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Home » Hacking News » SuSE-SA:2002:046-pine


by Nikola Strahija on November 25th, 2002 Content of this advisory: 1) security vulnerability resolved: - heap buffer overflow while parsing mail address problem description, discussion, solution and upgrade information 2) pending vulnerabilities, solutions, workarounds: - sparc distribution - WindowMaker 3) standard appendix (further information)

1) problem description, brief discussion, solution, upgrade information

Pine, Program for Internet News and Email, is a well known and widely
used eMail client.
While parsing and escaping characters of eMail addresses pine does not
allocate enough memory for storing the escaped mailbox part of an
address. This results in a buffer overflow on the heap that will make
pine crash. The offending eMail can just be deleted manually or by using
another mail user agent.

A possible temporary workaround is to filter the respective header
lines by a mail delivery agent (such as procmail).

Please download the update package for your distribution and verify its
integrity by the methods listed in section 3) of this announcement.
Then, install the package using the command "rpm -Fhv file.rpm" to apply
the update.
Our maintenance customers are being notified individually. The packages
are being offered to install from the maintenance web.

Intel i386 Platform:

patch rpm(s):
source rpm(s):

patch rpm(s):
source rpm(s):

source rpm(s):

source rpm(s):

source rpm(s):

Sparc Platform:

source rpm(s):

AXP Alpha Platform:

source rpm(s):

PPC Power PC Platform:

source rpm(s):

source rpm(s):


2) Pending vulnerabilities in SuSE Distributions and Workarounds:

- sparc distribution
We have moved the update directories for the SuSE SPARC distributions
7.0 and 7.1 as well as the distribution directory for 7.1 to the
discontinued/ tree on We urge all of the sparc users to
upgrade to the SuSE-7.3-sparc distribution, the latest in the row for
the sparc platform. Resource limitations keep us from timely providing
update packages for the older sparc distribution.

- WindowMaker
A bug was found in the image processing code of windowmaker.
It could allow attackers to execute arbitrary code as the user
running windowmaker by tricking the user into viewing special
crafted malicious image files. New packages are currently being
built and will be available soon.


3) standard appendix: authenticity verification, additional information

- Package authenticity verification:

SuSE update packages are available on many mirror ftp servers all over
the world. While this service is being considered valuable and important
to the free and open source software community, many users wish to be
sure about the origin of the package and its content before installing
the package. There are two verification methods that can be used
independently from each other to prove the authenticity of a downloaded
file or rpm package:
1) md5sums as provided in the (cryptographically signed) announcement.
2) using the internal gpg signatures of the rpm package.

1) execute the command
after you downloaded the file from a SuSE ftp server or its mirrors.
Then, compare the resulting md5sum with the one that is listed in the
announcement. Since the announcement containing the checksums is
cryptographically signed (usually using the key [email protected]),
the checksums show proof of the authenticity of the package.
We disrecommend to subscribe to security lists which cause the
email message containing the announcement to be modified so that
the signature does not match after transport through the mailing
list software.
Downsides: You must be able to verify the authenticity of the
announcement in the first place. If RPM packages are being rebuilt
and a new version of a package is published on the ftp server, all
md5 sums for the files are useless.

2) rpm package signatures provide an easy way to verify the authenticity
of an rpm package. Use the command
rpm -v --checksig
to verify the signature of the package, where is the
filename of the rpm package that you have downloaded. Of course,
package authenticity verification can only target an un-installed rpm
package file.
a) gpg is installed
b) The package is signed using a certain key. The public part of this
key must be installed by the gpg program in the directory
~/.gnupg/ under the user's home directory who performs the
signature verification (usually root). You can import the key
that is used by SuSE in rpm packages for SuSE Linux by saving
this announcement to a file ("announcement.txt") and
running the command (do "su -" to be root):
gpg --batch; gpg < announcement.txt | gpg --import
SuSE Linux distributions version 7.1 and thereafter install the
key "[email protected]" upon installation or upgrade, provided that
the package gpg is installed. The file containing the public key
is placed at the top-level directory of the first CD (pubring.gpg)
and at .

- SuSE runs two security mailing lists to which any interested party may

[email protected]
- general/linux/SuSE security discussion.
All SuSE security announcements are sent to this list.
To subscribe, send an email to

[email protected]
- SuSE's announce-only mailing list.
Only SuSE's security announcements are sent to this list.
To subscribe, send an email to

For general information or the frequently asked questions (faq)
send mail to:

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