The `ldd` utility is more vulnerable than you think. It’s frequently used by programmers and system administrators to determine the dynamic library dependencies of executables. Sounds pretty innocent, right? Wrong! It turns out that running `ldd` on an executable can result in executing arbitrary code. I researched this subject thoroughly and found that it was almost completely undocumented. This article details how such executable can be constructed and comes up with a social engineering scenario that may lead to system compromise.

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pkrumins's picture
Created by pkrumins 6 years 2 weeks ago – Made popular 6 years 2 weeks ago
Category: Beginner   Tags:
akf's picture


6 years 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago



Well, it's not really unknown that you shouldn't use ldd on untrusted programs, especially not with root privileges.
But it's a good reminder.

akf's picture


6 years 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago


better way

A more secure way to find the required libs is objdump:

objdump -p ./program | grep NEEDED

This also finds just the direct dependencies and that's what you are most probably interested in.

pkrumins's picture


6 years 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago


thanks akf.

Thanks for updates akf. There were literally just 3 or 4 different pages that said something about this unexpected ldd behavior.

I also just talked with someone who has been using gentoo for a long time and he says he remembers that revdep-rebuild used to run ldd on all the *.so's in the system to do some verification checks. If this was true today, all gentoos would have been owned.