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Caldera Systems releases updated cron

Aug 29, 1999, 03:22 (0 Talkback[s])
                   Caldera Systems, Inc.  Security Advisory

Subject:                serious security problem in cron
Advisory number:        CSSA-1999:023.0
Issue date:             1999 August, 27
Cross reference:

1. Problem Description

There is a serious security problem in the cron daemon. When a program generates output, cron invokes the sendmail program as root user, passing it as arguments whatever the user defined in the MAILTO variable in his/her crontab.

Sendmail understands a number of potentially dangerous options. When a normal user specifies these options, sendmail will immediately drop all root privilege. Now, since cron invokes sendmail as root user, sendmail will happily accept whatever dangerous options it is given.

2. Vulnerable Versions

Systems : COL 2.2
Packages: previous to vixie-cron-3.0.1-19

3. Solutions

Workaround: none

The proper solution is to upgrade to the latest packages

rpm -U vixie-cron-3.0.1-19.i386.rpm

4. Location of Fixed Packages

The upgrade packages can be found on Caldera's FTP site at:

The corresponding source code package can be found at:

5. Installing Fixed Packages

Upgrade the affected packages with the following commands:

rpm -U vixie-cron-3.0.1-19.i386.rpm

6. Verification

   417cd4ff2a369d7383eec6a6793b99e7  vixie-cron-3.0.1-19.i386.rpm
   80cf3430d59e7c5bfc24e75eac9a9f74  vixie-cron-3.0.1-19.src.rpm

7. References

This and other Caldera security resources are located at:

This security fix closes Caldera's internal Problem Report 5086

8. Disclaimer

Caldera Systems, Inc. is not responsible for the misuse of any of the information we provide on this website and/or through our security advisories. Our advisories are a service to our customers intended to promote secure installation and use of Caldera OpenLinux.