[Full-Disclosure] iDEFENSE Security Advisory 09.13.04a: Samba nmbd Invalid Length Denial of Service Vulnerability

Type securityvulns
Reporter Securityvulns
Modified 2004-09-14T00:00:00


Samba nmbd Invalid Length Denial of Service Vulnerability

iDEFENSE Security Advisory 09.13.04a www.idefense.com/application/poi/display?id=138&type=vulnerabilities September 13, 2004


Samba is a software suite that provides file and print services to SMB/CIFS clients, such as Microsoft Windows platforms. For more information see:



Remote exploitation of an input validation error in Samba allows an attacker to crash the Samba nmbd server. The nmbd is a server, typically listening on UDP port 138, understands and can reply to NetBIOS over IP name service requests, and participates in the browsing protocols that comprise the Windows "Network Neighborhood" view. Due to an input validation error, a malformed UDP packet can cause the nmbd server to crash while attempting to access memory outside of what is available. The vulnerability specifically exists in the process_logon_packet() function when it handles a SAM_UAS_CHANGE request. Part of this packet contains a count of the number of structures that follow. No check is made against the length of the packet to determine whether it is possible to have as many structures in it as it claims. If a large value is supplied, but a small number of structures are supplied, nmbd will reference memory outside of the packet it has been supplied. This may cause the nmbd process to crash.

The following is a trace of exploitation, showing the server no longer responding to an nmblookup. The nmblookup tool is used to query NetBIOS names and map them to IP addresses.

sh-2.05b$ nmblookup -A Looking up status of FEDORA1 <00> - B <ACTIVE> FEDORA1 <03> - B <ACTIVE> FEDORA1 <20> - B <ACTIVE> ..MSBROWSE. <01> - <GROUP> B <ACTIVE> MYGROUP <00> - <GROUP> B <ACTIVE> MYGROUP <1b> - B <ACTIVE> MYGROUP <1c> - B <ACTIVE> MYGROUP <1e> - <GROUP> B <ACTIVE>

sh-2.05b$ ./n 138 fedora1

Samba 3.x nmbd remote DoS exploit (0day)

Attacking .. Done, nmbd should be killed now. sh-2.05b$ nmblookup -A Looking up status of



This vulnerability is only exploitable if the daemon has been configured to process domain logons. This vulnerability does not allow arbitrary code execution. When the nmbd process dies, it no longer returns information about the server, and the host is no longer accessible by referencing its name.


iDEFENSE has confirmed Samba 3.0.2 is vulnerable. Analysis of the source suggests that version 3.0.4 is also vulnerable. Samba 2.x does not include the affected code and, therefore, is not affected by this vulnerability. The line 'domain logons = yes' must also occur in smb.conf for this issue to be exploitable. Note that removal of this line from the configuration file, although it will prevent exploitation, may also affect the Samba server's functionality.

The vendor has confirmed that Samba 3.0.x prior to and including v3.0.6 are vulnerable.


iDEFENSE is currently unaware of any effective workarounds for this issue. Removal of the line "domain logons = yes" from the smb.conf file for the server will prevent exploitation but may also affect the Samba server's functionality.


The patch file for Samba 3.0.5 addressing [the] bug (samba-3.0.5-DoS.patch) can be downloaded from:



The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the names CAN-2004-0808 to these issues. This is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (http://cve.mitre.org), which standardizes names for security problems.


09/02/2004 Initial vendor notification 09/02/2004 iDEFENSE clients notified 09/02/2004 Vendor response 09/13/2004 Coordinated public disclosure


The discoverer of this vulnerability wishes to remain anonymous.

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Copyright (c) 2004 iDEFENSE, Inc.

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