Vulnerability Note VU#800635

rsync fails to properly handle negative values specified for signed integers thereby allowing remote command execution

Original Release date: 16 Sep 2002 | Last revised: 16 Sep 2002


There exist several signed-integer vulnerabilities in rsync. If rsync is run as a daemon, a remote-root compromise may be possible.


Included in most distributions of Linux, rsync is a popular tool for synchronizing files across multiple hosts. Though not enabled in the default configuration, rsync can be run as a daemon to facilitate the distribution of files to FTP mirror sites.

Researchers have found several vulnerabilities in rsync, resulting from the use of signed integer variables. If rsync receives negative integers where it expects positive integers, it can forced to overwrite arbitrary bytes of the stack with zeroes (null-bytes).


The rsync process can be used to exploited to execute arbitrary code. If rsync is run as a daemon, a remote attacker can execute arbitrary code as the owner of the rsync process, generally root.


Apply a patch from your vendor.

Use the "chroot" option in the rsync config file to limit rsync's access to the filesystem.

Systems Affected (Learn More)

VendorStatusDate NotifiedDate Updated
CalderaAffected29 Jan 200214 Sep 2002
ConectivaAffected-06 Jun 2002
DebianAffected29 Jan 200206 Jun 2002
Guardian DigitalAffected-16 Sep 2002
Hewlett-Packard CompanyAffected29 Jan 200206 Jun 2002
MandrakeSoftAffected29 Jan 200206 Jun 2002
IBM-zSeriesUnknown29 Jan 200206 Jun 2002
SequentUnknown29 Jan 200206 Jun 2002
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


  • None


Thanks to Conectiva for reporting this vulnerability.

This document was written by Shawn Van Ittersum.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: CAN-2002-0048
  • Date Public: 25 Jan 2002
  • Date First Published: 16 Sep 2002
  • Date Last Updated: 16 Sep 2002
  • Severity Metric: 15.26
  • Document Revision: 10


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