Sun Solaris dtmail contains a format string vulnerability

ID VU:928598
Type cert
Reporter CERT
Modified 2005-05-16T00:00:00



A vulnerability in the way dtmail handles command-line arguments could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code.


The dtmail program is a mail user agent (MUA) for the Common Desktop Environment (CDE). It provides a graphical user interface for reading, sending, and managing email. There is a vulnerability in the way Sun Solaris dtmail handles command-line arguments. By supplying a specially crafted argv[0] value containing a format string specifier, a local user could execute arbitrary code with privileges of the vulnerable process.


A local user could execute arbitrary code with privileges of the vulnerable process, typically group mail. With these privileges, the user would have the ability to read, modify, and delete email of other users.


Apply patch

Sun has issued an advisory which addresses this issue. For more information on patches available for your system, please refer to Sun Security Alert 57627.

Remove set-group-ID bit

Remove the the "set-group-ID" bit from dtmail by doing the following:

chmod 0555 /usr/dt/bin/dtmail

Note: This may cause users to be unable to read NFS mounted mailboxes.

Systems Affected

Vendor| Status| Date Notified| Date Updated
Avaya| | -| 16 May 2005
Sun Microsystems Inc.| | -| 25 Aug 2004
If you are a vendor and your product is affected, let us know.

CVSS Metrics

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



This vulnerability was reported by iDEFENSE Labs.

This document was written by Damon Morda.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: CAN-2004-0800
  • Date Public: 23 Aug 2004
  • Date First Published: 25 Aug 2004
  • Date Last Updated: 16 May 2005
  • Severity Metric: 5.63
  • Document Revision: 20