Vulnerability Note VU#233200

GnuPG contains format-string vulnerability in handling of encrypted data filename

Original Release date: 29 Mar 2002 | Last revised: 29 Mar 2002


Some versions of Gnu Privacy Guard (GPG) contain a format-string vulnerability from improper handling of filenames when decrypting files.


GPG is an OpenPGP-compliant alternative to PGP to protect electronic communications using public-key cryptography. Versions of GPG prior to 1.0.6 contain a format-string vulnerability.

The GPG source includes a function named tty_printf(), which expects as parameters -- much like the standard C library function printf() -- a format string followed by data values as indicated in the format string. The do_get() function in file util/ttyio.c of the GPG source code makes a call to tty_printf(), passing the filename as the format string instead of passing a constant format string followed by a pointer to the filename.


Attackers can craft a filename for an encrypted file that will cause GPG to execute arbitrary code when the file is decrypted by the recipient, with the privileges of the recipient user.


Upgrade GPG to version 1.0.6, available from:

Until a patch can be applied, do not decrypt messages from untrusted sources with GPG.

Systems Affected (Learn More)

VendorStatusDate NotifiedDate Updated
Free Software FoundationAffected-29 Mar 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 fish stiqz for reporting this vulnerability.

This document was written by Shawn Van Ittersum.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: CAN-2001-0522
  • Date Public: 29 May 2001
  • Date First Published: 29 Mar 2002
  • Date Last Updated: 29 Mar 2002
  • Severity Metric: 5.83
  • Document Revision: 9


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