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Date: Fri, 3 Nov 2017 13:03:57 -0400
From: Scott Court <>
Subject: Re: Re: Fw: Security risk of vim swap files

I pointed this out yesterday on the Vim mailing list. It is currently
being discussed there
(!topic/vim_dev/sRT9BtjLWMk). Some
people are calling for more restrictive permissions on .swp files;
however, I believe that using a separate directory for .swp files is the
best solution for a multitude of reasons I've discussed here and there.
I have refined the vimrc changes that I originally posted (with the help
of Christian) and have found appending the following to your vimrc be a
decent way to mitigate against all known forms of this attack until a
proper patch is released:

" Move the swap file location to protect against CVE-2017-1000382
" More information at
" A big thanks goes to Christian Brabandt (
" for helping with this fix.
if ! isdirectory("~/.vim/swap/")
        silent !install -d -m 700 ~/.vim/swap/ 2>&1 > /dev/null
set directory=~/.vim/swap//

The only drawback to this approach is that it eliminates the warning
when multiple users attempt to edit the same file at the same time;
however, this seems preferable to the alternative of being vulnerable.

On 11/03/2017 12:39 PM, Jakub Wilk wrote:
> * Christian Brabandt <>, 2017-11-02, 22:29:
>> Vim copies the permission from the file being edited. Although the
>> swap file is readable by others this does not leak any information
>> here, since the file being edited is already readable by others.
> In general, what vim does (copying mode bits) in not enough to ensure
> that the swapfile is readable only by the users who had access to the
> original file. It would have to copy also group ownership and ACLs.
> Also, keep in mind how this thread started. Somebody edited
> wp-config.php, which was readable by the web server, of course; then
> vim created .wp-config.php.swp with the same-ish permissions, which
> made the file readable to the whole (external) world. Oops.

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