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TUCoPS :: Linux :: SUSE :: hack0376.htm

SUSE Security Announcement: kernel (SUSE-SA:2004:028)
SUSE Security Announcement: kernel (SUSE-SA:2004:028)



                        SUSE Security Announcement

        Package:                kernel
        Announcement-ID:        SUSE-SA:2004:028
        Date:                   Wednesday, Sept 1st 2004 14:26 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 Connectivity Server
                                SUSE Linux Office Server
        Vulnerability Type:     remote denial-of-service
        Severity (1-10):        6
        SUSE default package:   yes
        Cross References:       none

    Content of this advisory:
        1) security vulnerability resolved:
             - integer overflow in kNFSd
             - local denial-of-service condition via /dev/ptmx
           problem description
        2) solution/workaround
        3) special instructions and notes
        4) package location and checksums
        5) pending vulnerabilities, solutions, workarounds:
            - zlib
            - courier-imap
            - gaim
            - acroread
            - opera
            - netpbm/libnetpbm
            - webmin
            - spamassassin/perl-spamassassin
            - cfengine
            - xv
        6) standard appendix (further information)


1) problem description, brief discussion

    Various signedness issues and integer overflows have been fixed within
    kNFSd and the XDR decode functions of kernel 2.6.
    These bugs can be triggered remotely by sending a package with a trusted
    source IP address and a write request with a size greater then 2^31.
    The result will be a kernel Oops, it is unknown if this bug is otherwise
    exploitable yet.
    Kernel 2.4 nfsd code is different but may suffer from the same
    Additionally a local denial-of-service condition via /dev/ptmx, which
    affects kernel 2.6 only has been fixed. Thanks to Jan Engelhardt for
    reporting this issue to us.

    This update also fixes several non security bugs, including:
      - CD and DVD writing of non-data media was leaking huge amounts kernel
      - Fixed barrier issues on some IDE devices. "barrier=none" should not be
        needed anymore.
2) solution/workaround

    We recommend to update the kernel or, as a temporary workaround, block
    NFS traffic at your firewall or to switch back to the user-space NFS

3) special instructions and notes

    The following paragraphs will guide you through the installation
    process in a step-by-step fashion. The character sequence "****"
    marks the beginning of a new paragraph. In some cases, the steps
    outlined in a particular paragraph may or may not be applicable
    to your situation.
    Therefore, please make sure to read through all of the steps below
    before attempting any of these procedures.
    All of the commands that need to be executed are required to be
    run as the superuser (root). Each step relies on the steps before
    it to complete successfully.
    Note: The update packages for the SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 7
    (SLES7) are being tested at the moment and will be published as soon
    as possible.

  **** Step 1: Determine the needed kernel type

    Please use the following command to find the kernel type that is
    installed on your system:

      rpm -qf /boot/vmlinuz

    Following are the possible kernel types (disregard the version and
    build number following the name separated by the "-" character)

      k_deflt   # default kernel, good for most systems.
      k_i386    # kernel for older processors and chipsets
      k_athlon  # kernel made specifically for AMD Athlon(tm) family processors
      k_psmp    # kernel for Pentium-I dual processor systems
      k_smp     # kernel for SMP systems (Pentium-II and above)
      k_smp4G   # kernel for SMP systems which supports a maximum of 4G of RAM

  **** Step 2: Download the package for your system

    Please download the kernel RPM package for your distribution with the
    name as indicated by Step 1. The list of all kernel rpm packages is
    appended below. Note: The kernel-source package does not
    contain a binary kernel in bootable form. Instead, it contains the
    sources that the binary kernel rpm packages are created from. It can be
    used by administrators who have decided to build their own kernel.
    Since the kernel-source.rpm is an installable (compiled) package that
    contains sources for the linux kernel, it is not the source RPM for
    the kernel RPM binary packages.

    The kernel RPM binary packages for the distributions can be found at the
    locations below 


    After downloading the kernel RPM package for your system, you should
    verify the authenticity of the kernel rpm package using the methods as
    listed in section 3) of each SUSE Security Announcement.

  **** Step 3: Installing your kernel rpm package

    Install the rpm package that you have downloaded in Steps 3 or 4 with
    the command
        rpm -Uhv --nodeps --force 
    where  is the name of the rpm package that you downloaded.

    Warning: After performing this step, your system will likely not be
             able to boot if the following steps have not been fully

    If you run SUSE LINUX 8.1 and haven't applied the kernel update
    (SUSE-SA:2003:034), AND you are using the freeswan package, you also
    need to update the freeswan rpm as a dependency as offered
    by YOU (YaST Online Update). The package can be downloaded from 

  **** Step 4: configuring and creating the initrd

    The initrd is a ramdisk that is loaded into the memory of your
    system together with the kernel boot image by the bootloader. The
    kernel uses the content of this ramdisk to execute commands that must
    be run before the kernel can mount its actual root filesystem. It is
    usually used to initialize SCSI drivers or NIC drivers for diskless

    The variable INITRD_MODULES in /etc/sysconfig/kernel determines
    which kernel modules will be loaded in the initrd before the kernel
    has mounted its actual root filesystem. The variable should contain
    your SCSI adapter (if any) or filesystem driver modules.

    With the installation of the new kernel, the initrd has to be
    re-packed with the update kernel modules. Please run the command


    as root to create a new init ramdisk (initrd) for your system.
    On SuSE Linux 8.1 and later, this is done automatically when the
    RPM is installed.

  **** Step 5: bootloader

    If you run a SUSE LINUX 8.x, SLES8, or SUSE LINUX 9.x system, there
    are two options:
    Depending on your software configuration, you have either the lilo
    bootloader or the grub bootloader installed and initialized on your
    The grub bootloader does not require any further actions to be
    performed after the new kernel images have been moved in place by the
    rpm Update command.
    If you have a lilo bootloader installed and initialized, then the lilo
    program must be run as root. Use the command

      grep LOADER_TYPE /etc/sysconfig/bootloader

    to find out which boot loader is configured. If it is lilo, then you
    must run the lilo command as root. If grub is listed, then your system
    does not require any bootloader initialization.

    Warning: An improperly installed bootloader may render your system

  **** Step 6: reboot

    If all of the steps above have been successfully completed on your
    system, then the new kernel including the kernel modules and the
    initrd should be ready to boot. The system needs to be rebooted for
    the changes to become active. Please make sure that all steps have
    completed, then reboot using the command
        shutdown -r now
        init 6

    Your system should now shut down and reboot with the new kernel.

4) package location and checksums

    Note: 2.4 kernels will be delivered later.

    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: .6.5-7.108.i586.rpm
      73de7e60ca1abfdeabf1050081219c2e 2.6.5-7.108.i586.rpm
      825c301e6919fc68c3065070e24789ab 5-7.108.i586.rpm
      203464e930c30a46e701bb965d6c8038 .6.5-7.108.i586.rpm
      cd0d39502a1d0ee2ae2c65ade41cbcdf 6.5-7.108.i586.rpm
    source rpm(s): 6.5-7.108.nosrc.rpm
      144ffe39b42b4d1d15553e03eb72e254 .6.5-7.108.nosrc.rpm
      9f91e334715b3c76dd994972046d136c -7.108.nosrc.rpm
      c9be908bd5ee616d35599cb6159c692c 6.5-7.108.src.rpm
      09be5fe9377e17c1d09e15d9174f00ab 5-7.108.src.rpm

    x86-64 Platform:

    SUSE Linux 9.1: fault-2.6.5-7.108.x86_64.rpm
      dffd2d5f3379fc2f1b9e6b7da9ae2509 p-2.6.5-7.108.x86_64.rpm
      c6e348640d1259870fef0764d8b3f38e urce-2.6.5-7.108.x86_64.rpm
      0639c9ebb96cba87fe9d0d0e3f549111 ms-2.6.5-7.108.x86_64.rpm
    source rpm(s): -2.6.5-7.108.nosrc.rpm
      2fa3a5dc925dfb3784d119f77b016f7b 6.5-7.108.nosrc.rpm
      a7467d6bd84d34f2d853b788b6f34f5a -2.6.5-7.108.src.rpm
      2501201090488ee6833133933bf2bc9d 2.6.5-7.108.src.rpm


5)  Pending vulnerabilities in SUSE Distributions and Workarounds:

    - zlib
    A Denial of Service condition has been found in the inflate
    function of zlib 1.2.
    This version of zlib is only shipped with SUSE Linux 9.1 and
    SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 and is not integrated in other
    packages which commonly use zlib (OpenSSH, Kernel etc).
    New packages will soon be available on our FTP servers.
    - courier-imap
    A format string bug has been found in the courier IMAP server,
    which can only happen when debugging is enabled. Since this is
    not the default configuration on SUSE Linux products, the impact
    of this bug is very minor. The courier-imap packages will be fixed
    with the next version of SUSE Linux.
    - gaim
    Various buffer overflow conditions have been found in the gaim
    instant messenger. The MSN protocol parsing has already been fixed
    with the packages announced in the SUSE Security Announcement
    SUSE-SA:2004:025. The packages which fix the other pending
    bugs in gaim will be available on our FTP servers soon. 
    - acroread
    A buffer overflow and a shell metacharacter problem within the
    acrobat reader has been fixed. This allowed attackers to execute
    arbitrary commands by providing malformed documents to an user.
    New packages are already available on our FTP servers.

    - opera
    The web-browser opera is affected by several security bugs. 
    New packages will soon be available on our FTP servers.

    - netpbm/libnetpbm
    Some tools of the netpbm suite create files in an insecure manner
    that can lead to local privilege escalation.
    New packages are available on our FTP servers.

    - webmin
    Several bugs in webmin were fixed. These bugs allowed unauthorized
    reading of the configuration of any module, locking valid accounts
    by sending bogus passwords, and insecure handling of temporary files.
    New packages are available on our FTP servers.

    - spamassassin/perl-spamassassin
    This update fix' a remote denial-of-service condition in SpamAssassin.
    New packages are available on our FTP servers.

    - cfengine
    This update resolves a heap corruption bug in the RSA authentication code
    of cfservd which can be exploited remotely to execute arbitrary code as
    root. Another bug leads to a remotely triggerable crash of the cfservd to
    deny service. For a successful attack the attacker has to bypass the IP
    Access Control Lists (ACLs).
    New packages are available on our FTP servers.

    - xv
    The xv image viewer code contains several buffer and heap overflows
    which may allow attackers to use malformed image files to execute code
    on the victim system remotely.
    New packages are available on our FTP servers.


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.

    1) execute the command
       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, 
       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.

    2) rpm package signatures provide an easy way to verify the authenticity
       of an rpm package. Use the command
        rpm -v --checksig 
       to verify the signature of the package, where  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.
        a) gpg is installed
        b) 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 "" 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 . 

  - 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 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's security contact is  or . 
    The  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  
pub  1024D/9C800ACA 2000-10-19 SuSE Package Signing Key  

Version: GnuPG v1.0.6 (GNU/Linux)
Comment: For info see 


Version: GnuPG v1.2.2-rc1-SuSE (GNU/Linux)


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