SUSE Security alert: Linux Kernel (SuSE-SA:2004:005)

Posted by dave on Feb 18, 2004 1:24 PM EDT
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Another bug in the Kernel's do_mremap() function, which is unrelated to the bug fixed in SuSE-SA:2004:001, was found by Paul Starzetz.



SUSE Security Announcement

Package: Linux Kernel Announcement-ID: SuSE-SA:2004:005 Date: Wednesday, Feb. 18th 2004 23:05 MET Affected products: 8.0, 8.1, 8.2, 9.0 SuSE Linux Database Server, SuSE eMail Server III, 3.1 SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 7, 8 SuSE Linux Firewall on CD/Admin host SuSE Linux Connectivity Server SuSE Linux Office Server Vulnerability Type: local privilege escalation Severity (1-10): 6 SUSE default package: yes Cross References: CAN-2004-0003 CAN-2004-0010 CAN-2004-0077 CAN-2004-0075

Content of this advisory: 1) security vulnerability resolved: - do_mremap: insecure memory page management - several local denial-of-service attacks problem description, discussion, solution and upgrade information 2) pending vulnerabilities, solutions, workarounds: - netpbm - zebra - susehelp - mod_gzip - mod_auth_shadow - mod_python - mutt - mailman - clamav - XFree86/xf86 - libxml2 3) standard appendix (further information)


1) problem description, brief discussion, solution, upgrade information

Another bug in the Kernel's do_mremap() function, which is unrelated to the bug fixed in SuSE-SA:2004:001, was found by Paul Starzetz. The do_mremap() function of the Linux Kernel is used to manage Virtual Memory Areas (VMAs) which includes moving, removing and resizing of memory areas. To remove old memory areas do_mremap() uses the function du_munmap() without checking the return value. By forcing do_munmap() to return an error the memory management of a process can be tricked into moving page table entries from one VMA to another. The destination VMA may be protected by a different ACL which enables a local attacker to gain write access to previous read-only pages. The result will be local root access to the system.

Additionally to the bug mentioned above some other bugs were fixed (depending on architecture) that can cause local denial-of-service conditions: - Vicam USB driver: CAN-2004-0075 + denial-of-service due to problem while copying data from user to kernel space - Direct Render Infrastructure: CAN-2004-0003 + denial-of-service due to integer overflow + needs r128 card and console to be exploited - ncpfs/ncp_lookup: CAN-2004-0010 + buffer overflow with the probability to gain root - execve(): + malformed elf binaries can lead to a local denial-of-service attack

SPECIAL INSTALL INSTRUCTIONS: ============================== The following paragraphs will guide you through the installation process in a step-by-step fashion. The character sequence "****" marks the beginning of a new paragraph. In some cases, you decide if the paragraph is needed for you or not. Please read through all of the steps down to the end. All of the commands that need to be executed are required to be run as the superuser (root). Each step relies on the steps before to complete successfully.

**** Step 1: Determine the needed kernel type

Please use the following command to find the kernel type that is installed on your system:

rpm -qf /boot/vmlinuz

The following options are possible (disregarding the version and build number following the name, separated by the "-" character):

k_deflt # default kernel, good for most systems. k_i386 # ke for older processors and chipsets k_athlon # kernel made specifically for AMD Athlon(tm) family processors k_psmp # kernel for Pentium-I dual processor systems k_smp # kernel for SMP systems (Pentium-II and above) k_smp4G # kernel for SMP systems which supports a maximum of 4G of RAM

**** Step 2: Download the package for your system

Please download the kernel RPM package for your distribution with the name starting as indicated by Step 1. The list of all kernel rpm packages is appended below. Note: The kernel-source package does not contain any binary kernel in bootable form. Instead, it contains the sources that the binary kernel rpm packages are made from. It can be used by administrators who have decided to build their own kernel. Since the kernel-source.rpm is an installable (compiled) package that contains sources for the linux kernel, it is not the source RPM for the kernel RPM binary packages.

The kernel RPM binary packages for the distributions can be found at these locations below

8.0/images/ 8.1/rpm/i586 8.2/rpm/i586 9.0/rpm/i586

After downloading the kernel RPM package for your system, you should verify the authenticity of the kernel rpm package using the methods as listed in section 3) of each SUSE Security Announcement.

**** Step 3: Installing your kernel rpm package

Install the rpm package that you have downloaded in Steps 3 or 4 with the command rpm -Uhv --nodeps --force where is the name of the rpm package that you downloaded.

Warning: After performing this step, your system will likely not be able to boot if the following steps have not been fully applied.

If you run SUSE LINUX 8.1 and haven't applied the previous kernel update (SUSE-SA:2003:034), AND use the freeswan package, you also need to update the freeswan rpm as a dependency as offered by YOU (Yast Online Update). The package can be downloaded from

**** Step 4: configuring and creating the initrd

The initrd is a ramdisk that is being loaded into the memory of your system together with the kernel boot image by the bootloader. The kernel uses the content of this ramdisk to execute commands that must be run before the kernel can mount its actual root filesystem. It is usually used to initialize scsi drivers or NIC drivers for diskless operation.

The variable INITRD_MODULES in /etc/sysconfig/kernel determines which kernel modules will be loaded in the initrd before the kernel has mounted its actual root filesystem. The variable should contain your scsi adapter (if any) or filesystem driver modules.

With the installation of the new kernel, the initrd has to be re-packed with the update kernel modules. Please run the command


as root to create a new init ramdisk (initrd) for your system. On SuSE Linux 8.1 and later, this is done automatically when the RPM is installed.

**** Step 5: bootloader

If you have a 7.x system, you must now run the command


as root to initialize the lilo bootloader for your system. Then proceed to the next step.

If you run a SUSE LINUX 8.x or a SLES8 system, there are two options: Depending on your software configuration, you have the lilo bootloader or the grub bootloader installed and initialized on your system. The grub bootloader does not require any further actions to be performed after the new kernel images have been moved in place by the rpm Update command. If you have a lilo bootloader installed and initialized, then the lilo program must be run as root. Use the command

grep LOADER_TYPE /etc/sysconfig/bootloader

to find out which boot loader is configured. If it is lilo, then you must run the lilo command as root. If grub is listed, then your system does not require any bootloader initialization.

Warning: An improperly installed bootloader may render your system unbootable.

**** Step 6: reboot

If all of the steps above have been successfully applied to your system, then the new kernel including the kernel modules and the initrd should be ready to boot. The system needs to be rebooted for the changes to become active. Please make sure that all steps are complete, then reboot using the command shutdown -r now or init 6

Your system should now shut down and reboot with the new kernel.

Our maintenance customers are being notified individually. The packages are being offered to install from the maintenance web.

There is no workaround known.

Please download the update package for your distribution and verify its integrity by the methods listed in section 3) of this announcement. Then, to apply the update use the command "rpm -Fhv file.rpm". Our maintenance customers are being notified individually. The packages are being offered to install from the maintenance web.

Due to unfinished functional evaluation testing the 8.0 kernel will be released within the next few days.

Intel i386 Platform:

SuSE-9.0: ecfbe03e394832b72a3b9c82eb126064 source rpm(s): 1bd070771a5dd094aa08cf38b1a044b9 c00538019717f0eb2c50d67468daf0ec source rpm(s): 9f8882b0c598e160382640c0b0764239 aac234b34178e1027f0295efc0e59b21 source rpm(s): 618f890d3802b98b08f69e99c608f88d ac6b4b271bdb7db1c6e906d30feeb509 source rpm(s): 73abafe183680051e36b0e06044dfaf1 90e0a63318e67e4d80bbf599e092a9e9 source rpm(s): 34871bc1783b214eb1abf1a3b08f7b08 2cb5ef97c015d72a911c2a99b6517e09 source rpm(s): 24933c7c1adf988494e98fd8da7895a9

SuSE-8.2: 1782b12abf777cea56e3093a6afd77d3 source rpm(s): 1851210f8db7acd6f0396a774032128e 63a528e967ea95c94357cbdb24b539fc source rpm(s): 52497095cbf87ec168d0c7babb3ee416 3743e2d1f856541b9baf2c5f629a7ee6 source rpm(s): 502677799b511df2491cb87c9c35b997 d0711272b2d4de9a32b86ae83ae6a3e0 source rpm(s): bb323ee3ca8654d9f547a0ba3d2ad430 2e9eef765ef10fcdfb17d96f6042ecdb source rpm(s): 2251c37b3ead38d341ca3fc1558f23ba

SuSE-8.1: 268986c15003f47539f97847ca0a71ba source rpm(s): 19a256181b4ccf094db7a1af53a286cf d673923c542d3b0cd7f383f33b8a1818 source rpm(s): 96e3687da59d0e79246df6e385f0443d 165f881a57d953eeb078b82ff5c1c745 source rpm(s): 21fa38976e6dedbaa11e1a699b539021 e7126b41226074c4bed437e374055e9c source rpm(s): ed4457abe00add59dd62185bfd560ec0 5e6d14000e873c83916871a284e34032 source rpm(s): a42879b3e259630f0ffcc48e72b67385

Opteron x86_64 Platform:

SuSE-9.0: f751f7c38b66fef72497cd20efe93e6d source rpm(s): 7e4a005094d9db401fcff09edf02f8e3 460119617de7678ca0e81cd9cdc1b07d source rpm(s): 54408250c4c6876d65b9e07c3633e355 afb38f0f8bb015110be9aab42536961f source rpm(s): d8bd2b7a61dea7e3166acf11f4bc35e0


2) Pending vulnerabilities in SUSE Distributions and Workarounds:

- netpbm Some tools in the netpbm suite create files in an insecure manner that can lead to local privilege escalation. New packages are available on our FTP servers.

- zebra Local users can send malicious netlink messages that cause denial-of-service conditions in zebra. New packages are available on our FTP servers.

- susehelp The susehelp package for SuSE Linux 9.0 contained CGI scripts which allowed remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands as wwwrun user. Additionally, certain ACL entries have been added to deny execution of the susehelp CGI scripts from remote. If you update your susehelp package manually, you have to invoke the SuSEconfig command as root afterwards. You also have to restart the HTTP server for the new ACLs to take effect. New packages are available on our FTP servers.

- mod_gzip (apache-contrib) The apache module mod_gzip is vulnerable to remote code execution while running in debug-mode. We do not ship this module in debug-mode but future versions will include the fix. Additionally the mod_gzip code was audited to fix more possibly security related bugs. New packages are available on our FTP servers.

- mod_auth_shadow (apache-contrib) This apache module ignores account expiration dates. The update will be released together with mod_gzip. New packages are available on our FTP servers.

- mod_python A remote denial-of-service attack can be triggered against the Apache web server by sending a specific query string that is processed by mod_python. New packages will be available soon.

- mutt The popular email client mutt is vulnerable to a remote denial-of-service attack and maybe remote command execution. The bug can be triggered by malformed messages that overflow an internal buffer. New packages will be available soon.

- mailman A remote denial-of-service attack can be triggered in mailman 2.0.x (CAN-2003-0991). New packages will be available soon.

- clamav A remote denial-of-service attack can be triggered in the anti-virus scanner. New packages will be available soon.

- XFree86/xf86 Several buffer overflows in the font-alias handling code can lead to local root access. Packages are built and are being tested at the moment.

- libxml2 Two buffer overflows in the URI code can lead to remote system compromise. New packages will be available soon.


3) standard appendix: authenticity verification, additional information

- Package authenticity verification:

SUSE update packages are available on many mirror ftp servers all over the world. While this service is being considered valuable and important to the free and open source software community, many users wish to be sure about the origin of the package and its content before installing the package. There are two verification methods that can be used independently from each other to prove the authenticity of a downloaded file or rpm package: 1) md5sums as provided in the (cryptographically signed) announcement. 2) using the internal gpg signatures of the rpm package.

1) execute the command md5sum after you downloaded the file from a SUSE ftp server or its mirrors. Then, compare the resulting md5sum with the one that is listed in the announcement. Since the announcement containing the checksums is cryptographically signed (usually using the key []), the checksums show proof of the authenticity of the package. We disrecommend to subscribe to security lists which cause the email message containing the announcement to be modified so that the signature does not match after transport through the mailing list software. Downsides: You must be able to verify the authenticity of the announcement in the first place. If RPM packages are being rebuilt and a new version of a package is published on the ftp server, all md5 sums for the files are useless.

2) rpm package signatures provide an easy way to verify the authenticity of an rpm package. Use the command rpm -v --checksig to verify the signature of the package, where is the filename of the rpm package that you have downloaded. Of course, package authenticity verification can only target an un-installed rpm package file. Prerequisites: a) gpg is installed b) The package is signed using a certain key. The public part of this key must be installed by the gpg program in the directory ~/.gnupg/ under the user's home directory who performs the signature verification (usually root). You can import the key that is used by SUSE in rpm packages for SUSE Linux by saving this announcement to a file ("announcement.txt") and running the command (do "su -" to be root): gpg --batch; gpg < announcement.txt | gpg --import SUSE Linux distributions version 7.1 and thereafter install the key "" upon installation or upgrade, provided that the package gpg is installed. The file containing the public key is placed at the top-level directory of the first CD (pubring.gpg) and at .

- SUSE runs two security mailing lists to which any interested party may subscribe:

[] - general/linux/SUSE security discussion. All SUSE security announcements are sent to this list. To subscribe, send an email to .

[] - SUSE's announce-only mailing list. Only SUSE's security announcements are sent to this list. To subscribe, send an email to .

For general information or the frequently asked questions (faq) send mail to: or respectively.

===================================================================== SUSE's security contact is or . The public key is listed below. ===================================================================== ______________________________________________________________________________

The information in this advisory may be distributed or reproduced, provided that the advisory is not modified in any way. In particular, it is desired that the clear-text signature shows proof of the authenticity of the text. SUSE Linux AG makes no warranties of any kind whatsoever with respect to the information contained in this security advisory.

Type Bits/KeyID Date User ID pub 2048R/3D25D3D9 1999-03-06 SuSE Security Team pub 1024D/9C800ACA 2000-10-19 SuSE Package Signing Key

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