SuSE alert: gpg/GnuPG

Posted by dave on Jun 3, 2001 4:23 AM EDT
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GnuPG (the SuSE package is named "gpg") is a powerful encryption and signing program with a widespread usership in the free software world. It is designed to be a replacement for PGP and conforms to the OpenPGP standard.



                        SuSE Security Announcement

        Package: gpg/GnuPG
        Announcement-ID: SuSE-SA:2001:020
        Date: Sunday, Jun 3rd 2001 14:00 MEST
        Affected SuSE versions: 6.3, 6.4, 7.0, 7.1, (7.2)
        Vulnerability Type: local privilege escalation
        Severity (1-10): 6
        SuSE default package: yes
        Other affected systems: systems shipping the gpg/GnuPG package

    Content of this advisory:
        1) security vulnerability resolved: gpg
           problem description, discussion, solution and upgrade information
        2) pending vulnerabilities, solutions, workarounds
        3) standard appendix (further information)


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

    GnuPG (the SuSE package is named "gpg") is a powerful encryption and
    signing program with a widespread usership in the free software world.
    It is designed to be a replacement for PGP and conforms to the OpenPGP

    A format string vulnerability in versions of GnuPG before 1.0.6 has
    been found. The error occurs when gpg encounters a filename suffix that
    is not ".gpg" and prints the filename without the suffix as a default
    to the terminal. The bug allows an attacker to execute arbitrary code
    as the user calling gpg. Werner Koch, the author of the GnuPG package,
    states that when the "--batch" commandline option is used (such as
    when verifying rpm packages, see Section 3 of this announcement, or
    when used in MUAs (Mail User Agent)), the error cannot occur since
    this option supresses the printout of the filename on the terminal.
    There is no temporary workaround for the problem except for the
    "--batch" commandline option to gpg. We recommend to update the gpg
    package on all systems where it is installed.
    As an additional reason to update the package, it should be noted that
    gnupg 1.0.5 (packages were available on our ftp server) fixed some
    security-related problems, where one of them could allow an attacker
    with access to your key ring to compute the private key in considerably
    less time.

    We thank Werner Koch, the author of the GnuPG program, for quickly
    responding to the problem and fish stiqz, Synnergy Networks, for
    finding and communicating the problem to Werner Koch and to the
    security community.

    Please download the update package from locations described below and check
    the authenticity of the rpm package file using a method as described in
    section 3) of this security announcement. Please note that the packages
    for the 7.1 distribution are located on the ftp server, the
    packages for older distributions are on
    The upcoming SuSE Linux Distribution 7.2 has been officially announced
    and will be available for our customers these days. The gpg package in
    version 1.0.6 did not make it into the 7.2 distribution. The update
    package will be available in the update directory shortly.

    Use the command `rpm -Uhv file.rpm' to apply the update.

    i386 Intel Platform:

    source rpm:

    source rpm:

    source rpm:

    source rpm:

    Sparc Platform:

    source rpm:

    source rpm:

    PPC Power PC Platform:

    source rpm:

    source rpm:

    source rpm:

    AXP Alpha Platform:

    source rpm:

    source rpm:

    source rpm:

    source rpm:


2) Pending vulnerabilities in SuSE Distributions and Workarounds:

  - qpopper
    SuSE Linux distributions after SuSE-7.1 contain the qpopper in version
    4.x.y. According to the Changelogs of Qpopper 4.0.3 (See, the versions of
    qpopper before version 4.0.3 contain a buffer overflow. We are currently
    investigating if this bug is exploitable and which versions of qpopper
    are affected. We will provide update packages as soon as possible if
    necessary. Please see our upcoming security announcements (Section 3 of
    this announcement)!

  - netscape
    Netscape before Version 4.77 contains a bug that allows a remote attacker
    to store JavaScript code in the comment field of GIF files that are
    contained in a viewed page. This code can be executed.
    Update packages for the SuSE Linux distributions 6.3, 6.4, 7.0 and 7.1
    can be found on our ftp server at
    The packages are gpg-signed. See the section above about downloading
    and verifying rpm packages.
    The complexity of the netscape browser suggests by nature that more
    security related problems will be found, we will not issue a dedicated
    security announcement for the netscape package any more. Security-
    inclined users may please see the future security announcements in
    section 2) for information about security related problems with the
    netscape package.

  - pine
    Most of the supported distributions have pine update packages in the
    update area of the ftp server that update the pine package to version
    4.33. Many vulnerabilities have been found in versions before 4.33,
    and it is recommended to perform the upgrade.
    Please note that not all packages have been built yet. See the update
    directory for your distribution (like i386/update/7.0/n1) for pine-4.33

  - dqs has found an exploitable buffer overflow bug in
    the dsh program from the dqs package on SuSE Linux distributions.
    To workaround the problem, do "chmod -s /usr/bin/dsh" and change the
    files /etc/permissions* to reflect the change. If you do not need the
    dqs package, then deinstall it (rpm -e dqs). We are working on update
    packages that fix the problem.

  - samba
    Insecure temporary file handling is the cause for a new samba version
    2.0.9 that can be found as rpm packages in the n1/ directory of your
    distribution. It is recommended to install the update package if your
    users have local shell access to your samba server (this bug is not
    remotely exploitable).
    We are currently investigating some oddity in the behaviour of the
    samba package and will send a security announcement as soon as we
    have clarified the problems. The problems were present in earlier
    releases/versions of the samba package as well. By consequence, the
    installation of the update package is of low risk for the functionality
    of your system.


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 <name-of-the-file.rpm>
       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 --checksig <file.rpm>
       to verify the signature of the package, where <file.rpm> is the
       filename of the rpm package that you have downloaded. Of course,
       package authenticity verification can only target an uninstalled rpm
       package file.
        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 toplevel directory of the first CD (pubring.gpg)
           and at .

  - SuSE runs two security mailing lists to which any interested party may
        - 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 annoucements 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 <>.
    The <> public key is listed below.

Roman Drahtmueller <>.
 - -
| Roman Drahtm├╝ller <> // "The best way to pay for a |
  SuSE GmbH - Security Phone: // lovely moment is to enjoy it."
| N├╝rnberg, Germany +49-911-740530 // - Richard Bach |
 - -

    The information in this advisory may be distributed or reproduced,
    provided that the advisory is not modified in any way.
    SuSE GmbH 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 <>

Version: GnuPG v1.0.5 (GNU/Linux)
Comment: For info see


Version: 2.6.3i
Charset: noconv


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.0 : Mon Jun 04 2001 - 18:25:16 PDT

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