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FreeBSD Ports Security Advisory: FreeBSD-SA-00:32.bitchx

Jul 06, 2000, 19:16 (0 Talkback[s])

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Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2000 16:14:42 -0700
From: FreeBSD Security Advisories security-advisories@freebsd.org
To: BUGTRAQ@SECURITYFOCUS.COM
Subject: FreeBSD Ports Security Advisory: FreeBSD-SA-00:32.bitchx

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FreeBSD-SA-00:32                                           Security Advisory
                                                                FreeBSD, Inc.

Topic:          bitchx port contains client-side vulnerability

Category:       ports
Module:         bitchx
Announced:      2000-07-05
Affects:        Ports collection.
Corrected:      2000-07-03
Vendor status:  Patch released
FreeBSD only:   NO
I. Background

BitchX is a popular IRC client.

II. Problem Description

The bitchx client incorrectly parses string-formatting operators included as part of channel invitation messages sent by remote IRC users. This can cause the local client to crash, and may possibly present the ability to execute arbitrary code as the local user.

The bitchx port is not installed by default, nor is it "part of FreeBSD" as such: it is part of the FreeBSD ports collection, which contains over 3400 third-party applications in a ready-to-install format. The ports collections shipped with FreeBSD 4.0 and 3.5 contain this problem since it was discovered after the release.

FreeBSD makes no claim about the security of these third-party applications, although an effort is underway to provide a security audit of the most security-critical ports.

III. Impact

Remote IRC users can cause the local client to crash, and possibly execute code as the local user.

If you have not chosen to install the bitchx port/package, then your system is not vulnerable to this problem.

IV. Workaround

Issue the following bitchx command (e.g. as part of a startup script):

/ignore * invites

which will disable processing of channel invitation messages.

V. Solution

One of the following:

1) Upgrade your entire ports collection and rebuild the bitchx port.

2) Deinstall the old package and install a new package dated after the correction date, obtained from:

ftp://ftp.FreeBSD.org/pub/FreeBSD/ports/i386/packages-3-stable/irc/bitchx-1.0c16.tar.gz
ftp://ftp.FreeBSD.org/pub/FreeBSD/ports/i386/packages-4-stable/irc/bitchx-1.0c16.tar.gz
ftp://ftp.FreeBSD.org/pub/FreeBSD/ports/alpha/packages-4-stable/irc/bitchx-1.0c16.tar.gz
ftp://ftp.FreeBSD.org/pub/FreeBSD/ports/i386/packages-5-current/irc/bitchx-1.0c16.tar.gz
ftp://ftp.FreeBSD.org/pub/FreeBSD/ports/alpha/packages-5-current/irc/bitchx-1.0c16.tar.gz

NOTE: It may be several days before updated packages are available. Be sure to check the file creation date on the package, because the version number of the software has not changed.

3) download a new port skeleton for the bitchx port from:

http://www.freebsd.org/ports/

and use it to rebuild the port.

4) Use the portcheckout utility to automate option (3) above. The portcheckout port is available in /usr/ports/devel/portcheckout or the package can be obtained from:

ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/ports/packages/devel/portcheckout-1.0.tgz

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