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Red Hat Linux Advisory: gaim

Jan 26, 2004, 20:44 (0 Talkback[s])

Red Hat Security Advisory

Synopsis: Updated Gaim packages fix various vulnerabilities
Advisory ID: RHSA-2004:032-01
Issue date: 2004-01-19
Updated on: 2004-01-23
Product: Red Hat Linux
Keywords: gaim im
Cross references:  
CVE Names: CAN-2004-0006 CAN-2004-0007 CAN-2004-0008

1. Topic:

Updated Gaim packages that fix a number of serious vulnerabilities are now available.

2. Relevant releases/architectures:

Red Hat Linux 9 - i386

3. Problem description:

Gaim is an instant messenger client that can handle multiple protocols.

Stefan Esser audited the Gaim source code and found a number of bugs that have security implications. Due to the nature of instant messaging many of these bugs require man-in-the-middle attacks between client and server. However at least one of the buffer overflows could be exploited by an attacker sending a carefully-constructed malicious message through a server.

The issues include:

Multiple buffer overflows that affect versions of Gaim 0.75 and earlier. 1) When parsing cookies in a Yahoo web connection, 2) YMSG protocol overflows parsing the Yahoo login webpage, 3) a YMSG packet overflow, 4) flaws in the URL parser, and 5) flaws in HTTP Proxy connect. The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project (cve.mitre.org/) has assigned the name CAN-2004-0006 to these issues.

A buffer overflow in Gaim 0.74 and earlier in the Extract Info Field Function used for MSN and YMSG protocol handlers. The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project (cve.mitre.org/) has assigned the name CAN-2004-0007 to this issue.

An integer overflow in Gaim 0.74 and earlier, when allocating memory for a directIM packet results in heap overflow. The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project (cve.mitre.org/) has assigned the name CAN-2004-0008 to this issue.

All users of Gaim should upgrade to these erratum packages, which contain backported security patches correcting these issues.

Red Hat would like to thank Steffan Esser for finding and reporting these issues and Jacques A. Vidrine for providing initial patches.

4. Solution:

Before applying this update, make sure all previously released errata relevant to your system have been applied.

To update all RPMs for your particular architecture, run:

rpm -Fvh [filenames]

where [filenames] is a list of the RPMs you wish to upgrade. Only those RPMs which are currently installed will be updated. Those RPMs which are not installed but included in the list will not be updated. Note that you can also use wildcards (*.rpm) if your current directory only contains the desired RPMs.

Please note that this update is also available via Red Hat Network. Many people find this an easier way to apply updates. To use Red Hat Network, launch the Red Hat Update Agent with the following command:


This will start an interactive process that will result in the appropriate RPMs being upgraded on your system.

If up2date fails to connect to Red Hat Network due to SSL Certificate Errors, you need to install a version of the up2date client with an updated certificate. The latest version of up2date is available from the Red Hat FTP site and may also be downloaded directly from the RHN website:


5. Bug IDs fixed (http://bugzilla.redhat.com/bugzilla for more info):

113845 - CAN-2004-0006/7/8 Multiple vulnerabilities in Gaim

6. RPMs required:

Red Hat Linux 9:



7. Verification:

MD5 sum Package Name

eaf62f33af192f2cb049cc8593f35aae 9/en/os/SRPMS/gaim-0.75-0.9.0.src.rpm
27835ea8b63b3e876ab18c73e8e7fbd6 9/en/os/i386/gaim-0.75-0.9.0.i386.rpm

These packages are GPG signed by Red Hat for security. Our key is available from https://www.redhat.com/security/keys.html

You can verify each package with the following command:

rpm --checksig -v <filename>

If you only wish to verify that each package has not been corrupted or tampered with, examine only the md5sum with the following command:

md5sum <filename>

8. References:


9. Contact:

The Red Hat security contact is <secalert@redhat.com>. More contact details at https://www.redhat.com/solutions/security/news/contact.html

Copyright 2003 Red Hat, Inc.