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CERT Coordination Center

Digital Unix msgchk vulnerable to file contents disclosure via symlink redirection of profile

Vulnerability Note VU#440539

Original Release Date: 2001-11-15 | Last Revised: 2001-11-15


msgchk, a part of the MH mail system, reads the user's .mh_profile in order to obtain configuration options. If the .mh_profile is linked to another file with illegal format, the first line of that file will be displayed in an error message by msgchk.


msgchk is the portion of the MH mail system that checks for new mail in the system spool folder. It reads the user's .mh_profile in order to obtain configuration options. If that file is linked to another file readable by the effective user of msgchk, and not of legal .mh_profile format, then msgchk will display the first line of that file in an error message.


If msgchk executes with the user's effective UID, there is no vulnerability here. If msgchk is protected to set another UID, there is a possibility that an attacker may view protected information.


The CERT/CC is currently unaware of a practical solution to this problem.

Remove setuid privileges from msgchk.

Vendor Information


DEC Affected

Notified:  October 09, 2001 Updated: November 15, 2001



Vendor Statement

We have not received a statement from the vendor.

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

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This vulnerability was first described by Seung Huyn Seo.

This document was last modified by Tim Shimeall.

Other Information

CVE IDs: CVE-2001-1092
Severity Metric: 1.88
Date Public: 2001-09-10
Date First Published: 2001-11-15
Date Last Updated: 2001-11-15 16:39 UTC
Document Revision: 11

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