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HP-UX Line Printer Daemon Vulnerable to Directory Traversal

Vulnerability Note VU#638011

Original Release Date: 2001-11-21 | Last Revised: 2001-12-06


A remotely exploitable directory traversal vulnerability exists in the HP-UX line printer daemon.


The line printer daemon (rlpdaemon) enables various clients to share printers over a network. By sending a specially crafted print request to an HP-UX host running the rlpdaemon, a local or remote attacker can create arbitrary files or directories on the target host. Intruders may find this vulnerability attractive to exploit because the line printer daemon is enabled by default to provide printing services.


An attacker may be able to execute arbitrary code on the target system with the privileges of the line printer daemon, typically superuser.


Contact HP for patches.


Disable the line printer daemon until a patch can be applied.

Vendor Information


HP Affected

Updated:  November 21, 2001



Vendor Statement

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Digest Name: daily security bulletins digest
Created: Wed Nov 21 3:00:02 PST 2001

Table of Contents:

Document ID Title
--------------- -----------
HPSBUX0111-176 Sec. Vulnerability in rlpdaemon

The documents are listed below.

Document ID: HPSBUX0111-176
Date Loaded: 20011120
Title: Sec. Vulnerability in rlpdaemon

Originally issued: 20 November '01

The information in the following Security Bulletin should be
acted upon as soon as possible. Hewlett-Packard Company will
not be liable for any consequences to any customer resulting
from customer's failure to fully implement instructions in this
Security Bulletin as soon as possible.

PROBLEM: An rlpdaemon logic flaw vulnerability has been
reported to us that may allow a remote or local
attacker to execute arbitrary code with superuser

PLATFORM: HP9000 Servers running HP-UX releases 10.01, 10.10,
10.20, 11.00, and 11.11.

DAMAGE: Unauthorized access, increased privileges.

SOLUTION: Apply the appropriate patch:
10.01 PHCO_25107,
10.10 PHCO_25108,
10.20 PHCO_25109,
11.00 PHCO_25110,
11.11 PHCO_25111.


AVAILABILITY: All patches are available now.
The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE)
project has assigned the name CAN-2001-0817 to
this issue.
A. Background
A remotely exploitable buffer overflow in rlpdaemon has been
reported to HP.

B. Recommended solution
The problem can be resolved by application of one of these
patches to the appropriate HP-UX release:
10.01 PHCO_25107,
10.01 PHCO_25107,
10.10 PHCO_25108,
10.20 PHCO_25109,
11.00 PHCO_25110,
11.11 PHCO_25111.

NOTE: HP-UX 10.24 and 11.04 (VVOS) are not vulnerable.

C. To subscribe to automatically receive future NEW HP Security
Bulletins from the HP IT Resource Center via electronic
mail, do the following:

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For information on the Security Patch Check tool, see:"

The security patch matrix is also available via anonymous

On the "Support Information Digest Main" page:
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D. To report new security vulnerabilities, send email to

Please encrypt any exploit information using the
security-alert PGP key, available from your local key
server, or by sending a message with a -subject- (not body)
of 'get key' (no quotes) to

Permission is granted for copying and circulating this
Bulletin to Hewlett-Packard (HP) customers (or the Internet
community) for the purpose of alerting them to problems,
if and only if, the Bulletin is not edited or changed in
any way, is attributed to HP, and provided such reproduction
and/or distribution is performed for non-commercial purposes.

Any other use of this information is prohibited. HP is not
liable for any misuse of this information by any third party.
-----End of Document ID:

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.

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This vulnerability was discovered and researched by Mark Dowd and Kris Hunt of Internet Security Systems (ISS). The CERT/CC thanks ISS for the information contained in their advisory.

This document was written by Ian A. Finlay.

Other Information

CVE IDs: CVE-2001-0817
CERT Advisory: CA-2001-32
Severity Metric: 41.01
Date Public: 2001-11-20
Date First Published: 2001-11-21
Date Last Updated: 2001-12-06 19:36 UTC
Document Revision: 46

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