SECURITY ISSUES RELATED TO MTR mtr invokes a sub-process, mtr-packet, which requires extra privileges to send custom packets, and there are security implications from granting this. There are several different ways to provide the privileges: 1. Add limited privileges on systems that support this. (Preferred.) 2. Run mtr as the root user. 3. Make mtr-packet a setuid-root binary. Details: 1. Add limited privileges on systems that support this. Some operating systems allow binaries to be run with only the subset of security privileges that are actually needed. Linux: On Linux, privileges are known as capabilities. The only additional capability that mtr-packet needs is cap_net_raw. To give this capability to the mtr-packet binary, run the following command as root: # setcap cap_net_raw+ep mtr-packet 2. Run mtr as the root user. You can limit mtr usage to the root user by not putting a setuid bit on the mtr-packet binary. In that case, the security implications are minimal. 3. Make mtr-packet a setuid-root binary. The mtr-packet binary can be made setuid-root, which is what "make install" does by default. When mtr-packet is installed as suid-root, some concern over security is justified. mtr-packet does the following two things after it is launched: * mtr-packet open sockets for sending raw packets and for receiving ICMP packets. * mtr-packet drops root privileges by setting the effective uid to match uid or the user calling mtr. * If capabilities support is available, mtr-packet drops all privileged capabilities. See main() in packet.c and init_net_state_privileged() in probe_unix.c for the details of this process. This should limit the possibilities of using mtr to breach system security. The worst case scenario is as follows: Due to some oversight in the mtr-packet code, a malicious user is able to overrun one of mtr-packets's internal buffers with binary code that is eventually executed. The malicious user is still not able to read from or write to any system files other than those normally accessible by the user running mtr. The only privileges gained are access to the raw socket, which would allow the malicious user to listen to all ICMP packets arriving at the system, and to send forged packets with arbitrary contents. If you have further questions or comments about security issues, please see the README file for details on how to submit them.