FreeBSD Ports Security Advisory: wu-ftpd port contains remote root compromise [REVISED]
Jul 13, 2000, 19:54 (0 Talkback[s])
Re-Imagining Linux Platforms to Meet the Needs of Cloud Service Providers
Date: Tue, 11 Jul 2000 15:05:26 -0700
From: FreeBSD Security Advisories firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: FreeBSD Ports Security Advisory: FreeBSD-SA-00:29.wu-ftpd
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FreeBSD-SA-00:29 Security Advisory
Topic: wu-ftpd port contains remote root compromise [REVISED]
Affects: Ports collection.
Vendor status: Contacted
FreeBSD only: NO
wu-ftpd is a popular FTP server.
II. Problem Description
The wu-ftpd port, versions 2.6.0 and below, contains a
vulnerability which allows FTP users, both anonymous FTP users and
those with a valid account, to execute arbitrary code as root on
the local machine, by inserting string-formatting operators into
command input, which are incorrectly parsed by the FTP server.
The wu-ftpd 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 3500 third-party applications in a ready-to-install
format. The ports collections shipped with FreeBSD 3.5 and 4.0
contains this problem since it was discovered after the
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.
FTP users, including anonymous FTP users, can cause arbitrary
commands to be executed as root on the local machine.
If you have not chosen to install the wu-ftpd port/package, then
your system is not vulnerable to this problem.
Deinstall the wu-ftpd port/package, if you you have installed
One of the following:
1) Upgrade your entire ports collection and rebuild the wu-ftpd
2) Deinstall the old package and install a new package dated
after the correction date, obtained from:
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 wu-ftpd port from:
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:
VI. Revision History
v1.0 2000-07-05 Initial release
v1.1 2000-07-11 Clarify that vulnerability affects all FTP users, not
just anonymous FTP. Correct URL of package. Update
size of ports collection.
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