diff options
authorBoud Roukema <boud@cosmo.torun.pl>2020-06-16 00:42:35 +0200
committerMohammad Akhlaghi <mohammad@akhlaghi.org>2020-06-17 03:23:05 +0100
commit1a4066d086222ef88ba5dd9473da6b036775d014 (patch)
parent105467fe6402fc93015590323695052dc409a75f (diff)
Security risk of LaTeX's -shell-escape option explained in comment
The 'pdflatex' program is used to build the default Maneage-branch paper. But since the default paper uses PGFPlots to build the figures within LaTeX as an external PDF, PGFPlots requires 'pdflatex' to be called with the '-shell-escape' option. Generally, this option can be considered as a security risk (in particular when 'pdflatex' is being run by an external LaTeX file: a malicious LaTeX writer may embed commands in the LaTeX source that will be executed on the host if this option is present). This is not too serious of an issue in Maneage, because when someone runs Maneage, they intentionally let it run many on their system. Hence if someone wants to exploit a host system, they can add the necessary commands long before 'pdflatex' is run. After all, all commands in Maneage are run with the calling user's permissions, hence they have access to many parts of the user's accounts. If someone is worried about security on a non-trusted Maneage project they should act the same as they do with any software: define a new user for it, and call it with that user (as a weak-level security), or run it in a virtual machine or container. However, since this option has been explicity mentioned as a security risk before, it helps if we have a comment explaining its usage in 'paper.mk'. With this commit, the concerned user will read a brief explanation and can read the brief discussion at [1] and possibly re-open the discussion or propose ways of mitigating the security risk(s). [1] https://savannah.nongnu.org/task/?15694
1 files changed, 9 insertions, 0 deletions
diff --git a/reproduce/analysis/make/paper.mk b/reproduce/analysis/make/paper.mk
index 226a37d..5227e55 100644
--- a/reproduce/analysis/make/paper.mk
+++ b/reproduce/analysis/make/paper.mk
@@ -100,6 +100,13 @@ $(texbdir)/paper.bbl: tex/src/references.tex $(mtexdir)/dependencies-bib.tex \
export TEXINPUTS=$$p:
cd $(texbdir);
+ # The pdflatex option '-shell-escape' is "normally disallowed for
+ # security reasons" according to the `info pdflatex' manual, but
+ # is enabled here in order to allow the use of PGFPlots. If you
+ # do not use PGFPlots, then you should remove the `-shell-escape'
+ # option for better security. See
+ # https://savannah.nongnu.org/task/?15694 for details.
pdflatex -shell-escape -halt-on-error $$p/paper.tex
biber paper
@@ -127,6 +134,8 @@ paper.pdf: $(mtexdir)/project.tex paper.tex $(texbdir)/paper.bbl
export TEXINPUTS=$$p:
cd $(texbdir)
+ # See above for a warning and brief discussion on the the
+ # pdflatex option `-shell-escape'.
pdflatex -shell-escape -halt-on-error $$p/paper.tex
# Come back to the top project directory and copy the built PDF