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TurboLinux Security Announcement: slocate-2.3-1 and earlier

Feb 08, 2001, 22:01 (0 Talkback[s])

Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2001 12:57:26 -0800
From: security@turbolinux.com
To: tl-security-announce@www1.turbolinux.com
Subject: [TL-Security-Announce] slocate-2.3-2 TLSA2001002-1

                        TurboLinux Security Announcement

        Vulnerable Packages: slocate-2.3-1 and earlier
        Date: 02/02/2001 5:00 PDT

        Affected TurboLinux versions:TL 6.1 WorkStation,
                                     All TurboLinux versions
                                     6.0.5 and earlier

        TurboLinux Advisory ID#:  TLSA2001002-1

   Credits: Vulnerability discovered by zorgon 
                 Detailed information and exploit posted to Bugtraq by
                 Michel Kaempf.

A security hole was discovered in the package mentioned above. Please update the package in your installation as soon as possible.

1. Problem Summary

There is a heap-corruption vulnerability existing in slocate. It can compromise slocate's ability to maintain an index of the entire file- system as well as its ability to read user-specified databases.

2. Impact(Based on the BugTraq advisory on securityfocus.com, id#2004)

Secure Locate maintains an index of the entire filesystem, including files only visible by root. The slocate binary is setgid "slocate" so it can read this index. The heap-corruption vulnerability may com- promise disclosure of these files if exploited.

When running slocate, users are able to specify a database of their own as a commandline parameter. A subtle vulnerability exists in slocate's reading of these user-supplied databases that may allow a local user to execute arbitrary code with effective gid slocate.

When reading the contents of the database file, slocate initially reads a value from the file that is supposed to indicate the offset in a
malloc()'d buffer at which the data is to be written. If this number ex- ceeds the size of the allocated buffer, the bytes from the file will be written to the memory following the buffer, the malloc structure.

As a result, it is possible for a local user to overwrite internal malloc memory structures on the heap with arbitrary data. Attackers can replace a legitimate malloc structure with a malicious one designed to cause other areas of memory to be overwritten.

3. Solution

Update the package from our ftp server by running the following command:

rpm -Uvh --nodeps --force ftp_path_to_filename

Where ftp_path_to_filename is the following:


The source RPM can be downloaded here:


**Note: You must rebuild and install the RPM if you choose to download and install the SRPM. Simply installing the SRPM alone WILL NOT CLOSE THE SECURITY HOLE.

Please verify the MD5 checksums of the updates before you install:

  MD5 sum                               Package Name

2218c7eff5c4541202417b78238b3174 slocate-2.3-2.i386.rpm
c7dc22a05bb20437ced73696fec04188 slocate-2.3-2.src.rpm

These packages are GPG signed by Turbolinux for security. Our key is available here:


To verify a package, use the following command:

rpm --checksig name_of_rpm

To examine only the md5sum, use the following command:

rpm --checksig --nogpg name_of_rpm

**Note: Checking GPG keys requires RPM 3.0 or higher.

You can find more updates on our ftp server:

ftp://ftp.turbolinux.com/pub/updates/6.0/security/ for TL6.0 Workstation and Server security updates
ftp://ftp.turbolinux.com/pub/updates/4.0/security/ for TL4.0 Workstation and Server security updates

Our webpage for security announcements:


If you want to report vulnerabilities, please contact:


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