search menu icon-carat-right cmu-wordmark

CERT Coordination Center

Ethereal DCE RPC dissector vulnerable to DoS

Vulnerability Note VU#542540

Original Release Date: 2003-06-12 | Last Revised: 2003-06-12


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.

Vendor Information


Ethereal Affected

Updated:  June 12, 2003



Vendor Statement


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



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: CVE-2003-0428
Severity Metric: 7.50
Date Public: 2003-06-11
Date First Published: 2003-06-12
Date Last Updated: 2003-06-12 20:44 UTC
Document Revision: 9

Sponsored by CISA.