Vulnerability Note VU#542540

Ethereal DCE RPC dissector vulnerable to DoS

Original Release date: 12 Jun 2003 | Last revised: 12 Jun 2003


A vulnerability in Ethereal may allow a remote attacker to cause a denial of service.


The Ethereal web site describes Ethereal as "a free network protocol analyzer for Unix and Windows. It allows you to examine data from a live network or from a capture file on disk. You can interactively browse the capture data, viewing summary and detail information for each packet. Ethereal has several powerful features, including a rich display filter language and the ability to view the reconstructed stream of a TCP session."

Ethereal includes the ability to examine packets containing DCE RPC data (DCE RPC is "a facility for calling a procedure on a remote machine as if it were a local procedure call"). The vulnerability exists in the way Ethereal's DCE RPC dissector allocates memory. For more information, please see Ethereal's announcement.


A remote attacker may be able to consume excessive amounts of memory, and potentially crash Ethereal.


Upgrade to Ethereal version 0.9.13.

Systems Affected (Learn More)

VendorStatusDate NotifiedDate Updated
EtherealAffected-12 Jun 2003
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



The CERT/CC thanks Ethereal for publishing enpa-sa-00010 , upon which this document is based.

This document was written by Ian A Finlay.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: Unknown
  • Date Public: 11 Jun 2003
  • Date First Published: 12 Jun 2003
  • Date Last Updated: 12 Jun 2003
  • Severity Metric: 7.50
  • Document Revision: 5


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