Security issue with .desktop files revisited

Dave Cridland dave at
Tue Mar 28 17:06:46 EEST 2006

On Tue Mar 28 13:37:41 2006, Mike Hearn wrote:
> Here's an  idea - the problem with requiring an EA or +x to be set 
> is it breaks backwards compatibility (it'd break Crossover/Wine for 
> one ...). But what if the logic is inverted - so the absence of +x 
> means a file is trusted, and web browsers or email programs set +x 
> when they save a file to disk? The +x bit on a .desktop file in the 
> users home dir is then treated as a "don't trust" marker. This 
> doesn't break backwards compatibility and only requires that web 
> browsers and email programs be patched.
There are a lot more browsers and email programs than there are 
.desktop interpreters, and moreover the majority of email/browsers 
are designed to be cross-platform, so getting the code in there 
correctly would be more annoying.

> I'd still be happier with some solution that prevented a .desktop 
> file masquerading as a JPEG file, but anything is better than 
> nothing ...
I don't think that requiring +x for .desktop "activation" precludes 
marking .desktop files in some special way.

           You see things; and you say "Why?"
   But I dream things that never were; and I say "Why not?"
    - George Bernard Shaw

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