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SuSE Security Announcement: Netscape

Aug 23, 2000, 13:35 (0 Talkback[s])
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 03:54:09 +0200 (MEST)
From: Roman Drahtmueller draht@suse.de
To: suse-security-announce@suse.de
Subject: [suse-security-announce] SuSE Security Announcement: Netscape


                        SuSE Security Announcement

        Package:                Netscape, Versions 4.x, possibly others
        Date:                   Wednesday, August 23rd, 2000 03:30 MEST
        Affected SuSE versions: All
        Vulnerability Type:     remote file viewing, remote buffer overflow
        Severity (1-10):        4, 7
        SuSE default package:   yes
        Other affected systems: all linux systems using this package

    Content of this advisory:
        1) security vulnerability resolved: Netscape
           problem description, discussion, solution and upgrade information
        2) Correction/apology for perl thread, pending vulnerabilities,
           temporary workarounds
        3) standard appendix (further information)

1)  problem description, brief discussion, solution, upgrade information

    Two security problems exist in the netscape package as shipped with
    SuSE Linux distributions.
    a) Improper verification in Netscape's jpeg processing code can lead
    to a buffer overflow where data read from the network can overwrite
    memory. As a result, arbitrary code from a remote origin could be
    executed. The attack is particularly dangerous since it can penetrate
    firewall setups. Netscape version 4.74 fixes (fixed) this
    b) Due to an error in the java implementation in Netscape, it is
    possible for an attacker to view files and directories with the
    priviledges of the user running Netscape if the user visits a
    malisciously crafted webpage. This issue is known as "Brown
    Orifice" and requires the user to have Java enabled in her browser
    configuration. Again, this attack can penetrate firewall setups.
    See http://www.brumleve.com/BrownOrifice for details.

    Problem a) can be circumvented by disabling the automatic image
    loading in Netscape's configuration.
    The temporary workaround for problem b) is to disable Java in
    Netscape's configuration menu (to protect against other
    vulnerabilities, disable JavaScript, too!). Both countermeasures
    may widely be found inacceptable.

    SuSE provides an updated package for the vulnerable software. It is
    strongly recommended to upgrade to the latest version found on our
    ftp server as described below. The update package introduces
    Netscape version 4.75, including the SuSE-specific libraries that fix
    some of Netscape's "irregular" behaviour. Please note that
    Netscape-4.75 is not available for the glibc-2.0-based SuSE
    Distributions SuSE-6.0 and 6.1 because Netscape doesn't provide
    any files for this glibc version. For these distributions, we
    provide Netscape Version 4.74 which fixes problem a) only.
    Alternatively, the package for the libc5-based SuSE-5.3
    distribution can be used as well if the package 'shlibs5' is
    installed. This is recommended, since the 5.3 package may be
    faster and more reliable.

    Download the update package as described below and install the
    package with the command `rpm -Fhv file.rpm'. The md5sum for each
    file is in the line below. You can verify the integrity of the rpm
    files using the command
        `rpm --checksig --nogpg file.rpm',
    independently from the md5 signatures below.
    Due to US-American export restrictions for cryptographical software,
    we are unable to provide update packages on our US ftp server
    ftp.suse.com. Instead, the packages can be found on ftp.suse.de. For
    bandwidth reasons, please use our mirrors or our primary mirror
    ftp.gwdg.de and follow the directory to your distribution.=20
    Example: For SuSE-6.4 use the path

    Please note that the path to netscape.rpm in the 6.0 and 6.1 update
    directories point to Netscape version 4.74 which doesn't fix problemb!
    See section above!

    Further mirrors can be found at
    http://www.suse.de/de/support/download/ftp/inland.html, but be
    advised that not all sites mirror the German part of the update

    md5sums for the i386 Intel Platform (the only one supported):

     SuSE Versions 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 7.0:
        70289f88b4c9fc1a9867ba7dac985982 netscape-4.75.glibc21.i386.rpm

     SuSE Version 5.3 (libc5-based, probably faster, can be used on
     glibc2-based systems if the package shlibs5 is installed)
        679aaf67592244a07733bdabdab67729 netscape-4.75.libc5.i386.rpm

     SuSE Version 6.0 and 6.1, Netscape-4.74 with incomplete fixes:
        4bcc31fe37f7c8d226b437c1daa9b944 netscape-4.74.glibc20.i386.rpm

2)  Correction/Apology: In my posting to suse-security@suse.de and to
    bugtraq@securityfocus.com about the suidperl thread, Subject: "SuSE
    Security Announcement: suidperl (perl)", dated 10 Aug 2000, I wrote:
    "A maliciously implemented feature causes the interpreter to spawn
    the /bin/mail program to"..."
    This is a bad and embarrassing mistake because of a confusion about
    the word "maliciously" in this context - it was meant to read
    I apologize to the perl folks for this mistake.

    Pending vulnerabilities in SuSE Distributions and Workarounds:

    This section addresses currently known vulnerabilities in Linux/Unix
    systems that have not been resolved yet as of the release date of
    this advisory.

    - ntop

        ntop is a network statistics visualization utility which offers
        graphical analysis of network traffic and other statistics with
        a web browser. By default, ntop listens on port 3000 and requires
        no or a commonly known authentication password to view the data.
        ntop is only installed in network server selections and is not
        activated by default in SuSE Linux installations.
        The ntop packages shipped with SuSE Linux did not exhibit the
        unsafe behaviour when a file like /../../etc/passwd is referenced.
        However, Thomas Biege has reviewed the source of the package and
        there are still some potential problems with the package that
        require a major overhaul of the code.
        Currently, we recommend to disable or even remove the ntop package
        (`rpm -e ntop') in an environment where security considerations
        play a role. More information on ntop can be found in
        ntop's documentation directory /usr/doc/packages/ntop or
        /usr/share/doc/packages/ntop for SuSE-7.0.

     - zope

        SuSE distributions before 7.0 do not contain zope as a package.
        An updated package for the freshly released SuSE-7.0 is on the way.

     - xchat

        A fix for the URL handler vulnerabilty is in progress and will
        be released within a few days. There is currently no effective
        and easy workaround other than removing the package by hand
        (`rpm -e xchat'). More information on xchat can be found in
        xchat's documentation directory /usr/doc/packages/xchat or
        /usr/share/doc/packages/xchat for SuSE-7.0.

     - minicom

        SuSE's minicom doesn't exhibit the problem with files created
        belonging to group uucp because /usr/bin/minicom isn't installed
        sgid uucp by default. Changing this to 2755 root.uucp (manually
        and in /etc/permissions) doesn't show any defective behaviour

     - xlockmore: After a review of the relevant part of xlock's code
        we've found that the format string parsing bug posted by
        bind@SUBTERRAIN.NET on bugtraq on August 15th 2000 is not
        critical wrt security. xlock drops all privs as soon as it could
        get hold of the user's encrypted password (which is before it
        crashes). Other encrypted passwords can't be found in xlock's
        memory. Since xlock on SuSE distributions runs sgid shadow, it
        can't dump a core file upon segmentation fault (search
        /usr/src/linux/kernel/sys.c for "dumpable".) and also can't be
        traced (/usr/src/linux/arch/i386/kernel/ptrace.c).
        The bug will be fixed in future releases of the SuSE Linux

     The following packages are not contained in SuSE distributions.
     Therefore, they do not impose any security risks on SuSE systems
     unless an administrator installed (compiled) the vulnerable
     software by hand.

     - FlagShip permissions, from Narrow  on
       bugtraq dated 10 Aug 2000
     - VariCAD permissions with RedHat 6.0, from Narrow 
       on bugtraq dated 10 Aug 2000
     - usermode, from Connectiva on bugtraq, dated 2000-08-10
     - gopherd 2.x, from Mike Schiffman 
       (guardent) on bugtraq, dated 10 Aug 2000, + Chris Sharp
        on bugtraq dated 20 Aug 2000.
     - diskcheck perl script, Connectiva sec. adv. on bugtraq dated
     - Statistics Server 5.02x, overflow, from |Zan  on
       bugtraq, dated 10 Aug 2000
     - Helix GNOME Updater (helix-update), versions 0.1 through 0.5, from
       HELIX CODE, INC., on bugtraq, dated 20 Aug 2000
     - Darxite overflows, from Guido Bakker  on bugtraq,
       dated 21 Aug 2000
     - Gnome-Lokkit ports left exposed, from Alan Cox
        on bugtraq dated 19 Aug 2000

3)  standard appendix:

    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-security-info@suse.com or
        suse-security-faq@suse.com respectively.

    SuSE's security contact is security@suse.com

Roman Drahtmueller.

    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.

Type Bits/KeyID    Date       User ID
pub  2048/3D25D3D9 1999/03/06 SuSE Security Team security@suse.de

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