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TUCoPS :: Antique Systems :: 9118.txt

Vulnerability of DEC gateway software




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Security Bulletin 9118              DISA Defense Communications System
1 October 1991          Published by: DDN Security Coordination Center
                                  (SCC@NIC.DDN.MIL)   1-(800) 365-3642

                        DEFENSE  DATA  NETWORK
                          SECURITY  BULLETIN

The DDN  SECURITY BULLETIN is distributed  by the  DDN SCC  (Security
Coordination Center) under DISA contract as  a means of  communicating
information on network and host security exposures, fixes, &  concerns
to security & management personnel at DDN facilities.  Back issues may
be  obtained  via  FTP  (or  Kermit)  from  NIC.DDN.MIL  [192.112.36.5]
using login="anonymous" and password="guest".  The bulletin pathname is
SCC:DDN-SECURITY-yynn (where "yy" is the year the bulletin is issued
and "nn" is a bulletin number, e.g. SCC:DDN-SECURITY-9118).
**************************************************************************

	Vulnerability of DECnet-Internet gateway software
	in (DEC) ULTRIX versions 4.0, 4.1, and 4.2.


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!                                                                       !
!     The following important  advisory was  issued by the Computer     !
!     Emergency Response Team (CERT)  and is being relayed unedited     !
!     via the Defense Communications Agency's Security Coordination     !
!     Center  distribution  system  as a  means  of  providing  DDN     !
!     subscribers with useful security information.                     !
!                                                                       !
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CA-91:17                        CERT Advisory
                              September 26, 1991
                      DECnet-Internet Gateway Vulnerability

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Computer Emergency Response Team/Coordination Center (CERT/CC) has
received information concerning a vulnerability in the configuration of
the DECnet-Internet gateway software for Digital Equipment Corporation's 
(DEC) ULTRIX versions 4.0, 4.1, and 4.2 on all Digital architectures.

Digital Equipment Corporation is aware of this problem and a resolution
for this vulnerability will be included in a future release.  Digital
and the CERT/CC strongly recommend that sites exposed to this vulnerability 
immediately institute the workaround detailed in this advisory.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

I.   Description

     When installing the DECnet-Internet gateway software it is necessary to
     create a guest account on the ULTRIX gateway host.  By default, this
     account has /bin/csh as its shell.  By virtue of the guest account
     having a valid shell, the DECnet-Internet gateway software can be
     exploited to allow unauthorized root access.

II.  Impact

     Anyone using the DECnet-Internet gateway can gain unauthorized
     root privileges on the ULTRIX gateway host.

III. Solution
        
     This section describes a workaround for this vulnerability.

     Disable the guest account by editing the /etc/passwd file and setting
     the shell field for the guest account to /bin/false.  Also, ensure the 
     guest account has the string "NoLogin" in the password field as detailed
     in the DECnet-Internet installation manual.  

     Even if you have not installed or are not running the DECnet-
     Internet gateway software, Digital recommends that you implement the
     workaround solution stated above.

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The CERT/CC wishes to thank R. Scott Butler of the Du Pont Company for 
bringing this vulnerability to our attention and for his further 
assistance with the temporary workaround.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you believe that your system has been compromised, contact CERT/CC via
telephone or e-mail.

Computer Emergency Response Team/Coordination Center (CERT/CC)
Software Engineering Institute
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890

Internet E-mail: cert@cert.sei.cmu.edu
Telephone: 412-268-7090 24-hour hotline:
           CERT/CC personnel answer 7:30a.m.-6:00p.m. EST/EDT,
           on call for emergencies during other hours.

Past advisories and other computer security related information are available
for anonymous ftp from the cert.sei.cmu.edu (192.88.209.5) system.



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