Openwall GNU/*/Linux Information for VU#368819

Double Free Bug in zlib Compression Library Corrupts malloc's Internal Data Structures



Vendor Statement

All versions of Openwall GNU/*/Linux (Owl) prior to the 2002/02/15 Owl-current snapshot are affected by the zlib double-free vulnerability. Owl-current after 2002/02/15 includes the proper fixes in its userland packages. In order to not place the users of other vendors' products at additional risk, we have agreed to delay documenting this as a security change and including the fixes in Owl 0.1-stable until there's a coordinated public announcement. While we don't normally support this kind of a policy (releasing a fix before there's an announcement), this time handling the vulnerability in this way was consistent with the state of things by the time the (already publicly known) bug was first realized to be a security vulnerability.

The zlib bug could affect the following Owl packages: gnupg, openssh, rpm, texinfo (not necessarily in a security sense). Of these, the OpenSSH could potentially allow for an active remote attack resulting in a root compromise. If only SSH protocol version 1 is allowed in the OpenSSH server this is reduced to a local attack, but reverse remote attack possibilities by a malicious server remain. Additionally, any third-party software that makes use of the provided zlib library could be affected.

Parts of the Linux 2.2 kernel included in Owl were also affected by the vulnerability. Fortunately, those parts (Deflate compression support for PPP and the experimental Deflate compression extension to IrDA) are normally not used by the Owl userland. The bug has been corrected starting with Linux 2.2.20-ow2 which has been made public and a part of both Owl-current and Owl 0.1-stable on 2002/03/03. This change, however, will only be documented in the publicly-available change logs on the coordinated public announcement date.

Vendor Information

The vendor has not provided us with any further information regarding this vulnerability.

Vendor References



The CERT/CC has no additional comments at this time.

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