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SuSE: miscellaneous 15:30 MET, Wednesday, November 15 2000
This notice addresses the latest security advisories from various Linux
vendors as well as private contributors on public security forums. The
issues have been collected to keep the noise on the public security
forums at a reduced level.
The information herein should be considered both background as well as
upgrade information (please read carefully).
1) SuSE security staff
gpg (update information)
bind8 (status: update avail, announcement pending)
pine (status: testing new version 4.30)
dump (status: not vulnerable)
phf (status: not vulnerable)
gs (status: pending)
global (status: building)
crontab (status: not vulnerable)
vlock (status: not vulnerable)
tcpdump (status: update avail, testing)
tcsh (status: update+announcement pending)
modules (status: more updates for older distributions)
1) SuSE security staff
SuSE welcomes security professional Sebastian Krahmer <krahmer(a)suse.de>
aboard the SuSE security team. His name has already been on top of the
last SuSE security announcement about the security problems in the modules
package. Enlarging the capacity of the security team, Sebastian will be
busy fixing security problems, auditing code and maintaining security-
related software. More security announcements from him will be seen in the
GnuPG may erroneously recognize a file/mail to be correctly signed, if
there are multiple signatures and the file/mail has been modified.
This bug affects all GnuPG versions prior to and including 1.0.3. It has
been fixed in version 1.0.4. Updated packages are available on our
German ftp server (as well as its mirrors) for the SuSE distributions
6.3, 6.4 and 7.0. Please note that the gpg packages for the SuSE-7.0
distribution have an addon, called gpgaddon. It contains
implementations of cipher algorythms that require licenses in many
countries due to software patents. Those gpgaddon packages are not
There will not be a security announcement for this package - the
privacy risk for users of the old package is considerably small.
You can update your installed packages using the command
rpm -Uhv <URL-to-file>
where <URL-to-file> is one of the following FTP URLs to chose from.
Please use the SuSE Linux mirrors as listed at
The md5sums for the files on the ftp server are:
i386 Intel Platform
<p> Sparc Platform
<p> PPC Power PC platform
<p> AXP Alpha Platform
BIND, the Berkeley Internet Name Daemon, versions before 8.2.2p7, has
been found vulnerable to two denial of service attacks: named may crash
after a compressed zone transfer request and if an SRV record (defined
in RFC2782) is sent to the server. SuSE versions 6.0 through 6.4 are
affected by this problem. The bind8 package in SuSE-7.0 is not
susceptible to the problems because a different version of bind8 has
been used in this distribution.
A temporary workaround against the first error is to disable zone
transfers if those are not needed (it is recommended for security
reasons, and the default configuration in our package has zone transfers
disabled.). Since the second bug can't be circumvented so easily, it is
recommended to upgrade the bind8 package as soon as possible.
Recognizing the urgency of this issue, the updated packages are on their
way to the ftp server right now. An announcement covering the issue will
follow this notice.
The popular text-based mail user agent is vulnerable to a buffer
overflow in the portion of code that periodically checks for the arrival
of new mail. In addition, there is an error in the header parsing code
which could lead to a crash of the mail program.
The authors of pine (University of Washington, Seattle, see
) have published a new version
of the pine package that should fix the known problems. During testing,
several instabilities of the program have been observed so that we
have delayed the release of the updated version. Additional patches are
being tested right now so that the release of the new version 4.30 can
be expected within days.
The Linux implementation of the ext2fs backup utility "dump" can be
tricked into running arbitrary commands as root in case it is installed
setuid root. dump is not installed suid root in SuSE Linux releases 6.0
through (the most recent) 7.0 because there is no convincing reason to
do so. Therefore, SuSE Linux is not vulnerable to this problem with
the dump program.
* phf cgi program
proton <proton(a)ENERGYMECH.NET> has discovered a buffer overflow that can
lead the phf cgi program to execute arbitrary code with the privileges
of the user that the webserver is running under. SuSE distributions
contain a cgi program that is called phf, it is included in the thttpd
package. Installed under /usr/local/httpd/htdocs/cgi-bin/phf, this
program is a booby trap that logs attackers intending to exploit
formerly known bugs of the phf program. By consequence, SuSE
distributions are not vulnerable to the buffer overflow in the phf
The Ghostscript program in SuSE distributions runtime-links against
shared libraries in the current working directory if a shared library
with the adequate name is present. The problem is created by exporting
the environment variable LD_RUN_PATH at linking time during the package
compile process. Later, at runtime linking, the runtime linker
ld-linux.so.2 will try to open ./libc.so.6. If this fails, the linker
will continue searching the usual paths to find the library.
Basically, this means that users should call gs as well as all programs
using gs (such as gv or ghostview) in a directory that is only
writeable by the user calling gs. It is expected that more Linux
distributions (other than SuSE Linux) and possibly commercial unix
vendors as well are affected by this problem. In future versions of the
SuSE Linux distribution, this problem will be fixed.
htags, one program within the global package, is a hypertext generator
from C, Yacc and Java source code. The "-f" option generates a cgi
script as an input form backend that is vulnerable to a simple remote
attack if the script is executable by a webserver. Remote attackers can
run arbitrary commands under the user privileges of the webserver.
The global package is not installed per default, nor is the bug present
in the "installed-only" state of the package. However, if you use the
program and the "-f" option of htags, it is recommended to upgrade the
package as soon as possible. We are working on the update packages.
A tmp file vulnerability has been found in various implementations of
the crontab(1) command. SuSE Linux is not affected by this problem.
vlock is a terminal locking program for the Linux virtual system
console. It has been reported by Bartlomiej Grzybicki
<bgrzybicki(a)morliny.pl> that it is possible to crash a running vlock and
thus giving access to a console without a password. However, the
conditions under which the failure happens are not clear.
SuSE distributions are not concerned because the vlock program is not
included in the distribution.
Several buffer overflows have been found in the tcpdump program, a
network analysis program, according to FreeBSD Security Advisory
FreeBSD-SA-00:61.tcpdump. The vulnerability can be used to remotely crash
a running tcpdump program. Since the version of tcpdump included in SuSE
distributions is not capable of decoding AFS ACL packets, this particular
part of the bugs does not concern SuSE Linux. Though, some intrusion
detection systems rely on tcpdump's output so that a proper operation of
the tcpdump program is crutial.
There are updates packages available for download on our ftp server
which fix the vulnerability. The security announcement is pending while
we're still testing the packages.
proton <proton(a)ENERGYMECH.NET> has found a temporary file vulnerability
in the portion of code in the tcsh that handles redirects of the form
cat << END_OF_TEXT
With this vulnerability in place, it is possible for an attacker to
overwrite arbitrary files with the privileges of the user of tcsh.
There is no fix for this problem other than an upgrade to a fixed
version which will be available on our ftp server shortly. An advisory
covering this matter will follow.
Sebastian Krahmer <krahmer(a)suse.de> has issued a SuSE security
announcement about the shell meta character expansion vulnerability in
the modprobe program that is responsible for the automatic loading of
kernel modules upon request. In addition to the update packages for
the vulnerable versions of the SuSE distribution, we will provide
updates for the older distributions (6.0-6.3) shortly, even though
these distributions have not been found vulnerable to the modprobe
problem. The rpm packages can be found at the usual location shortly.
| Roman Drahtmüller <draht(a)suse.de> // "Caution: Cape does |
SuSE GmbH - Security Phone: // not enable user to fly."
| Nürnberg, Germany +49-911-740530 // (Batman Costume warning label) |
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