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CGit Maintainer Disappears, Security Hole Found

Free Software

Published on 15 November 2012 10:05 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software
6 Comments

The maintainer behind the open-source CGit project, the popular web front-end to viewing Git repositories, disappeared some months ago. Since then a new maintainer has taken over work on this widely-used software while also discovering a nasty security hole that allows arbitrary command execution. A new CGit release has now occurred under the new leadership to address this problem.

Jason Donenfeld, the developer that has taken over the role as the CGit maintainer at least until the original maintainer re-appears, wrote into Phoronix with these details. "Cgit is a wonderful project, and it's one of the nicest web applications written in C I've ever read. Unfortunately, a while ago, the previous maintainer, Lars Hjemil, disappeared, and nobody I've talked to has heard from him or knows anything about it. Months went by, and as I'd been spirited about cgit for quite some time, I decided to take over stewardship with the community's approval. Folks liked the idea, and for the last few months, I've been managing patches in my own repository. It's not a fork, though. If Lars does return from wherever he is, he'll take over where I've left off."

While picking up the slack on CGit development, Donenfeld discovered a nasty security problem with the code. "I found a pretty serious security bug -- command injection. You can check out the commit here, CVE-2012-4548. Simple error, but not a nice error. In fact, a pretty grave hole."

Due to this major security problem plus other work that's come about since the disappearance of Lars Hjemil, a new release has been issued. Jason announced the CGit 0.9.1 release on the project's mailing list.

Aside from addressing two security vulnerabilities (there was also a heap-buffer overflow aside from the command injection issue), there's other bug-fixes plus a few enhancements. The new stuff out of this release is path-selected sub-module links, intelligent default branch guessing, improved MIME types lookup, case insensitive sorting, other sorting improvements, and Makefile BSD support.

"This is a very highly deployed project, often built by hand with no automatic update mechanism in place, and this version is really one that everyone should upgrade to, due to the rather horrible security hole," Jason Donenfeld added.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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