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Home » Hacking News » eEye AD20030318: XDR Integer Overflow

eEye AD20030318: XDR Integer Overflow

by Nikola Strahija on March 22nd, 2003 Vulnerabilities in several libraries that allow a developer to incorporate XDR into applications have been found.

XDR Integer Overflow

Release Date:
March 19, 2003

High (Remote Code Execution/Denial of Service)

Systems Affected:

Sun Microsystems Network Services Library (libnsl)
BSD-derived libraries with XDR/RPC routines (libc)
GNU C library with sunrpc (glibc)


XDR is a standard for the description and encoding of data which is used
heavily in RPC implementations. Several libraries exist that allow a
developer to incorporate XDR into his or her applications. Vulnerabilities
were discovered in these libraries during the testing of new Retina auditing
technologies developed by the eEye research department.

ADAM and EVE are two technologies developed by eEye to remotely and locally
audit applications for the existence of common vulnerabilities. During an
ADAM audit, an integer overflow was discovered in the SUN Microsystems XDR
library. By supplying specific integer values in length fields during an RPC
transaction, we were able to produce various overflow conditions in UNIX RPC

Technical Description:

The xdrmem_getbytes() function in the XDR library provided by Sun
Microsystems contains an integer overflow. Depending on the location and use
of the vulnerable xdrmem_getbytes() routine, various conditions may be
presented that can permit an attacker to remotely exploit a service using
this vulnerable routine.

For the purpose of signature development and further security research a
sample session is included below that replicates an integer overflow in the
rpcbind shipped with various versions of the Solaris operating system.

char evil_rpc[] =

"xFFxFFxFFxFF" // RPC argument length

Vendor Status:

Sun Microsystems was contacted on November 13, 2002 and CERT was contacted
shortly afterwards. Vendors believed to be vulnerable were contacted by CERT
during a grace period of several months. Due to some difficulties
communicating with vendors, after rescheduling several times a release date
was set for March 18, 2003.

eEye recommends obtaining the necessary patches or updates from vendors as
they become available after the release of this and the CERT advisory.

For a list of vendors and their responses, please review the CERT advisory

You can find the latest copy of this advisory, along with other eEye
research at

Riley Hassell - Senior Research Associate

Liver destroyers of the world:
Barnes (DOW!), FX, and last but definitely not least, Heather and Jenn.

Copyright (c) 1998-2003 eEye Digital Security
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The information within this paper may change without notice. Use of this
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Please send suggestions, updates, and comments to:

eEye Digital Security
[email protected]

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