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Thread: Firefox Automatic Update - How does it bypass normal permissions?

  1. #1

    Default Firefox Automatic Update - How does it bypass normal permissions?

    How is Firefox able to update itself at will, without needing root access to do so?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Firefox Automatic Update - How does it bypass normal permissions?

    Hmmmm .... Is it able to update itself?

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    Default Re: Firefox Automatic Update - How does it bypass normal permissions?

    Quote Originally Posted by oakhillj View Post
    How is Firefox able to update itself at will, without needing root access to do so?
    Lord_Emsworth stated it nicely.

    You exhort a statement without even the tinyest bit of information, let alone prove.
    Henk van Velden

  4. #4

    Default Re: Firefox Automatic Update - How does it bypass normal permissions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Emsworth View Post
    Hmmmm .... Is it able to update itself?
    Yes it is. I received this unpleasant surprise recently when I started Firefox and it informed me that it had been updated to Version 9. At no time did it ask for the password. I found the appropriate setting in about:config to disable it, but that is not a satisfactory answer. I would like to know how it can bypass the usual system protections,

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    Default Re: Firefox Automatic Update - How does it bypass normal permissions?

    Quote Originally Posted by oakhillj View Post
    Yes it is. I received this unpleasant surprise recently when I started Firefox and it informed me that it had been updated to Version 9. At no time did it ask for the password. I found the appropriate setting in about:config to disable it, but that is not a satisfactory answer. I would like to know how it can bypass the usual system protections,
    Chances are that this update came in through the regular update process, i.e. from the Updates repository. If you check, you'll find Firefox 9.0 is in there. For example the Updates repo for 11.4 x86_64:
    Index of /update/11.4/rpm/x86_64

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    Default Re: Firefox Automatic Update - How does it bypass normal permissions?

    Code:
    henk@boven:/usr/lib/firefox> ls -l $(which firefox)
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 25 24 dec 21:51 /usr/bin/firefox -> ../lib/firefox/firefox.sh
    henk@boven:/usr/lib/firefox> ls -ld /usr/lib/firefox
    drwxr-xr-x 11 root root 4096 21 dec 19:37 /usr/lib/firefox
    henk@boven:/usr/lib/firefox> ls -l /usr/lib/firefox/firefox*
    -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 51096 21 dec 19:37 /usr/lib/firefox/firefox-bin
    -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root  4270 21 dec 19:32 /usr/lib/firefox/firefox.sh
    henk@boven:/usr/lib/firefox>
    This is from my openSUSE 11.4 system.
    It shows clearly that root:root is the owner:group of the directory the firefox binary is in. Same for the binery itself. Also there is no write persmission for others then the owner for those two.

    My conclusion: those files can only be changed by root. That is a Unix/Linux law that Firefox can not circumvent.

    You can also check the date/time of those files to see if they have been changed/replaced on the time you think that update took place.

    BTW when your system manager (same person as you, but with a different hat on?) updated Firefox some time ago and you now (as user, same person, other hat on) start it for the first time after that update, FF will tell you that. Even when tthe update was allready done a year ago.
    Henk van Velden

  7. #7

    Default Re: Firefox Automatic Update - How does it bypass normal permissions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Emsworth View Post
    Chances are that this update came in through the regular update process, i.e. from the Updates repository. If you check, you'll find Firefox 9.0 is in there. For example the Updates repo for 11.4 x86_64:
    Index of /update/11.4/rpm/x86_64
    I don't run auto updates. I only do manual online update through YAST. This happened without my doing that.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Firefox Automatic Update - How does it bypass normal permissions?

    Quote Originally Posted by oakhillj View Post
    I don't run auto updates. I only do manual online update through YAST. This happened without my doing that.
    That hen is a yes - no situation.

    I won't add any comment on that.
    Henk van Velden

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Firefox Automatic Update - How does it bypass normal permissions?

    On 2012-01-23 11:36, oakhillj wrote:
    >
    > Lord_Emsworth;2433196 Wrote:
    >> Hmmmm .... -Is- it able to update itself?


    > Yes it is. I received this unpleasant surprise recently when I started
    > Firefox and it informed me that it had been updated to Version 9. At no
    > time did it ask for the password. I found the appropriate setting in
    > about:config to disable it, but that is not a satisfactory answer. I
    > would like to know how it can bypass the usual system protections,


    Find the files. You will find that you did a local home install.

    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.
    (from 11.4 x86_64 "Celadon" at Telcontar)

  10. #10

    Default Re: Firefox Automatic Update - How does it bypass normal permissions?

    Quote Originally Posted by hcvv View Post
    Code:
    henk@boven:/usr/lib/firefox> ls -l $(which firefox)
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 25 24 dec 21:51 /usr/bin/firefox -> ../lib/firefox/firefox.sh
    henk@boven:/usr/lib/firefox> ls -ld /usr/lib/firefox
    drwxr-xr-x 11 root root 4096 21 dec 19:37 /usr/lib/firefox
    henk@boven:/usr/lib/firefox> ls -l /usr/lib/firefox/firefox*
    -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 51096 21 dec 19:37 /usr/lib/firefox/firefox-bin
    -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root  4270 21 dec 19:32 /usr/lib/firefox/firefox.sh
    henk@boven:/usr/lib/firefox>
    This is from my openSUSE 11.4 system.
    It shows clearly that root:root is the owner:group of the directory the firefox binary is in. Same for the binery itself. Also there is no write persmission for others then the owner for those two.

    My conclusion: those files can only be changed by root. That is a Unix/Linux law that Firefox can not circumvent.

    You can also check the date/time of those files to see if they have been changed/replaced on the time you think that update took place.

    BTW when your system manager (same person as you, but with a different hat on?) updated Firefox some time ago and you now (as user, same person, other hat on) start it for the first time after that update, FF will tell you that. Even when tthe update was allready done a year ago.
    Unfortunately I reverted to the older version before checking the files, so the file dates reflect when I did that, and the ownership and permissions will also result from that change. At this time they are as they should be.
    I have never intentionally updated Firefox past version 6, because I need an add-on that doesn't work for higher versions.

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