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TUCoPS :: Linux :: General :: ciacl060.htm

Mutt Format String Vulnerability and Incompatibility
Mutt Format String Vulnerability and Incompatibility Privacy and Legal Notice


L-060: Mutt Format String Vulnerability and Incompatibility

March 19, 2001 19:00 GMT

PROBLEM: Mutt, a program for reading electronic mail, has a "format string" vulnerability and a GSSAPI incompatibility.
PLATFORM: Red Hat Linux 5.2, 6.0, and 6.1 are vulnerable.
Red Hat Linux 6.2 and 7.0 have GSSAPI incompatibilities.
DAMAGE: The "format string" vulnerability could allow a compromised or malicious IMAP server to execute code on the local machine.
SOLUTION: Apply the patches as directed.

The risk is HIGH. The vulnerability has been discussed in public forums and can allow a server to execute code on the local machine.

[Start Red Hat, Inc. Advisory]

                   Red Hat, Inc. Red Hat Security Advisory

Synopsis:          New mutt packages fix IMAP vulnerability/incompatibility
Advisory ID:       RHSA-2001:029-02
Issue date:        2001-03-09
Updated on:        2001-03-13
Product:           Red Hat Linux
Keywords:          mutt IMAP format string GSSAPI
Cross references:

1. Topic:

New mutt packages are available. These packages fix an
instance of the common 'format string' vulnerability,
and correct an incompatibilty with the current errata
IMAP server.

It is recommended that all mutt users using Red Hat Linux
upgrade to the new packages. The version of mutt shipped
in Red Hat Linux 7.0 does not contain the format string
vulnerability; it is merely a bugfix update.

Users of Red Hat Linux 6.0 and 6.1 should use the
packages for Red Hat Linux 6.2. Additionally, the packages
for Red Hat Linux 6.2 have support for SSL-IMAP and GSSAPI; the
new packages require the openssl enhancement errata.

2. Relevant releases/architectures:

Red Hat Linux 5.2 - alpha, i386, sparc

Red Hat Linux 6.2 - alpha, i386, sparc

Red Hat Linux 7.0 - alpha, i386

3. Problem description:

An example of a 'format string' vulnerability was present in the
IMAP code in versions of mutt previous to 1.2.5. This had the
effect that a compromised or malicious IMAP server could possibly
execute code on the local machine.

The mutt packages in Red Hat Linux 7.0 were incompatible
with the errata IMAP server released for Red Hat Linux in
regards to GSSAPI authentication.

4. Solution:

To update all RPMs for your particular architecture, run:

rpm -Fvh <filenames>

where <filenames> is a list of the RPMs you wish to upgrade.  Only those
RPMs which are currently installed will be updated.  Those RPMs which are
not installed but included in the list will not be updated.  Note that you
can also use wildcards (*.rpm) if your current directly *only* contains the
desired RPMs.

Please note that this update is also available via Red Hat Network.  Many
people find this an easier way to apply updates.  To use Red Hat Network,
launch the Red Hat Update Agent with the following command:


This will start an interactive process that will result in the appropriate
RPMs being upgraded on your system.

5. Bug IDs fixed ( for more info):

19326 - Updated version of Mutt (1.2) has IMAP security hole fixed

6. RPMs required:

Red Hat Linux 5.2:





Red Hat Linux 6.2:





Red Hat Linux 7.0:




7. Verification:

MD5 sum                           Package Name
3ee2c329af45ffa655033498df170d7d  5.2/SRPMS/mutt-1.2.5i-8.5.src.rpm
e51c9d9f1477e85a09b5f24086330099  5.2/alpha/mutt-1.2.5i-8.5.alpha.rpm
04dc128f557c060e6bca0a8d22bf2f95  5.2/i386/mutt-1.2.5i-8.5.i386.rpm
1236d1b376b493810cec113c108ac039  5.2/sparc/mutt-1.2.5i-8.5.sparc.rpm
a14943ad1aa6fa508a9008ce72df0ccf  6.2/SRPMS/mutt-1.2.5i-8.6.src.rpm
be6d299c37243967b4965562a542f583  6.2/alpha/mutt-1.2.5i-8.6.alpha.rpm
362d9fcec4018f1c59ef43be0a276807  6.2/i386/mutt-1.2.5i-8.6.i386.rpm
003e1a1a237e71f009e6425488b043d6  6.2/sparc/mutt-1.2.5i-8.6.sparc.rpm
909998195c995035deccf48fc6139bb6  7.0/SRPMS/mutt-1.2.5i-8.7.src.rpm
5c0775e332e70df1cba99f275490837d  7.0/alpha/mutt-1.2.5i-8.7.alpha.rpm
0d528824313b49c60a21a513e1056067  7.0/i386/mutt-1.2.5i-8.7.i386.rpm

These packages are GPG signed by Red Hat, Inc. for security.  Our key
is available at:

You can verify each package with the following command:
    rpm --checksig  <filename>

If you only wish to verify that each package has not been corrupted or
tampered with, examine only the md5sum with the following command:
    rpm --checksig --nogpg <filename>

8. References:

Copyright(c) 2000, 2001 Red Hat, Inc.

[End Red Hat, Inc. Advisory]

CIAC wishes to acknowledge the contributions of Red Hat, Inc. for the information contained in this bulletin.
CIAC services are available to DOE, DOE Contractors, and the NIH. CIAC can be contacted at:
    Voice:          +1 925-422-8193 (7 x 24)
    FAX:            +1 925-423-8002
    STU-III:        +1 925-423-2604
    World Wide Web:
                     (same machine -- either one will work)
    Anonymous FTP:
                     (same machine -- either one will work)

This document was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor the University of California nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation or favoring by the United States Government or the University of California. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or the University of California, and shall not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes.
[Privacy and Legal Notice]

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