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Security of .git/config and .git/hooks


This topic has been mentioned on this mailing list before but I had
trouble finding a relevant reference.  Links welcome.

Suppose that I add the following to .git/config in a repository on a
shared computer:

		log = rm -fr /
		fsck = rm -fr /

("rm -fr /" is of course a placeholder here.)

I then tell a sysadmin that git commands are producing strange output
and I am having trouble understanding what is going on.  They may run
"git fsck" or "git log"; in either case, the output is passed to the
pager I configured, allowing me to run an arbitrary command using the
sysadmin's credentials.

You might say that this is the sysadmin's fault, that they should have
read through .git/config before running any Git commands.  But I don't
find it so easy to blame them.

A few related cases that might not seem so dated:

 1. I put my repository in a zip file and ask a Git expert to help me
    recover data from it, or

 2. My repository is in a shared directory on NFS.  Unless the
    administrator setting that up is very careful, it is likely that
    the least privileged user with write access to .git/config or
    .git/hooks/ may be someone that I don't want to be able to run
    arbitrary commands on behalf of the most privileged user working
    in that repository.

A similar case to compare to is Linux's "perf" tool, which used to
respect a .perfconfig file from the current working directory.
Fortunately, nowadays "perf" only respects ~/.perfconfig and

Proposed fix: because of case (1), I would like a way to tell Git to
stop trusting any files in .git.  That is:

 1. Introduce a (configurable) list of "safe" configuration items that
    can be set in .git/config and don't respect any others.

 2. But what if I want to set a different pager per-repository?
    I think we could do this using configuration "profiles".
    My ~/.config/git/profiles/ directory would contain git-style
    config files for repositories to include.  Repositories could
    then contain

		path = ~/.config/git/profiles/fancy-log-pager

    to make use of those settings.  The facility (1) would
    special-case this directory to allow it to set "unsafe" settings
    since files there are assumed not to be under the control of an

 3. Likewise for hooks: my ~/.config/git/hooks/ directory would
    contain hooks for repositories to make use of.  Repositories could
    symlink to hook files from there to make use of them.

    That would allow the configured hooks in ~/.config/git/hooks/ to
    be easy to find and to upgrade in one place.

    To help users migrate, when a hook is present and executable in
    .git/hooks/, Git would print instructions for moving it to
    ~/.config/git/hooks/ and replacing it with a symlink after
    inspecting it.

For backward compatibility, this facility would be controlled by a
global configuration setting.  If that setting is not enabled, then
the current, less safe behavior would remain.

One downside of (3) is its reliance on symlinks.  Some alternatives:

 3b. Use core.hooksPath configuration instead.  Rely on (2).
 3c. Introduce new hook.* configuration to be used instead of hook
     scripts.  Rely on (2).