Type packetstorm
Reporter Underground Security Systems Research
Modified 1999-12-16T00:00:00


                                            `USSR & eEye DS Present:  
Infoseek Ultraseek 3.1 Remote Buffer Overflow  
USSR Advisory Code: 20  
eEye DS Advisory Code: AD19991215  
Release Date:  
December 15, 1999  
Systems Affected:  
Infoseek Ultraseek 2.1 to 3.1 and possibly others.  
The Opener:  
T1 Internet Connection: $1,000/month  
Dell PowerEdge 4350 Server: $4,307  
10k Doc. license for Ultraseek 3.1: $4,995  
Brand new office in silicon valley: $10,000/month  
The look on your CEO's face when you get hacked: Priceless.  
About The Software:  
Ultraseek is Infoseek Corporation's search engine software. The power and  
flexibility of Ultraseek allow it to be used by a variety of business's.  
>From the small mom and pop shops to companies even as large as Infoseek  
themselves. You've heard of go.com by now, haven't you?  
This advisory, although a rather nasty one, will be pretty small. We are not  
going to get into the mechanics of buffer overflows since the subject has  
been talked about a lot. If you would like to learn more about what a  
buffer overflow is we suggest the following links:  
By default the Ultraseek search engine listens on port 8765 and provides a  
HTTP interface to allow internet/intranet users to search a server for  
documents pertaining to their search keywords.  
To identify a vulnerable server you would do the following:  
C:\>telnet www.example.com 8765  
send-> HEAD / HTTP/1.0  
recv-> HTTP/1.0 200 OK  
recv-> Server: Ultraseek/3.1 Python/1.5.1  
recv-> Date: Thu, XX Dec 1999 23:59:42 GMT  
recv-> Content-type: text/html  
recv-> Content-length: 0  
Ultraseek 3.1 is the current version of Ultraseek as of the writing of this  
advisory. We have tested versions as old as 2.1. So while we are not  
positive, we are pretty sure every version of Ultraseek prior to 3.1 is  
The overflow occurs in the HTTP Get command. To DoS (Denial of Service) the  
server you would do the following:  
C:\>telnet www.example.com 8765  
GET /[overflow]/ HTTP/1.0  
At this point one of the two pyseekd.exe (Ultraseek Server Process) will  
drop and reinitialize. Since it is a service you will never get an on  
screen memory error. Also you will not even really notice the process drop  
and reload but if you look closely when you DoS the server one of the two  
pyseekd.exe process's will now have a new PID.  
This is just like any typical buffer overflow and it is exploitable. To  
download a proof of concept exploit, go to:  
Note: The example will just create a file called ussreeye.txt in whatever  
the current root is. This exploit has only been tested against Ultraseek 2.1  
for NT Service Pack 5 and NT Service Pack 6. Please do not send us eMail  
saying you could not get it to work or things of that nature. If you can't  
fix it yourself then most likely you do not need to be using it in the first  
What gets logged you ask?  
Well in the application event log you will see a Warning with the following  
information: "Ultraseek Server: Warning: restarted 3.1.4".  
In the Ultraseek http access logs (C:\Program  
Files\Infoseek\UltraseekServer\data\logs) nothing gets logged.  
So when all is said and done unless you have a router log to match the event  
log time with... your left with no way of knowing who did the dirty deed.  
Once again a web service, just like IIS, fails to log a command before it  
processes. Any service that takes commands needs to log the command first  
and then process it. That way unless there is an overflow in the logging  
process we will always know what IP performed the attack.  
This advisory was made possible by a joint effort of USSR (Underground  
Security Systems Research) and eEye Digital Security.  
Do you do the w00w00?  
This advisory also acts as part of w00giving. This is another contribution  
to w00giving for all you w00nderful people out there. You do know what  
w00giving is don't you? http://www.w00w00.org/advisories.html  
Vendor Status:  
We would like to thank Infoseek for the wonderful way they handled this  
advisory. The process went rather perfect, if there is such a thing in the  
security world.  
Related Links:  
eEye Digital Security  
Retina - The Network Security Scanner  
Underground Security Systems Research  
Attrition, w00w00, beavuh, Rhino9, ADM, L0pht, HNN, Technotronic and  
Copyright (c) 1998-1999 eEye Digital Security  
Permission is hereby granted for the redistribution of this alert  
electronically. It is not to be edited in any way without express consent  
of eEye. If you wish to reprint the whole or any part of this alert in any  
other medium excluding electronic medium, please e-mail alert@eEye.com for  
The information within this paper may change without notice. Use of this  
information constitutes acceptance for use in an AS IS condition. There are  
NO warranties with regard to this information. In no event shall the author  
be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of or in connection with  
the use or spread of this information. Any use of this information is at  
the user's own risk.  
Please send suggestions, updates, and comments to:  
eEye Digital Security  
USSR Labs