ISS Security Brief: Remote Sendmail Header Processing Vulnerability

Type securityvulns
Reporter Securityvulns
Modified 2003-03-04T00:00:00



Internet Security Systems Security Brief March 3, 2002

Remote Sendmail Header Processing Vulnerability


ISS X-Force has discovered a buffer overflow vulnerability in the Sendmail Mail Transfer Agent (MTA). Sendmail is the most common MTA and has been documented to handle between 50% and 75% of all Internet email traffic.


Attackers may remotely exploit this vulnerability to gain "root" or superuser control of any vulnerable Sendmail server. Sendmail and all other email servers are typically exposed to the Internet in order to send and receive Internet email. Vulnerable Sendmail servers will not be protected by legacy security devices such as firewalls and/or packet filters. This vulnerability is especially dangerous because the exploit can be delivered within an email message and the attacker doesn't need any specific knowledge of the target to launch a successful attack.

Affected Versions:

Sendmail versions from 5.79 to 8.12.7 are vulnerable

Note: The affected versions of Sendmail commercial, Sendmail open source running on all platforms are known to be vulnerable.

For the complete ISS X-Force Security Advisory, please visit:

About Internet Security Systems (ISS) Founded in 1994, Internet Security Systems (ISS) (Nasdaq: ISSX) is a pioneer and world leader in software and services that protect critical online resources from an ever-changing spectrum of threats and misuse. Internet Security Systems is headquartered in Atlanta, GA, with additional operations throughout the Americas, Asia, Australia, Europe and the Middle East.

Copyright (c) 2003 Internet Security Systems, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

Permission is hereby granted for the electronic redistribution of this document. It is not to be edited or altered in any way without the express written consent of the Internet Security Systems X-Force. If you wish to reprint the whole or any part of this document in any other medium excluding electronic media, please email for permission.

Disclaimer: 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, implied or otherwise, with regard to this information or its use. Any use of this information is at the user's risk. In no event shall the author/distributor (Internet Security Systems X-Force) be held liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of or in connection with the use or spread of this information. X-Force PGP Key available on MIT's PGP key server and's key server, as well as at Please send suggestions, updates, and comments to: X-Force of Internet Security Systems, Inc.

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: 2.6.2

iQCVAwUBPmOIRDRfJiV99eG9AQGOoAQAsW+F+O6i+tsKs6MCyUcBhZ1J83VgGcRU /qSQD68RlVBBD7+MDmjdr+eewu3a2wOAeBxFKRne3F/xijoqx6BV70iR5hwcZ1ZE RqyoluWYvkBOPnPvkoufTjuQvEWwTgZsf98JnjGbn/kIHPD2CUnz86CTEVSvJvlT wacUckcEhiA= =HFwX -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----