HP Tru64 UNIX "msgchk" contains buffer overflow (SSRT2275)

ID VU:916443
Type cert
Reporter CERT
Modified 2002-09-10T18:51:00



msgchk, a part of the MH mail system, reportedly suffers from a buffer overflow with respect to the name of the inbox to be checked for new mail. This overflow would allow the user of msgchk to execute arbitrary code.


msgchk is the portion of the MH mail system that checks for new mail in the system spool folder. Its optional argument specifies the name of the inbox to be checked. Reportedly, the Tru64 Unix implementation in that an argument of 9000 characters or more will cause a buffer overflow, leading to execution of arbitrary code at the effective user id of the msgchk process.


If msgchk runs without setuid root privileges, there is no vulnerability here. If msgchk runs with setuid privileges, the user may be able to gain elevated privileges.


The CERT/CC is currently unaware of a practical solution to this problem.

Remove setuid privileges from msgchk.

Vendor Information


Filter by status: All Affected Not Affected Unknown

Filter by content: __ Vendor has issued information

__ Sort by: Status Alphabetical

Expand all

Affected Unknown __ Unaffected

Javascript is disabled. Click here to view vendors.

Hewlett-Packard Company

Notified: October 09, 2001 Updated: September 10, 2002


__ Vulnerable

Vendor Statement


Vendor Information

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


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

If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.

CVSS Metrics

Group | Score | Vector
Base | N/A | N/A
Temporal | N/A | N/A
Environmental | | N/A




This vulnerability was first reported by Seung Hyun Seo.

This document was written by Tim Shimeall and Ian A. Finlay.

Other Information

CVE IDs:* | None
**Severity Metric:
| 3.00
*Date Public:
| 2001-09-10
Date First Published: | 2001-11-15
Date Last Updated: | 2002-09-10 18:51 UTC
Document Revision: | 10