Vulnerability Note VU#169059

X11 vulnerable to buffer overflow in handling of -xrm option

Original Release date: 16 Sep 2002 | Last revised: 24 Mar 2003


The X11 library included with many UNIX variants contains a buffer-overflow vulnerability that may allow attackers to gain root privileges.


The X11 library contains an unspecified buffer-overflow vulnerability. Programs that use this library and accept the -xrm option (including xterm) also contain this vulnerability.


Attackers may be able to gain root privileges by exploiting affected setuid root programs (such as xterm) that use the X11 library.


Apply a patch

See the Systems Affected section for details, or contact your vendor directly.


Systems Affected (Learn More)

VendorStatusDate NotifiedDate Updated
The SCO Group (SCO UnixWare)Affected28 Jan 200213 Sep 2002
Apple Computer Inc.Not Affected12 Sep 200216 Sep 2002
Hewlett-Packard CompanyNot Affected12 Sep 200224 Mar 2003
MontaVista SoftwareNot Affected12 Sep 200216 Sep 2002
Openwall GNU/*/Linux Not Affected12 Sep 200216 Sep 2002
If you are a vendor and your product is affected, let us know.

CVSS Metrics (Learn More)

Group Score Vector
Base N/A N/A
Temporal N/A N/A
Environmental N/A N/A



Thanks to jG gM for reporting this vulnerability.

This document was written by Shawn Van Ittersum.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: CAN-2002-0517
  • Date Public: 28 May 97
  • Date First Published: 16 Sep 2002
  • Date Last Updated: 24 Mar 2003
  • Severity Metric: 6.78
  • Document Revision: 15


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