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metamail contains multiple format string vulnerabilities

Vulnerability Note VU#518518

Original Release Date: 2004-02-24 | Last Revised: 2004-03-04

Overview

Multiple format string vulnerabilities in the metamail package could allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on the vulnerable system. An attacker may be able to exploit these vulnerabilities via a specially-crafted email message.

Description

The metamail package is one of the first widely adopted packages developed to handle Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) data, and includes a number of programs for handling various MIME types. Although it is mostly historic, it is still in wide deployment in many environments. Two format string vulnerabilities have been discovered in various portions of the metamail codebase. According to an analysis published by Ulf Härnhammar:

The first format string bug occurs when a message has a "multipart/alternative" media type and one of the body parts has a "Content-Type" header with parameter names or values containing formatting codes. It occurs because of two bad fprintf() statements in the function SaveSquirrelFile() - yes, it's really called that - in metamail.c. [...]

The second format string bug occurs when a message has encoded non-ASCII characters in the mail headers (as described in RFC 2047), an unknown encoding, and encoded text containing formatting codes. It is caused by a bad printf() statement in the function PrintHeader() in metamail.c. [...]

Although programs included in the metamail package can be invoked explicitly by a user from the command line, they are commonly invoked automatically by a mail reader or intermediate mail handling applications. Examples of such applications include, but are not limited to, virus scanners, spam filtering software, and mail delivery agents such as procmail. This is an important consideration since messages containing malicious code may be automatically or inadvertently passed to metamail in these cases.

NOTE: Proof-of-concept exploit code has been published for this vulnerability.

Impact

An attacker may be able to execute code of their choosing on a vulnerable system by introducing a specially-crafted MIME attachment. The code would be executed in the context of the user who invoked the metamail program or mail handling program that launched metamail.

Solution

Apply a patch from the vendor

Although the metamail package is unmaintained by the original author, some redistributors have released patches. Please see the Systems Affected section of this document for more details.

Vendor Information

518518
 
Affected   Unknown   Unaffected

Debian

Updated:  February 24, 2004

Status

  Vulnerable

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.

Addendum

The Debian Security Team has released Debian Security Advisory DSA-449 in response to this issue. Users are encouraged to review this advisory and apply the patches it refers to.

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

MandrakeSoft

Updated:  February 20, 2004

Status

  Vulnerable

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.

Addendum

MandrakeSoft has published MandrakeSoft Security Advisory MDKSA-2004:014 in response to this issue. Users are encouraged to review this advisory and apply the patches it refers to.

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

Red Hat Inc.

Updated:  March 04, 2004

Status

  Vulnerable

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.

Addendum

Red Hat, Inc. has published Red Hat Security Advisory RHSA-2004:073 in response to this issue. Users are encouraged to review this advisory and apply the patches it refers to.

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

SGI

Updated:  March 04, 2004

Status

  Vulnerable

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.

Addendum

SGI has published SGI Advanced Linux Environment security update #12 in response to this issue. Users are encouraged to review this bulletin and apply the patches it refers to.

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

Slackware

Updated:  February 20, 2004

Status

  Vulnerable

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.

Addendum

The Slackware security team has published Slackware Security Advisory SSA:2004-049-02 in response to this issue. Users are encouraged to review this advisory and apply the patches it refers to.

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

References

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Ulf Härnhammar for reporting this vulnerability.

This document was written by Chad R Dougherty.

Other Information

CVE IDs: CVE-2004-0104
Severity Metric: 14.25
Date Public: 2004-02-18
Date First Published: 2004-02-24
Date Last Updated: 2004-03-04 18:57 UTC
Document Revision: 10

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