Comment 0 for bug 1279502

Percona Toolkit 2.1 introduced --version-check to check for MySQL vulnerabilities and PT updates. When this option is enabled - and it is enabled by default(!) - various information about local MySQL as well as other system binaries and packages are submitted to Percona along with the server's IP address. This not only exposes possibly sensitive information, but also does so without bringing it to user's attention or asking for their consent.

It gets worse. The configuration for what information PT tools should collect is not hardcoded in the scripts. Instead, every time it's downloaded from http://v.percona.com/. One of the possible parameters is a binary file name to be executed, i.e. Percona can remotely execute arbitrary command - again, without making user aware of what or when is being executed. To be fair, the ability to run commands is limited to running "command -v", however that's only under the assumption that the command filters will always work.

In my opinion --version-check should never be enabled by default and if user wants to keep it enabled, the configuration (i.e. the list of checks) should be hardcoded and explicitly listed, and not downloaded from a remote location.

Current workaround: To avoid confidential information being exposed, always use --no-version-check with every PT tool that includes 'version-check' feature (e.g. pt-query-digest, pt-diskstats).