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Google Releases Open Source Tool for Finding File Access Vulnerabilities

Google on Monday announced that it has released the source code of a tool designed to help developers identify vulnerabilities related to file access.

The tool, named PathAuditor, has been useful to Google and the company has now decided to release it as open source. The tech giant is still actively working on PathAuditor, but hopes that the community can help improve it. However, it has pointed out that it’s not an officially supported Google product.

Google notes that file access vulnerabilities could allow attackers to execute malicious code with elevated privileges, which is why it has released PathAuditor to help developers detect unsafe path access patterns that could introduce weaknesses.

PathAuditor is a shared library that can be loaded into processes with LD_PRELOAD and it audits libc functions related to the file system. It checks if an unprivileged user could replace a file or directory with a symlink, which can represent a vulnerability.

Google has provided instructions for using the tool and it has also shared an example of a vulnerability that can be detected with PathAuditor. The source code is available on GitHub.

Google this year also released as open source a silicon root of trust project, a cryptographic protocol, the ClusterFuzz fuzzing platform, and the Sandboxed API.

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Related: FireEye Releases Open Source Persistence Toolkit 'SharPersist'

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.