Vulnerability Note VU#648406

Apple Mac OS X AppleFileServer fails to properly handle certain authentication requests

Original Release date: 07 May 2004 | Last revised: 07 May 2004


There is a buffer overflow vulnerability in the way Apple's AppleFileServer handles certain authentication requests. This vulnerability could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code.


The AppleFileServer provides Apple Filing Protocol (AFP) services for clients and servers. This protocol allows users to share files over the network. By default the AFP service is not enabled. There is a buffer overflow vulnerability in the way the AppleFileServer handles certain authentication requests. By supplying a specially crafted PathName argument during authentication, an unauthenticated, remote attacker could execute arbitrary code.

According to the @stake advisory:

    There is a pre-authentication, remotely exploitable stack buffer overflow that allows an attacker to obtain administrative privileges. The overflow occurs when parsing the PathName argument from LoginExt packet requesting authentication using the Cleartext Password User Authentication Method (UAM). The PathName argument is encoded as one-byte specifying the string type, two-bytes specifying the string length, and finally the string itself. A string of type AFPName (0x3) that is longer than the length declared in the packet will overflow the fixed-size stack buffer.


An unauthenticated, remote attacker could execute arbitrary code.


Apply Patch
Apple has issued an advisory to address this issue. For further details, please see the Apple Security Advisory (Security Update 2004-05-03).

Disable AppleFileServer

Until a patch can be applied, you may wish to disable the AppleFileServer.

Systems Affected (Learn More)

VendorStatusDate NotifiedDate Updated
Apple Computer Inc.Affected-07 May 2004
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



This vulnerability was reported by Dave G. of @stake.

This document was written by Damon Morda based on information in the @stake advisory.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: CAN-2004-0430
  • Date Public: 03 May 2004
  • Date First Published: 07 May 2004
  • Date Last Updated: 07 May 2004
  • Severity Metric: 27.42
  • Document Revision: 24


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