SUSE Linux Advisory: gaim
Jan 30, 2004, 16:59 (0 Talkback[s])
SUSE Security Announcement
||Thursday, Jan 29th 2004 10:30 MET
||8.0, 8.1, 8.2, 9.0 SuSE Linux Desktop 1.0
||remote system compromise
|SUSE default package:
Content of this advisory:
- security vulnerability resolved:
- two buffer overflows problem description, discussion, solution
and upgrade information
- pending vulnerabilities, solutions, workarounds:
- kernel binaries for SLES8 AMD64
- XDM (XFree86, xf86)
- standard appendix (further information)
1) problem description, brief discussion, solution, upgrade
Gaim is a multi-protocol instant-messaging client. Stefan Esser
found 12 vulnerabilities in gaim that can lead to a remote system
compromise with the privileges of the user running GAIM. The GAIM
package that SUSE LINUX ships is affected by just two of these
- Yahoo Packet Parser Overflow
- HTTP Proxy Connect Overflow
The first vulnerability is easy to exploit and results in a
classic stack overflow which can be used to execute arbitrary code.
The latter vulnerability requires the gaim client use a HTTP proxy
under the control of the attacker. The exploitation of this bug
results in arbitrary code execution too.
There is no known workaround.
Please download the update package for your distribution and
verify its integrity by the methods listed in section 3) of this
announcement. Then, to apply the update use the command "rpm -Fhv
file.rpm". Our maintenance customers are being notified
individually. The packages are being offered to install from the
Intel i386 Platform:
2) Pending vulnerabilities in SUSE Distributions and
- kernel binaries for SLES8 AMD64 Due to a human failure the
kernel binaries of SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 for AMD64 lack
the fix described in SuSE-SA:2004:003. The kernel-source packages
and the packages for IA64 are not affected. New packages
are available at our maintenance-web.
- mc By using a special combination of links in archive files it
is possible to execute arbitrary commands while mc tries to open it
in its VFS. New packages are available on our FTP servers.
- mod_gzip (apache-contrib) The apache module mod_gzip is
vulnerable to remote code execution while running in debug-mode. We
do not ship this module in debug-mode but future versions will
include the fix. Additionally the mod_gzip code was audited to fix
more possibly security related bugs. After more testing a new
apache-contrib RPM package will be released.
- tripwire Tripwire is a file integrity checker. The version of
tripwire included with SuSE Linux 9.0 crashs when a requested file
does not exists. New packages are available on our FTP
- XDM (XFree86, xf86) A missing check for failure conditions in
the PAM code of XDM can lead to local root access in conjunction
with Kerberos or other authentication methods. New packages are
available on our FTP servers.
- 3ddiag Some 3ddiag scripts handle temporary files in an
insecure manner. Thanks to Stefan Nordhausen <nordhaus at
for reporting some of these issues. New packages are available on
our FTP servers.
- mod_auth_shadow (apache-contrib) This apache module ignores
account expiration dates. The update will be released together with
- cvsup cvsup uses a library path which is world-writeable. This
behavior can lead to local privilege escalation. Thanks to Matthias
Andree for notifying us. Upcoming SuSE Linux versions have an
automatic check enabled to detect these types of bugs. New packages
are available on our FTP servers.
- nmap Due to a bad interaction between kernel and user-space for
precalculated IP checksums nmap did not work on SUSE LINUX 9.0. New
packages are available on our FTP servers.
- netpbm Some tools in the netpbm suite create files in an
insecure manner that can lead to local privilege escalation. New
packages will be available soon.
- zebra Local users can send malicious netlink messages that
cause denial-of-service conditions in zebra. New packages will be
- quagga Local users can send malicious netlink messages that
cause denial-of-service conditions in the routing-daemon quagga.
New packages are available on our FTP servers.
- tcpdump The code for handling ISAKMP and RADIUS messages
contained bugs which allowed remote attackers to crash tcpdump or
to execute arbitrary code. New packages are available on our FTP
- mod_python A remote denial-of-service attack can be triggered
against the Apache web server by sending a specific query string
that is processed by mod_python. New packages will be available
3) standard appendix: authenticity verification, additional
- 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:
- md5sums as provided in the (cryptographically signed)
- using the internal gpg signatures of the rpm package.
- execute the command md5sum <name-of-the-file.rpm> 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 firstname.lastname@example.org), 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 list software.
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.
- rpm package signatures provide an easy way to verify the
authenticity of an rpm package. Use the command rpm -v --checksig
<file.rpm> to verify the signature of the package, where
<file.rpm> is the filename of the rpm package that you have
downloaded. Of course, package authenticity verification can only
target an un-installed rpm package file. Prerequisites:
- gpg is installed
- 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 "email@example.com"
upon installation or upgrade, provided that the package gpg is
installed. The file containing the public key is placed at the
top-level 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 subscribe:
- general/linux/SUSE security discussion. All SUSE security
announcements are sent to this list. To subscribe, send an email
- SUSE's announce-only mailing list. Only SUSE's security
announcements are sent to this list. To subscribe, send an email
For general information or the frequently asked questions (faq)
send mail to:
SUSE's security contact is <firstname.lastname@example.org
public key is listed below.
The information in this advisory may be distributed or
reproduced, provided that the advisory is not modified in any way.
In particular, it is desired that the clear-text signature shows
proof of the authenticity of the text.
SUSE Linux AG makes no warranties of any kind whatsoever with
respect to the information contained in this security advisory.
||uSE Security Team <email@example.com>
||SuSE Package Signing Key <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thomas Biege <email@example.com>, SUSE LINUX AG,
Security Support & Auditing