Vulnerability Note VU#900964

FTE fails to properly validate environment variables

Original Release date: 16 Apr 2004 | Last revised: 16 Apr 2004


FTE contains a vulnerability in the processing of certain environment variables that could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code.


FTE is a text editor available for a variety of operating systems. There is a buffer overflow vulnerability in the way FTE performs bounds checking on certain environment variables. By supplying an overly long string of characters for the HOME or TERM environment variable, a local user could execute arbitrary code on the system with privileges of the FTE process. Typically, FTE is installed with setuid root privileges.


A local user could execute arbitrary code with privileges of the FTE process.



Upgrade to the latest version of FTE as specified by your vendor.

Systems Affected (Learn More)

VendorStatusDate NotifiedDate Updated
DebianAffected-16 Apr 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 Steve Kemp.

This document was written by Damon Morda.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: CAN-2003-0648
  • Date Public: 03 Apr 2004
  • Date First Published: 16 Apr 2004
  • Date Last Updated: 16 Apr 2004
  • Severity Metric: 10.69
  • Document Revision: 3


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