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CERT Advisory CA-2002-26 Buffer Overflow in CDE ToolTalk
Original release date: August 12, 2002 Last revised: -- Source: CERT/CC
A complete revision history can be found at the end of this file.
* Systems running CDE ToolTalk
The Common Desktop Environment (CDE) ToolTalk RPC database server contains a buffer overflow vulnerability that could allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service.
The Common Desktop Environment (CDE) is an integrated graphical user interface that runs on UNIX and Linux operating systems. CDE ToolTalk is a message brokering system that provides an architecture for applications to communicate with each other across hosts and platforms. The ToolTalk RPC database server, rpc.ttdbserverd, manages communication between ToolTalk applications. For more information about CDE, see
The CDE ToolTalk database server is vulnerable to a heap buffer overflow via an argument passed to the procedure _TT_CREATE_FILE(). An attacker with access to the ToolTalk RPC database service could exploit this vulnerability with a specially crafted RPC message.
Vulnerability Note VU#387387 includes a list of vendors who have been contacted about this vulnerability.
This vulnerability was discovered and reported by the Entercept Ricochet Team and is described in the following Entercept Security Alert:
This vulnerability has been assigned CAN-2002-0679 by the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) group.
A list previously documented problems in CDE can be found in Appendix B.
Using an RPC message containing a specially crafted argument to _TT_CREATE_FILE(), a remote attacker could execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service. The ToolTalk database server process runs with root privileges on most systems. Note that the non-executable stack protection provided by some operating systems will not prevent the execution of code located on the heap.
Apply a patch from your vendor
Appendix A contains information provided by vendors for this advisory. As vendors report new information to the CERT/CC, we will update this section and note the changes in our revision history. If a particular vendor is not listed below, we have not received their comments. Please contact your vendor directly.
Disable vulnerable service
Until patches are available and can be applied, you may wish to disable the ToolTalk RPC database service. As a best practice, the CERT/CC recommends disabling all services that are not explicitly required. On a typical CDE system, it should be possible to disable rpc.ttdbserverd by commenting out the relevant entries in /etc/inetd.conf and if necessary, /etc/rpc, and then by restarting the inetd process.
The program number for the ToolTalk RPC database server is 100083. If references to 100083 or rpc.ttdbserverd appear in /etc/inetd.conf or /etc/rpc or in output from the rpcinfo(1M) and ps(1) commands, then the ToolTalk RPC database server may be running.
The following example was taken from a system running SunOS 5.8 (Solaris 8):
/etc/inetd.conf ... # # Sun ToolTalk Database Server # 100083/1 tli rpc/tcp wait root /usr/dt/bin/rpc.ttdbserverd rpc.ttdbsrverd ...
program vers proto port service ... 100083 1 tcp 32773 ...
UID PID PPID C STIME TTY TIME CMD ... root 355 164 0 19:31:27 ? 0:00 rpc.ttdbserverd ...
Before deciding to disable the ToolTalk RPC database server or the RPC portmapper service, carefully consider your network configuration and service requirements.
Block access to vulnerable service
Until patches are available and can be applied, you may wish to block access to the ToolTalk RPC database server and possibly the RPC portmapper service from untrusted networks such as the Internet. Use a firewall or other packet-filtering technology to block the appropriate network ports. The ToolTalk RPC database server may be configured to use port 692/tcp or another port as indicated in output from the rpcinfo(1M) command. In the example above, the ToolTalk RPC database server is configured to use port 32773/tcp. The RPC portmapper service typically runs on ports 111/tcp and 111/udp. Keep in mind that blocking ports at a network perimeter does not protect the vulnerable service from attacks that originate from the internal network.
Before deciding to block or restrict access to the ToolTalk RPC database server or the RPC portmapper service, carefully consider your network configuration and service requirements.
Appendix A. - Vendor Information
This appendix contains information provided by vendors for this advisory. As vendors report new information to the CERT/CC, we will update this section and note the changes in our revision history. If a particular vendor is not listed below, we have not received their comments.
Caldera Open UNIX and Caldera UnixWare are vulnerable to this issue. A fix will be announced and made available as soon as the CERT advisory is made public.
Cray, Inc. does include ToolTalk within the CrayTools product. However, rpc.ttdbserverd is not turned on or used by any Cray provided application. Since a site may have turned this on for their own use, they can always remove the binary /opt/ctl/bin/rpc.ttdbserverd if they are concerned.
SOURCE: Hewlett-Packard Company Software Security Response Team CROSS REFERENCE ID: SSRT2274 HP-UX HP Tru64 UNIX At the time of writing this document, Hewlett Packard is currently investigating the potential impact to HP-UX and HP Tru64 UNIX released operating system software. HP will provide notice of the availability of any necessary patches through standard security bulletin announcements and be available from your normal HP Services support channel. NOT IMPACTED: HP-MPE/ix HP OpenVMS HP NonStop Servers HP Recommended Workaround: A recommended workaround is to disable rpc.ttdbserverd until solutions are available. This should only create a potential problem for public software packages applications that use the RPC-based ToolTalk database server. This step should be evaluated against the risks identified, your security measures environment, and potential impact of other products that may use the ToolTalk database server. To disable rpc.ttdbserverd: Comment out the following line in /etc/inetd.conf: rpc.ttdbserverd stream tcp swait root /usr/dt/bin/rpc.ttdbserverd rpc.ttdbserverd Force inetd to re-read the configuration file by executing the inetd -h command. Note: The internet daemon should kill the currently running rpc.ttdbserver. If not, manually kill any existing rpc.ttdbserverd process.
The CDE desktop product shipped with AIX is vulnerable to the issue detailed above in the advisory. This affects AIX releases 4.3.3 and 5.1.0. The efix package is currently being generated and will soon be available from the IBM software ftp site. The efix packages can be downloaded via anonymous ftp from ftp.software.ibm.com/aix/efixes/security/. This directory contains a README file that gives further details on the efix packages. The following APARs will be available in the near future: AIX 4.3.3: IY32792 AIX 5.1.0: IY32793
SGI acknowledges the ToolTalk vulnerabilities reported by CERT and is currently investigating. No further information is available at this time. For the protection of all our customers, SGI does not disclose, discuss or confirm vulnerabilities until a full investigation has occurred and any necessary patch(es) or release streams are available for all vulnerable and supported IRIX operating systems. Until SGI has more definitive information to provide, customers are encouraged to assume all security vulnerabilities as exploitable and take appropriate steps according to local site security policies and requirements. As further information becomes available, additional advisories will be issued via the normal SGI security information distribution methods including the wiretap mailing list on http://www.sgi.com/support/security/.
Sun Microsystems, Inc.
The Solaris RPC-based ToolTalk database server, rpc.ttdbserverd, is vulnerable to the buffer overflow described in this advisory in all currently supported versions of Solaris: Solaris 2.5.1, 2.6, 7, 8, and 9 Patches are being generated for all of the above releases. Sun will be publishing Sun Alert 46366 for this issue which will be located here: http://sunsolve.Sun.COM/pub-cgi/retrieve.pl?doc=fsalert%2F46366 The Sun Alert will be updated as more information or patches become available. The patches will be available from: http://sunsolve.sun.com/securitypatch Sun will be publishing a Sun Security Bulletin for this issue once all of the patches are available which will be located at: http://sunsolve.sun.com/security
Xi Graphics deXtop CDE v2.1 is vulnerable to this attack. The update and accompanying text file will be: ftp://ftp.xig.com/pub/updates/dextop/2.1/DEX2100.016.tar.gz ftp://ftp.xig.com/pub/updates/dextop/2.1/DEX2100.016.txt DeXtop version 3.0 already contains this fix. Most sites do not need to use the ToolTalk server daemon. Xi Graphics Security recommends that non-essential services are never enabled. To disable the ToolTalk server on your system, edit /etc/inetd.conf and comment out, or remove, the 'rpc.ttdbserver' line. Then, either restart inetd, or reboot your machine.
Appendix B. - References
* http://www.opengroup.org/cde/ * http://www.opengroup.org/desktop/faq/ * http://www.entercept.com/news/uspr/08-12-02.asp * http://www.cert.org/advisories/CA-2002-20.html * http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/975403 * http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/299816 * http://www.cert.org/advisories/CA-2002-01.html * http://www.cert.org/advisories/CA-2001-31.html * http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/172583 * http://www.cert.org/advisories/CA-2001-27.html * http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/595507 * http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/860296 * http://www.cert.org/advisories/CA-1999-11.html * http://www.cert.org/advisories/CA-1998-11.html * http://www.cert.org/advisories/CA-1998-02.html _________________________________________________________________
The CERT Coordination Center thanks Sinan Eren of the Entercept Richochet Team for reporting this vulnerability. ___________
Author: Art Manion
This document is available from: http://www.cert.org/advisories/CA-2002-26.html
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August 12, 2002: Initial release
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