IRIX nsd Vulnerability

Type securityvulns
Reporter Securityvulns
Modified 2002-01-16T00:00:00



                      SGI Security Advisory

    Title:   IRIX nsd vulnerability
    Number:  20020102-02-I
    Date:    January 15, 2002

SGI provides this information freely to the SGI user community for its consideration, interpretation, implementation and use. SGI recommends that this information be acted upon as soon as possible.

SGI provides the information in this Security Advisory on an "AS-IS" basis only, and disclaims all warranties with respect thereto, express, implied or otherwise, including, without limitation, any warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. In no event shall SGI be liable for any loss of profits, loss of business, loss of data or for any indirect, special, exemplary, incidental or consequential damages of any kind arising from your use of, failure to use or improper use of any of the instructions or information in this Security Advisory.

  • --- Update ---

Removed erroneous patch information from the original advisory.

  • --- Issue Specifics ---

A vulnerability related to the way the IRIX unified name service daemon (nsd) manages its cache files has been reported.

Due to a bug in a cache-limiting function, the cache can grow to eventually fill the system disk.

SGI has investigated the issue and recommends the following steps for neutralizing the exposure. It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that these measures be implemented on ALL vulnerable SGI systems. This issue has been corrected in future releases of IRIX.

  • --- Impact ---

The nsd daemon is installed by default on all 6.5.x versions of IRIX, and this vulnerability exists in all versions of IRIX 6.5.4m/f through 6.5.11m/f. The problem has been fixed in IRIX 6.5.12m/f.

A local user account on the vulnerable system is not required in order to exploit this vulnerability.

The exploitation of this vulnerability can lead to a full system disk, effectively resulting in a Denial of Service.

This vulnerability has been publicly discussed in Usenet newsgroups and mailing lists.

  • --- Solution ---

SGI has provided a patch for these vulnerabilities for IRIX 6.5.11. The problem has been fixed in IRIX 6.5.12. Our recommendation is to upgrade to IRIX 6.5.12 or later.

OS Version Vulnerable? Patch # Other Actions ---------- ----------- ------- -------------
IRIX 3.x no Note 1 IRIX 4.x no Note 1 IRIX 5.x no Note 1 IRIX 6.0.x no Note 1
IRIX 6.1 no Note 1
IRIX 6.2 no Note 1 IRIX 6.3 no Note 1 IRIX 6.4 no Note 1 IRIX 6.5 no Notes 2 & 3 IRIX 6.5.1 no Notes 2 & 3 IRIX 6.5.2 no Notes 2 & 3 IRIX 6.5.3 no Notes 2 & 3 IRIX 6.5.4 yes Notes 2 & 3 IRIX 6.5.5 yes Notes 2 & 3 IRIX 6.5.6 yes Notes 2 & 3 IRIX 6.5.7 yes Notes 2 & 3 IRIX 6.5.8 yes Notes 2 & 3 IRIX 6.5.9 yes Notes 2 & 3 IRIX 6.5.10 yes Notes 2 & 3 IRIX 6.5.11 yes Notes 2 & 3 IRIX 6.5.12 no IRIX 6.5.13 no IRIX 6.5.14 no


 1) This version of the IRIX operating has been retired.
    Upgrade to an actively supported IRIX operating system. 
    for more information.

 2) Download the IRIX 6.5.12 or later Maintenance Release Stream from
    the URL:

 3) If you have not received an IRIX 6.5.X CD for IRIX 6.5, contact

your SGI Support Provider or URL:

  • --- Acknowledgments ----

SGI wishes to thank Heiko Schlichting of Freie Universitдt Berlin and the users of the Internet Community at large for their assistance in this matter.

  • --- References ---

SGI Security Advisories can be found at: and

SGI Security Patches can be found at: and

SGI patches for IRIX can be found at the following patch servers: and

SGI freeware updates for IRIX can be found at:

SGI fixes for SGI open sourced code can be found on:

SGI patches and RPMs for Linux can be found at: or

SGI patches for Windows NT or 2000 can be found at:

IRIX 5.2-6.4 Recommended/Required Patch Sets can be found at: and

IRIX 6.5 Maintenance Release Streams can be found at:

IRIX 6.5 Software Update CDs can be obtained from:

The primary SGI anonymous FTP site for security advisories and patches is ( Security advisories and patches are located under the URL

For security and patch management reasons, (mirrors security FTP repository) lags behind and does not do a real-time update.

  • --- SGI Security Information/Contacts ---

If there are questions about this document, email can be sent to


SGI provides security information and patches for use by the entire SGI community. This information is freely available to any person needing the information and is available via anonymous FTP and the Web.

The primary SGI anonymous FTP site for security advisories and patches is ( Security advisories and patches are located under the URL

The SGI Security Headquarters Web page is accessible at the URL:

For issues with the patches on the FTP sites, email can be sent to

For assistance obtaining or working with security patches, please contact your SGI support provider.


SGI provides a free security mailing list service called wiretap and encourages interested parties to self-subscribe to receive (via email) all SGI Security Advisories when they are released. Subscribing to the mailing list can be done via the Web ( or by sending email to SGI as outlined below.

% mail subscribe wiretap <YourEmailAddress> end ^d

In the example above, <YourEmailAddress> is the email address that you wish the mailing list information sent to. The word end must be on a separate line to indicate the end of the body of the message. The control-d (^d) is used to indicate to the mail program that you are finished composing the mail message.


SGI provides a comprehensive customer World Wide Web site. This site is located at .


If there are general security questions on SGI systems, email can be sent to

For reporting NEW SGI security issues, email can be sent to or contact your SGI support provider. A support contract is not required for submitting a security report.

  This information is provided freely to all interested parties 
  and may be redistributed provided that it is not altered in any 
  way, SGI is appropriately credited and the document retains and 
  includes its valid PGP signature.

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