default policy of the D-Bus system bus was
not as was expected, due to a quirk of the language.  In fact, whereas
the default policy was supposed to have been that messages would not be
allowed by default, the default was in fact that messages _were_

CVE-2008-4311 was issued, and a new release of D-Bus was updated to
correct the default policy to be deny-by-default.

It was quickly discovered that the policy files shipped by most services
no longer worked, and that many were (inadvertently, perhaps) relying on
the misconfiguration of the daemon.

We've audited the system bus services shipped in Ubuntu, and are
confident that there is no security exploit.  Those services exporting
privileged methods either have sufficient "deny" rules, or use PolicyKit
for authorisation.

For this reason, and due to the large potential for regressions, we've
opted not to release a security update for previous Ubuntu versions.  We
may still do so if we discover a potential for exploit.

However this is a bug, and I've uploaded a new version of D-Bus to
jaunty that corrects it.  I've filed bugs on all packages that appear to
ship a D-Bus system bus service (those with /etc/dbus-1/system.d/*.conf
files), but I may have missed some.  I'd appreciate your help tracking
down any I've missed, and updating all of the packages.

Please read the following carefully to assist with updating the

The default policy of the D-Bus system bus is:

 - Name ownership is DENIED by default.

 - Method calls are DENIED by default.

 - Replies to method calls, including errors, are PERMITTED by default.

 - Signals are PERMITTED by default.

Therefore each service MUST, in its policy configuration:

 - Permit an appropriate user to own the name it wishes to claim:

	<policy user="example">
	    <allow own="com.ubuntu.Example" />

 - Allow method calls to be made on objects it exports, for particular
   users.  This may be done in a number of different ways.

   You may simply allow all method calls to your claimed name:

	<policy context="default">
	    <allow send_destination="com.ubuntu.example" />

   You may allow method calls to particular interfaces you export,
   especially useful if you have privileged and non-privileged

	<policy context="default">
	    <allow send_destination="com.ubuntu.example"
	           send_interface="com.ubuntu.Example" />

	<policy user="root">
	    <allow send_destination="com.ubuntu.example"
	           send_interface="com.ubuntu.Example.System" />

    *IMPORTANT* you MUST include send_destination on ALL allow or deny
    tags.  Omitting it is a SERIOUS bug!

		<!-- !! SERIOUS BUG !! -->
		<allow send_interface="x.y.z" />

	This allows any service to receive method calls of the given
	interface, not just your own service!

	It also implicitly allows any service to receive method calls
	with no interface specified, in case they match this interface!

	Using the above means you are potentially allowing exploiting of
	a different service.  DO NOT DO IT!

		<!-- !! SERIOUS BUG !! -->
		<deny send_interface="x.y.z" />

	This denies all services from receiving method calls of the
	given interface, not just your own service!  It also implicitly
	denies all services from receiving method calls with no
	interface specified.  DO NOT DO IT!

 - You must allow standard interfaces as well, such as Introspection and

	<policy context="default">
	    <allow send_destination="com.ubuntu.example"
	           send_interface="org.freedesktop.DBus.Introspectable" />
	    <allow send_destination="com.ubuntu.example"
	           send_interface="org.freedesktop.DBus.Properties" />

 - You should not normally allow receipt of any messages sent from your
   interface, this is also the default.

   (ie. remove any lines of the form <allow receive_*>)

 - You do not normally need to deny any messages, this is the default.

   (ie. remove any lines of the form <deny...>)

You should fully test the service with the new D-Bus after updating the
policy, you'll need to restart the bus daemon for that (it's probably
easier to reboot).

If messages are being denied, it will be logged in /var/log/auth.log as

Dec 19 14:17:53 space-ghost dbus: Rejected send message, 1 matched
rules; type="method_return", sender=":1.26" (uid=0 pid=2966
comm="/usr/libexec/nm-dispatcher.action ") interface="(unset)"
member="(unset)" error name="(unset)" requested
_reply=0 destination=":1.18" (uid=0 pid=2806 comm="NetworkManager

Be aware that a denied message may still happen if you have other
invalid policy installed (such as those which don't qualify allow/deny
rules with the destination!).  Take the opportunity to fix all you see.

Scott James Remnant
scott at
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