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Date: Fri, 3 Nov 2017 19:38:03 +0100
From: Christian Brabandt <>
Subject: Re: Fw: Security risk of vim swap files

On Fr, 03 Nov 2017, 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.

Yes, I am not saying there is no room for improvement here.

> 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.

I don't buy that argument. There are at least 2 problems here. Someone 
misconfiguring his webserver so it does serve dotfiles and secondly 
making some last minute changes on a live production server (and 
thirdly, the Vim session must have crashed). That sounds more like an 
user error. Also the other example about deleting the file that is 
currently being edited is not very convincing.

But please, if you really want to change how the swap files are created 
please comment here:
or anywhere else in that thread starting here:

Note, first message needs approval.

Aus der Tatsache, daß der Plural von Atlas Atlanten ist, kann man
nicht schließen, daß der Plural von Kompass Kompanten sein muß.

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