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CERT Coordination Center

Exim does not adequately validate user input thereby allow execution of arbitrary commands

Vulnerability Note VU#283723

Original Release Date: 2002-09-24 | Last Revised: 2002-09-24


Under certain configurations, Exim may execute commands embedded in a mail message's From address.


Exim is an open-source mail transport agent distributed by the University of Cambridge. Exim can be configured to route all incoming mail or mail to particular addresses through a pipe transport, such as a virus scanner. If Exim does this without first checking the local part of the "To:" address for characters such as "|" (vertical bar), then an attacker can craft a message that would cause Exim to execute arbitrary commands.


Remote attackers can run arbitrary commands with privileges of the Exim process.



Upgrade to Exim 3.36 or Exim 4.10, available from:

Vendor Information

Affected   Unknown   Unaffected

University of Cambridge

Updated:  September 20, 2002



Vendor Statement

No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

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.

CVSS Metrics

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



Thanks to Patrice Fournier for reporting this vulnerability.

This document was written by Shawn Van Ittersum.

Other Information

CVE IDs: CVE-2001-0889
Severity Metric: 5.99
Date Public: 2001-12-19
Date First Published: 2002-09-24
Date Last Updated: 2002-09-24 16:13 UTC
Document Revision: 8

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