[Full-Disclosure] iDEFENSE Security Advisory 08.24.04: CDE Mailer argv Format String Vulnerability
idlabs-advisories at idefense.com
idlabs-advisories at idefense.com
Tue Aug 24 16:41:53 BST 2004
CDE Mailer argv Format String Vulnerability
iDEFENSE Security Advisory 08.24.04
August 24, 2004
CDE Mailer (dtmail) is the mail user agent (MUA) for CDE, which is
installed on Solaris 8 and 9 by default. It provides an intuitive,
easy-to-use GUI for reading, sending, and managing electronic mail.
Dtmail supports both MIME and Sun Mail Tool message formats for reading
and sending messages. In addition to local and NFS mailboxes, it also
supports the use of IMAP4 for accessing remote mailboxes. Dtmail
provides a mail-pervasive desktop environment by supporting the Mail(4)
and Display(4) Media Exchange messages. Other applications can compose,
send, and display electronic mail messages using the ToolTalk API and
these Media Exchange messages.
Exploitation of a format string vulnerability in the dtmail binary
included with CDE can allow local attackers to gain mail group
The vulnerability specifically exists due to improper usage of a
formatted print function which allows a user supplied format to be
processed via the argv value. Local attackers can specify a special
argv containing format string characters to trigger the
vulnerability and execute arbitrary code. Program arguments are copied
onto the heap before being processed, so systems with non-executable
stack protection are also easily affected.
Successful exploitation leads to group mail access. CDE is a widely
deployed default desktop environment for UNIX operating systems. Gaining
the ability to read other user email accounts, including root, could
lead to exposure of highly sensitive data. The vulnerability is easily
exploitable even when stack protections are enabled, furthering the
impact of exposure.
iDEFENSE has confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in Solaris 8
and Solaris 9. It is believed that this vulnerability only affects the
Solaris implementation of CDE Mailer.
iDEFENSE is currently unaware of a workaround for this vulnerability.
VI. VENDOR RESPONSE
The Sun advisory for this issue (SunAlert #57627) is available at:
VII. CVE INFORMATION
A Mitre Corp. Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) number has not
been assigned yet.
VIII. DISCLOSURE TIMELINE
03/04/2004 Initial vendor contact
03/04/2004 iDEFENSE clients notified
08/11/2004 Initial vendor response
(Opengroup.org - further coordination requested)
04/19/2004 Initial vendor contact
(Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Sun Microsystems)
04/19/2004 Initial vendor response (Sun Microsystems)
04/20/2004 Initial vendor response (Hewlett-Packard)
08/24/2004 Public disclosure
iDEFENSE Labs is credited with discovering this vulnerability.
Get paid for vulnerability research
X. LEGAL NOTICES
Copyright (c) 2004 iDEFENSE, Inc.
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Disclaimer: The information in the advisory is believed to be accurate
at the time of publishing based on currently available information. Use
of the information constitutes acceptance for use in an as is condition.
There are no warranties with regard to this information. Neither the
author nor the publisher accepts any liability for any direct, indirect,
or consequential loss or damage arising from use of, or reliance on,
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