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Hewlett Packard HP-UX text editors contain buffer overflow

Vulnerability Note VU#268848

Original Release Date: 2001-05-04 | Last Revised: 2001-08-10


A buffer overflow in the text editor on certain Hewlett-Packard systems could compromise system availability.


Various text editing programs on HP systems that rely upon the same facilities, including e, ex, vi, edit, view, and vedit, contain a buffer overflow that could compromise system availability. For more information, see HP Security Bulletin HPSBUX0102-140.


According to HP, "Users could compromise system availability."


Apply the patches described in HP Security Bulletin HPSBUX0102-140.

Vendor Information


Hewlett Packard Affected

Updated:  May 03, 2001



Vendor Statement

Document ID:  HPSBUX0102-140
Date Loaded:  20010214
     Title:  Sec. Vulnerability in Text editors

   The information in the following Security Bulletin should be
   acted upon as soon as possible.  Hewlett-Packard Company will
   not be liable for any consequences to any customer resulting
   from customer's failure to fully implement instructions in
   this Security Bulletin as soon as possible.
ISSUE:     Text editors contain a buffer overflow.

PLATFORM:  HP9000 Series 700 and 800 running HP-UX releases 11.00,
          11.04, 10.20, 10.24, 10.10, and 10.01.

POSSIBLE RESULT: Users could compromise system availability.

SOLUTION: Apply patches for HP-UX releases as follows:
                for 11.00:           PHCO_22229,
                    11.04:           PHCO_23354,
                    10.20:           PHCO_22228,
                    10.24:           PHCO_23353,
                    10.10:           PHCO_22848,
                    10.01:           PHCO_22849.

AVAILABILITY: The patches are available now.
   A. Background
      Hewlett-Packard Company has become aware of a defect in the
      text editor, in various releases of the HP-UX OS.  This defect
      affects various programs such as e, ex, vi, edit, view, and
      vedit which all use the same facilities.

    B. Fixing the problem
      The problem can be fully resolved by applying the appropriate
      patches to the system. For HP-UX releases
                for 11.00:           PHCO_22229,
                    11.04:           PHCO_23354,
                    10.20:           PHCO_22228,
                    10.24:           PHCO_23353,
                    10.10:           PHCO_22848,
                    10.01:           PHCO_22849.

       While this patch does not require a reboot, appropriately
      terminating any instances of editor before installation of the
      patch will assure that continued operation is now done with
      the patched binaries.

    C. To subscribe to automatically receive future NEW HP Security
      Bulletins from the HP IT Resource Center via electronic mail,
      do the following:

       Use your browser to get to the HP IT Resource Center page

       Under the Maintenance and Support Menu (Electronic Support
       Center):  click on the "more..." link.  Then -

       Use the 'Login' tab at the left side of the screen to login
      using your ID and password.  Check with your system
      administrator to see if you have an existing login or use
      the "Register" button at the left to create a login.  You
      will need to login in order to gain access to many areas of
      the ITRC. Remember to save the User ID assigned to you, and
      your password.

       Under the Maintenance and Support Menu, click on the "more..."
      link.  Under the "Notifications" section (near the bottom of
      the page), select "Support Information Digests".

       To -subscribe- to future HP Security Bulletins or other
      Technical Digests, click the check box (in the left column)
      for the appropriate digest and then click the "Update
      Subscriptions" button at the bottom of the page.


       To -review- bulletins already released, select the link
      (in the middle column) for the appropriate digest.

       To -gain access- to the Security Patch Matrix, select
      the link for "hp security bulletins archive" near the bottom.
      Once in the archive the top link is to our current Security
      Patch Matrix.  Updated daily, this matrix categorizes security
      patches by platform/OS release, and by bulletin topic.

       The security patch matrix is also available via anonymous ftp:

       On the "Support Information Digest Main" page:
      click on the "HP Security Bulletin Archive".

    D. To report new security vulnerabilities, send email to

       Please encrypt any exploit information using the security-alert
      PGP key, available from your local key server, or by sending a
      message with a -subject- (not body) of 'get key' (no quotes) to

       Permission is granted for copying and circulating this Bulletin
      to Hewlett-Packard (HP) customers (or the Internet community)
      for the purpose of alerting them to problems, if and only if,
      the Bulletin is not edited or changed in any way, is attributed
      to HP, and provided such reproduction and/or distribution is
      performed for non-commercial purposes.

       Any other use of this information is prohibited. HP is not
      liable for any misuse of this information by any third party.
-----End of Document ID:  HPSBUX0102-140--------------------------------------

Vendor Information

The vendor has not provided us with any further information regarding this vulnerability.


The CERT/CC has no additional comments at this time.

If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.

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Our thanks to Hewlett Packard for the information contained in their bulletin.

This document was written by Shawn V. Hernan.

Other Information

CVE IDs: None
Severity Metric: 5.61
Date Public: 2001-02-14
Date First Published: 2001-05-04
Date Last Updated: 2001-08-10 17:36 UTC
Document Revision: 4

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