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SUSE Linux Advisory: rsync

Aug 17, 2004, 15:14 (0 Talkback[s])

SUSE Security Announcement

Package: rsync
Announcement-ID: SUSE-SA:2004:026
Date: Monday, Aug 16th 2004 16:00 MEST
Affected products: 8.1, 8.2, 9.0, 9.1 SUSE Linux Database Server, SUSE eMail Server III, 3.1 SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 8, 9 SUSE Linux Firewall on CD/Admin host SUSE Linux Connectivity Server SUSE Linux Office Server
Vulnerability Type: remote system compromise
Severity (1-10): 2
SUSE default package: no
Cross References: http://samba.org/rsync/#security_aug04

Content of this advisory:

  1. security vulnerability resolved:
    • insufficient pathname sanitizing problem description
  2. solution/workaround
  3. special instructions and notes
  4. package location and checksums
  5. pending vulnerabilities, solutions, workarounds:
    • KDE
    • mozilla/firefox
    • xine-lib
    • opera
    • acroread
  6. standard appendix (further information)

1) problem description, brief discussion

The rsync-team released an advisory about a security problem in rsync. If rsync is running in daemon-mode and without a chroot environment it is possible for a remote attacker to trick rsyncd into creating an absolute pathname while sanitizing it. As a result it is possible to read/write from/to files outside the rsync directory.

SUSE LINUX ships the rsync daemon with a chroot environment enabled by default, therefore the default setup is not vulnerable.

2) solution/workaround

As a temporary workaround we suggest to keep the chroot-option of rsyncd enabled or to avoid the daemon-mode and use SSH as transport channel if possible.

3) special instructions and notes

After applying the update, all instances of the rsyncd should be closed and the rsync daemon should be restarted. Please execute the following command as root: 'rcrsyncd restart'

4) package location and checksums

Please download the update package for your distribution and verify its integrity by the methods listed in section 3) of this announcement. Then, install the package using the command "rpm -Fhv file.rpm" to apply the update.
Our maintenance customers are being notified individually. The packages are being offered to install from the maintenance web.

x86 Platform:

SUSE Linux 9.1:
ftp://ftp.suse.com/pub/suse/i386/update/9.1/rpm/i586/rsync-2.6.2-8.9.i586.rpm afa5b8894e2d1acff4b040e8ba515ae4
patch rpm(s):
ftp://ftp.suse.com/pub/suse/i386/update/9.1/rpm/i586/rsync-2.6.2-8.9.i586.patch.rpm c0bf6dcf573a9a4197da0977ea638f2a
source rpm(s):
ftp://ftp.suse.com/pub/suse/i386/update/9.1/rpm/src/rsync-2.6.2-8.9.src.rpm f31f409225560bd1ac1d5fb5f0d8c43e

SUSE Linux 9.0:
ftp://ftp.suse.com/pub/suse/i386/update/9.0/rpm/i586/rsync-2.6.2-26.i586.rpm 5d7be9a510a4a5fafccbc29c63b0dec8
patch rpm(s):
ftp://ftp.suse.com/pub/suse/i386/update/9.0/rpm/i586/rsync-2.6.2-26.i586.patch.rpm 70809462c5d88bc8241b544100689efe
source rpm(s):
ftp://ftp.suse.com/pub/suse/i386/update/9.0/rpm/src/rsync-2.6.2-26.src.rpm f92d91816456f0e626ea1ee41ebe8b65

SUSE Linux 8.2:
ftp://ftp.suse.com/pub/suse/i386/update/8.2/rpm/i586/rsync-2.6.2-26.i586.rpm 4f901dee110596bf2a48a24d8d094b71
patch rpm(s):
ftp://ftp.suse.com/pub/suse/i386/update/8.2/rpm/i586/rsync-2.6.2-26.i586.patch.rpm c7260721ec51a569309cd4629a3a5ad1
source rpm(s):
ftp://ftp.suse.com/pub/suse/i386/update/8.2/rpm/src/rsync-2.6.2-26.src.rpm fcd540a8e89c864b56cbad7d60696450

SUSE Linux 8.1:
ftp://ftp.suse.com/pub/suse/i386/update/8.1/rpm/i586/rsync-2.6.2-25.i586.rpm 193752687ef1d98a5ebec4ff471842b1
patch rpm(s):
ftp://ftp.suse.com/pub/suse/i386/update/8.1/rpm/i586/rsync-2.6.2-25.i586.patch.rpm 9b6225e3bd2ff624f5f61bd6b033e8b8
source rpm(s):
ftp://ftp.suse.com/pub/suse/i386/update/8.1/rpm/src/rsync-2.6.2-25.src.rpm 0f649de8547008aa5e2a977ff209fca3

x86-64 Platform:

SUSE Linux 9.1:
ftp://ftp.suse.com/pub/suse/x86_64/update/9.1/rpm/x86_64/rsync-2.6.2-8.9.x86_64.rpm 745a09fdbccc7ccfea9705f54a6825a3
patch rpm(s):
ftp://ftp.suse.com/pub/suse/x86_64/update/9.1/rpm/x86_64/rsync-2.6.2-8.9.x86_64.patch.rpm 725b10d1703f6ee41185564d08b151d3
source rpm(s):
ftp://ftp.suse.com/pub/suse/x86_64/update/9.1/rpm/src/rsync-2.6.2-8.9.src.rpm 6145ed8346ebfd63863734b30fc3a8e9

SUSE Linux 9.0:
ftp://ftp.suse.com/pub/suse/x86_64/update/9.0/rpm/x86_64/rsync-2.6.2-26.x86_64.rpm 20d3b3f8b3fde71ae1c3f0eed22feee0
patch rpm(s):
ftp://ftp.suse.com/pub/suse/x86_64/update/9.0/rpm/x86_64/rsync-2.6.2-26.x86_64.patch.rpm 9bc24b61361c74f37e4fd81e8e7faa98
source rpm(s):
ftp://ftp.suse.com/pub/suse/x86_64/update/9.0/rpm/src/rsync-2.6.2-26.src.rpm 599e9f0a19fd2890499c863cd0394598

5) Pending vulnerabilities in SUSE Distributions and Workarounds:

  • KDE The KDE libs package contained two occurrences of insecure handling of temporary files in the mcoputils code (Thanks to Andrew Tuitt for reporting this to us) and in the dcopserver code. These two bugs can be exploited locally to remove and/or overwrite files with the privileges of the user running a vulnerable KDE application. A bug in the kdebase3 package allows the content of unrelated browser windows to be modified. This issue may be used to trick users into entering sensitive informations on a malicious web-site. New packages are available on our FTP servers.
  • mozilla/firefox We are currently testing new mozilla/firefox packages that include several fixes for security-related bugs. New packages are available on our FTP servers (for some products we have to delay the delivery of the update package).
  • xine-lib This update of xine fix' a buffer overflow in the vcd input source identifier. This buffer overflow is independent of the media format. The bug can be used to execute arbitrary commands. New packages are available on our FTP servers.
  • opera The web-browser opera is affected by several security bugs. Due to the nature of this package we are not able to provide security updates in a timely manner and have to wait for binary packages to be published by "Opera Software".
  • acroread iDEFENSE reported a buffer overflow and insecure handling of shell meta-chars in acroread code. We depend on the release of a new binary package by Adobe. An update will be available as soon as possible.

6) standard appendix: authenticity verification, additional information

  • Package authenticity verification:

    SUSE update packages are available on many mirror ftp servers all over the world. While this service is being considered valuable and important to the free and open source software community, many users wish to be sure about the origin of the package and its content before installing the package. There are two verification methods that can be used independently from each other to prove the authenticity of a downloaded file or rpm package:

    1. md5sums as provided in the (cryptographically signed) announcement.
    2. using the internal gpg signatures of the rpm package.
    3. execute the command md5sum <name-of-the-file.rpm> after you downloaded the file from a SUSE ftp server or its mirrors. Then, compare the resulting md5sum with the one that is listed in the announcement. Since the announcement containing the checksums is cryptographically signed (usually using the key security@suse.de), the checksums show proof of the authenticity of the package. We disrecommend to subscribe to security lists which cause the email message containing the announcement to be modified so that the signature does not match after transport through the mailing list software. Downsides: You must be able to verify the authenticity of the announcement in the first place. If RPM packages are being rebuilt and a new version of a package is published on the ftp server, all md5 sums for the files are useless.
    4. rpm package signatures provide an easy way to verify the authenticity of an rpm package. Use the command rpm -v --checksig <file.rpm> to verify the signature of the package, where <file.rpm> is the filename of the rpm package that you have downloaded. Of course, package authenticity verification can only target an un-installed rpm package file. Prerequisites:
      1. gpg is installed
      2. The package is signed using a certain key. The public part of this key must be installed by the gpg program in the directory ~/.gnupg/ under the user's home directory who performs the signature verification (usually root). You can import the key that is used by SUSE in rpm packages for SUSE Linux by saving this announcement to a file ("announcement.txt") and running the command (do "su -" to be root): gpg --batch; gpg < announcement.txt | gpg --import SUSE Linux distributions version 7.1 and thereafter install the key "build@suse.de" upon installation or upgrade, provided that the package gpg is installed. The file containing the public key is placed at the top-level directory of the first CD (pubring.gpg) and at ftp://ftp.suse.com/pub/suse/pubring.gpg-build.suse.de .
  • SUSE runs two security mailing lists to which any interested party may subscribe:


  • general/linux/SUSE security discussion.
    All SUSE security announcements 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> or <security@suse.de>. The <security@suse.de> public key is listed below.

The information in this advisory may be distributed or reproduced, provided that the advisory is not modified in any way. In particular, it is desired that the clear-text signature shows proof of the authenticity of the text.
SUSE Linux AG makes no warranties of any kind whatsoever with respect to the information contained in this security advisory.

Type Bits/KeyID Date User ID
pub 2048R/3D25D3D9 1999-03-06 SuSE Security Team <security@suse.de>
pub 1024D/9C800ACA 2000-10-19 SuSE Package Signing Key <build@suse.de>