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rename - change the name or location of a file


The rename() syscall is used to change the name or location of a file. It can also be used to move a file from one directory to another, or to rename a file. This can be important for system processes, for example making changes to files during updates or installation processes, or for application processes like renaming a file with a new version number. Edge cases can arise from differing permissions levels between the two paths. It can also be vulnerable to TOCTOU (time of check, time of use) attacks if not properly handled, as the operation of the rename can be interrupted between the check that the file exists and when the rename happens.


  • oldpath: const char*[K] - Path to existing file
  • newpath: const char*[K] - New path of file

Available Tags

  • K - Originated from kernel-space.
  • U - Originated from user space (for example, pointer to user space memory used to get it)
  • TOCTOU - Vulnerable to TOCTOU (time of check, time of use)
  • OPT - Optional argument - might not always be available (passed with null value)






Monitoring the rename syscall

Example Use Case

An example use-case of the rename() syscall could be updating a program. A program would call rename() to move an existing version of the file to a new directory and/or with a different name, and then place a new version of the program into the proper directory.


TOCTOU (Time of Check, Time of Use) attacks are possible when using the rename() syscall. If a file is checked to exist and then renamed, an attacker can theoretically create the file in the meantime and cause an attack vector through the rename.

The rename() syscall is often used in conjunction with other syscalls, such as open(), stat(), unlink() or mkDIR(). Additionally, other related syscalls like link() and symlink() can achieve similar effects.

This document was automatically generated by OpenAI and needs review. It might not be accurate and might contain errors. The authors of Tracee recommend that the user reads the "events.go" source file to understand the events and their arguments better.