SuSE Security Announcement: gpg/GnuPG
Jun 03, 2001, 13:58 (0 Talkback[s])
From: Roman Drahtmueller <email@example.com>
Subject: [suse-security-announce] SuSE Security Announcement: gpg/GnuPG (SuSE-SA:2001:020)
Date: Sun, 3 Jun 2001 14:23:46 +0200 (MEST)
SuSE Security Announcement
Date: Sunday, Jun 3rd 2001 14:00 MEST
Affected SuSE versions: 6.3, 6.4, 7.0, 7.1, (7.2)
Vulnerability Type: local privilege escalation
Severity (1-10): 6
SuSE default package: yes
Other affected systems: systems shipping the gpg/GnuPG package
Content of this advisory:
1) security vulnerability resolved: gpg
problem description, discussion, solution and upgrade information
2) pending vulnerabilities, solutions, workarounds
3) standard appendix (further information)
1) problem description, brief discussion, solution, upgrade information
GnuPG (the SuSE package is named "gpg") is a powerful encryption and
signing program with a widespread usership in the free software world.
It is designed to be a replacement for PGP and conforms to the OpenPGP
A format string vulnerability in versions of GnuPG before 1.0.6 has
been found. The error occurs when gpg encounters a filename suffix that
is not ".gpg" and prints the filename without the suffix as a default
to the terminal. The bug allows an attacker to execute arbitrary code
as the user calling gpg. Werner Koch, the author of the GnuPG package,
states that when the "--batch" commandline option is used (such as
when verifying rpm packages, see Section 3 of this announcement, or
when used in MUAs (Mail User Agent)), the error cannot occur since
this option supresses the printout of the filename on the terminal.
There is no temporary workaround for the problem except for the
"--batch" commandline option to gpg. We recommend to update the gpg
package on all systems where it is installed.
As an additional reason to update the package, it should be noted that
gnupg 1.0.5 (packages were available on our ftp server) fixed some
security-related problems, where one of them could allow an attacker
with access to your key ring to compute the private key in considerably
We thank Werner Koch, the author of the GnuPG program, for quickly
responding to the problem and fish stiqz, Synnergy Networks, for
finding and communicating the problem to Werner Koch and to the
Please download the update package from locations described below and check
the authenticity of the rpm package file using a method as described in
section 3) of this security announcement. Please note that the packages
for the 7.1 distribution are located on the ftp ftp.suse.com ftp server, the
packages for older distributions are on ftp.suse.de/.
The upcoming SuSE Linux Distribution 7.2 has been officially announced
and will be available for our customers these days. The gpg package in
version 1.0.6 did not make it into the 7.2 distribution. The update
package will be available in the update directory shortly.
Use the command `rpm -Uhv file.rpm' to apply the update.
i386 Intel Platform:
PPC Power PC Platform:
AXP Alpha Platform:
2) Pending vulnerabilities in SuSE Distributions and Workarounds:
SuSE Linux distributions after SuSE-7.1 contain the qpopper in version
4.x.y. According to the Changelogs of Qpopper 4.0.3 (See
ftp://ftp.qualcomm.com/eudora/servers/unix/popper/), the versions of
qpopper before version 4.0.3 contain a buffer overflow. We are currently
investigating if this bug is exploitable and which versions of qpopper
are affected. We will provide update packages as soon as possible if
necessary. Please see our upcoming security announcements (Section 3 of
Netscape before Version 4.77 contains a bug that allows a remote attacker
contained in a viewed page. This code can be executed.
Update packages for the SuSE Linux distributions 6.3, 6.4, 7.0 and 7.1
can be found on our ftp server at
The packages are gpg-signed. See the section above about downloading
and verifying rpm packages.
The complexity of the netscape browser suggests by nature that more
security related problems will be found, we will not issue a dedicated
security announcement for the netscape package any more. Security-
inclined users may please see the future security announcements in
section 2) for information about security related problems with the
Most of the supported distributions have pine update packages in the
update area of the ftp server that update the pine package to version
4.33. Many vulnerabilities have been found in versions before 4.33,
and it is recommended to perform the upgrade.
Please note that not all packages have been built yet. See the update
directory for your distribution (like i386/update/7.0/n1) for pine-4.33
firstname.lastname@example.org has found an exploitable buffer overflow bug in
the dsh program from the dqs package on SuSE Linux distributions.
To workaround the problem, do "chmod -s /usr/bin/dsh" and change the
files /etc/permissions* to reflect the change. If you do not need the
dqs package, then deinstall it (rpm -e dqs). We are working on update
packages that fix the problem.
Insecure temporary file handling is the cause for a new samba version
2.0.9 that can be found as rpm packages in the n1/ directory of your
distribution. It is recommended to install the update package if your
users have local shell access to your samba server (this bug is not
We are currently investigating some oddity in the behaviour of the
samba package and will send a security announcement as soon as we
have clarified the problems. The problems were present in earlier
releases/versions of the samba package as well. By consequence, the
installation of the update package is of low risk for the functionality
of your system.
3) standard appendix: authenticity verification, additional information
- Package authenticity verification:
SuSE update packages are available on many mirror ftp servers all over
the world. While this service is being considered valuable and important
to the free and open source software community, many users wish to be
sure about the origin of the package and its content before installing
the package. There are two verification methods that can be used
independently from each other to prove the authenticity of a downloaded
file or rpm package:
1) md5sums as provided in the (cryptographically signed) announcement.
2) using the internal gpg signatures of the rpm package.
1) execute the command
after you downloaded the file from a SuSE ftp server or its mirrors.
Then, compare the resulting md5sum with the one that is listed in the
announcement. Since the announcement containing the checksums is
cryptographically signed (usually using the key email@example.com),
the checksums show proof of the authenticity of the package.
We disrecommend to subscribe to security lists which cause the
email message containing the announcement to be modified so that
the signature does not match after transport through the mailing
Downsides: You must be able to verify the authenticity of the
announcement in the first place. If RPM packages are being rebuilt
and a new version of a package is published on the ftp server, all
md5 sums for the files are useless.
2) rpm package signatures provide an easy way to verify the authenticity
of an rpm package. Use the command
rpm --checksig <file.rpm>
to verify the signature of the package, where is the
filename of the rpm package that you have downloaded. Of course,
package authenticity verification can only target an uninstalled rpm
a) gpg is installed
b) The package is signed using a certain key. The public part of this
key must be installed by the gpg program in the directory
~/.GnuPG/ under the user's home directory who performs the
signature verification (usually root). You can import the key
that is used by SuSE in rpm packages for SuSE Linux by saving
this announcement to a file ("announcement.txt") and
running the command (do "su -" to be root):
gpg --batch; gpg < announcement.txt | gpg --import
SuSE Linux distributions version 7.1 and thereafter install the
key "firstname.lastname@example.org" upon installation or upgrade, provided that
the package gpg is installed. The file containing the public key
is placed at the toplevel directory of the first CD (pubring.gpg)
and at ftp://ftp.suse.com/pub/suse/pubring.gpg-build.suse.de .
- SuSE runs two security mailing lists to which any interested party may
- general/linux/SuSE security discussion.
All SuSE security announcements are sent to this list.
To subscribe, send an email to
- SuSE's announce-only mailing list.
Only SuSE's security annoucements are sent to this list.
To subscribe, send an email to
For general information or the frequently asked questions (faq)
send mail to:
SuSE's security contact is <email@example.com>.
The <firstname.lastname@example.org> public key is listed below.
Roman Drahtmueller <email@example.com>.
| Roman Drahtmüller <firstname.lastname@example.org> // "The best way to pay for a |
SuSE GmbH - Security Phone: // lovely moment is to enjoy it."
| Nürnberg, Germany +49-911-740530 // - Richard Bach |
The information in this advisory may be distributed or reproduced,
provided that the advisory is not modified in any way.
SuSE GmbH makes no warranties of any kind whatsoever with respect
to the information contained in this security advisory.