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Home » Security Advisories» Debian » New man-db packages fix buffer overflows, arbitrary command execution

New man-db packages fix buffer overflows, arbitrary command execution

man-db provides the standard man(1) command on Debian systems. During configuration of this package, the administrator is asked whether man(1) should run setuid to a dedicated user ("man") in order to provide a shared cache of preformatted manual pages. The default is for man(1) NOT to be setuid, and in this configuration no known vulnerability exists. However, if the user explicitly requests setuid operation, a local attacker could exploit either of the following bugs to execute arbitrary code as the "man" user.

  • Vendor: Debian
  • Vendor ID: DSA 364-1
  • Date: August 04, 2003


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Debian Security Advisory DSA 364-1 [email protected]
http://www.debian.org/security/ Matt Zimmerman
August 4th, 2003 http://www.debian.org/security/faq
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Package : man-db
Vulnerability : buffer overflows, arbitrary command execution
Problem-Type : local
Debian-specific: no
CVE Ids : CAN-2003-0620, CAN-2003-0645

man-db provides the standard man(1) command on Debian systems. During
configuration of this package, the administrator is asked whether
man(1) should run setuid to a dedicated user ("man") in order to
provide a shared cache of preformatted manual pages. The default is
for man(1) NOT to be setuid, and in this configuration no known
vulnerability exists. However, if the user explicitly requests setuid
operation, a local attacker could exploit either of the following bugs to
execute arbitrary code as the "man" user.

Again, these vulnerabilities do not affect the default configuration,
where man is not setuid.

- - CAN-2003-0620: Multiple buffer overflows in man-db 2.4.1 and
earlier, when installed setuid, allow local users to gain privileges
via (1) MANDATORY_MANPATH, MANPATH_MAP, and MANDB_MAP arguments to
add_to_dirlist in manp.c, (2) a long pathname to ult_src in
ult_src.c, (3) a long .so argument to test_for_include in ult_src.c,
(4) a long MANPATH environment variable, or (5) a long PATH
environment variable.

- - CAN-2003-0645: Certain DEFINE directives in ~/.manpath, which
contained commands to be executed, would be honored even when
running setuid, allowing any user to execute commands as the
"man" user.

For the current stable distribution (woody), these problems have been
fixed in version 2.3.20-18.woody.2.

For the unstable distribution (sid), these problems have been fixed in
version 2.4.1-12.

We recommend that you update your man-db package.

Upgrade Instructions
- --------------------

wget url
will fetch the file for you
dpkg -i file.deb
will install the referenced file.

If you are using the apt-get package manager, use the line for
sources.list as given below:

apt-get update
will update the internal database
apt-get upgrade
will install corrected packages

You may use an automated update by adding the resources from the
footer to the proper configuration.

Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 alias woody
- --------------------------------

Source archives:

http://security.debian.org/pool/updates/main/m/man-db/man-db_2.3.20-18.woody.2.dsc
Size/MD5 checksum: 632 88f2a959f43f5315d0a806717efc0059
http://security.debian.org/pool/updates/main/m/man-db/man-db_2.3.20-18.woody.2.diff.gz
Size/MD5 checksum: 106550 11c00b2f23ab67aecdb3a22483c9ece8
http://security.debian.org/pool/updates/main/m/man-db/man-db_2.3.20.orig.tar.gz
Size/MD5 checksum: 516391 5021f8a23cba9b14df39aa06407baefb

Alpha architecture:

http://security.debian.org/pool/updates/main/m/man-db/man-db_2.3.20-18.woody.2_alpha.deb
Size/MD5 checksum: 543394 1111c3763d4f237ea6d73fb2a03064b5

ARM architecture:

http://security.debian.org/pool/updates/main/m/man-db/man-db_2.3.20-18.woody.2_arm.deb
Size/MD5 checksum: 478414 e188ec3286cfcc8c8f987a90b080413b

Intel IA-32 architecture:

http://security.debian.org/pool/updates/main/m/man-db/man-db_2.3.20-18.woody.2_i386.deb
Size/MD5 checksum: 472766 1f93cf6f4cfeed221190ffb8dc7d60f7

Intel IA-64 architecture:

http://security.debian.org/pool/updates/main/m/man-db/man-db_2.3.20-18.woody.2_ia64.deb
Size/MD5 checksum: 601548 e387151776a92d633bd9aad2c0412036

HP Precision architecture:

http://security.debian.org/pool/updates/main/m/man-db/man-db_2.3.20-18.woody.2_hppa.deb
Size/MD5 checksum: 521056 7008ad4cbd4b0ee3b6d43c9cc552f5ab

Motorola 680x0 architecture:

http://security.debian.org/pool/updates/main/m/man-db/man-db_2.3.20-18.woody.2_m68k.deb
Size/MD5 checksum: 467578 cd566e411a14c30ff3ee45261e864697

Big endian MIPS architecture:

http://security.debian.org/pool/updates/main/m/man-db/man-db_2.3.20-18.woody.2_mips.deb
Size/MD5 checksum: 516014 c5cb6f88eaf124fa43ea262441f82a05

Little endian MIPS architecture:

http://security.debian.org/pool/updates/main/m/man-db/man-db_2.3.20-18.woody.2_mipsel.deb
Size/MD5 checksum: 517142 cae6cd634af680723502e5571bb40ac3

PowerPC architecture:

http://security.debian.org/pool/updates/main/m/man-db/man-db_2.3.20-18.woody.2_powerpc.deb
Size/MD5 checksum: 493992 fb696ef74405d4b8f53cadf89180f48d

IBM S/390 architecture:

http://security.debian.org/pool/updates/main/m/man-db/man-db_2.3.20-18.woody.2_s390.deb
Size/MD5 checksum: 479112 0deef4a03421377c52befbc2bea5ed31

Sun Sparc architecture:

http://security.debian.org/pool/updates/main/m/man-db/man-db_2.3.20-18.woody.2_sparc.deb
Size/MD5 checksum: 479184 c5f7de23038fc8d29db0475062a706fc

These files will probably be moved into the stable distribution on
its next revision.

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For apt-get: deb http://security.debian.org/ stable/updates main
For dpkg-ftp: ftp://security.debian.org/debian-security dists/stable/updates/main
Mailing list: [email protected]
Package info: `apt-cache show ' and http://packages.debian.org/
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