Seems like Apple broke pppd with one of the latest patches to OSX. My SonicWALL NetExtender stopped connecting unless run as root. The error i got was:
FATAL: An immediately fatal error of some kind occurred, such as an essential system call failing, or running out of virtual memory.
After some detective work I fixed this by changing permissions as follows:
sudo chmod a+s /usr/sbin/pppd sudo chmod -R a+w /etc/ppp
Hope this helps someone. 😉