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TUCoPS :: Web :: Apache :: o-016.txt

Apache HTTP Server 1.3.29 Release fixes security vulnerability (CIAC O-016)


                       The U.S. Department of Energy
                   Computer Incident Advisory Capability
                           ___  __ __    _     ___
                          /       |     /_\   /
                          \___  __|__  /   \  \___

                             INFORMATION BULLETIN

         Apache HTTP Server 1.3.29 Release Fixes Security Vulnerability
                            [Apache 1.3.29 Released]

October 29, 2003 19:00 GMT                                        Number O-016
PROBLEM:       A buffer overflow in mod_alias and mod_rewrite which occurred 
               if one configured a regular expression with more than 9 
PLATFORM:      Apache 1.3.28 
DAMAGE:        A buffer overflow could cause a system crash or be used to take 
               control of a system. 
SOLUTION:      Upgrade to Apache 1.3.29 
VULNERABILITY  The risk is LOW. A mod_rewrite regular expression is unlikely 
ASSESSMENT:    to be configured to have more than 9 captures. 
[***** Start Apache 1.3.29 Released *****]

Apache HTTP Server 1.3.29 Released

The Apache Software Foundation and The Apache HTTP Server Project are pleased to 
announce the release of version 1.3.29 of the Apache HTTP Server ("Apache"). This 
Announcement notes the significant changes in 1.3.29 as compared to 1.3.28. The 
Announcement is also available in German from

This version of Apache is principally a bug and security fix release. A partial 
summary of the bug fixes is given at the end of this document. A full listing of 
changes can be found in the CHANGES file. Of particular note is that 1.3.29 
addresses and fixes 1 potential security issue:

* CAN-2003-0542 ( Fix buffer overflows in mod_alias and mod_rewrite 
  which occurred if one configured a regular expression with more than 9 captures. 

We consider Apache 1.3.29 to be the best version of Apache 1.3 available and we 
strongly recommend that users of older versions, especially of the 1.1.x and 1.2.x 
family, upgrade as soon as possible. No further releases will be made in the 1.2.x 

Apache 1.3.29 is available for download from 

Binary distributions are available from 

This service utilizes the network of mirrors listed at: 
Please see the CHANGES_1.3 file in the same directory for a full list of changes.

As of Apache 1.3.12 binary distributions contain all standard Apache modules as 
shared objects (if supported by the platform) and include full source code. 
Installation is easily done by executing the included install script. See the 
README.bindist and INSTALL.bindist files for a complete explanation. Please note 
that the binary distributions are only provided for your convenience and current 
distributions for specific platforms are not always available. Win32 binary 
distributions are based on the Microsoft Installer (.MSI) technology. While 
development continues to make this installation method more robust, questions 
should be directed to the newsgroup.

For an overview of new features introduced after 1.2 please see

In general, Apache 1.3 offers several substantial improvements over version 1.2, 
including better performance, reliability and a wider range of supported platforms, 
including Windows 95/98 and NT (which fall under the "Win32" label), OS2, Netware, 
and TPE threaded platforms.

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR APACHE USERS: Apache 1.3 was designed for Unix OS variants. While 
the ports to non-Unix platforms (such as Win32, Netware or OS2) are of an acceptable 
quality, Apache 1.3 is not optimized for these platforms. Security, stability, or 
performance issues on these non-Unix ports do not generally apply to the Unix version, 
due to software's Unix origin.

Apache 2.0 has been structured for multiple operating systems from its inception, by 
introducing the Apache Portability Library and MPM modules. Users on non-Unix platforms 
are strongly encouraged to move up to Apache 2.0 for better performance, stability and 
security on their platforms.

Apache is the most popular web server in the known universe; over half of the servers 
on the Internet are running Apache or one of its variants.

Apache 1.3.29 Major changes

Security vulnerabilities

The main security vulnerabilities addressed in 1.3.29 are: 

* CAN-2003-0542 ( Fix buffer overflows in mod_alias and mod_rewrite which 
  occurred if one configured a regular expression with more than 9 captures. 

New features

New features that relate to specific platforms: 

* Enabled RFC1413 ident functionality for both Win32 and NetWare platforms. This also 
  included an alternate thread safe implementation of the socket timout functionality 
  when querying the identd daemon. 

Bugs fixed

The following bugs were found in Apache 1.3.28 (or earlier) and have been fixed in Apache 

* Within ap_bclose(), ap_pclosesocket() is now called consistently for sockets and 
  ap_pclosef() for files. Also, closesocket() is used consistenly to close socket fd's. 
  The previous confusion between socket and file fd's would cause problems with some 
  applications now that we proactively close fd's to prevent leakage. PR 22805. 
* Fixed mod_usertrack to not get false positive matches on the user-tracking cookie's 
  name. PR 16661. 
* Prevent creation of subprocess Zombies when using CGI wrappers such as suEXEC and 
  cgiwrap. PR 21737. 

[***** End Apache 1.3.29 Released *****]

CIAC wishes to acknowledge the contributions of Apache for the 
information contained in this bulletin.

CIAC, the Computer Incident Advisory Capability, is the computer
security incident response team for the U.S. Department of Energy
(DOE) and the emergency backup response team for the National
Institutes of Health (NIH). CIAC is located at the Lawrence Livermore
National Laboratory in Livermore, California. CIAC is also a founding
member of FIRST, the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams, a
global organization established to foster cooperation and coordination
among computer security teams worldwide.

CIAC services are available to DOE, DOE contractors, and the NIH. CIAC
can be contacted at:
    Voice:    +1 925-422-8193 (7x24)
    FAX:      +1 925-423-8002
    STU-III:  +1 925-423-2604

Previous CIAC notices, anti-virus software, and other information are
available from the CIAC Computer Security Archive.

   World Wide Web:
   Anonymous FTP:

PLEASE NOTE: Many users outside of the DOE, ESnet, and NIH computing
communities receive CIAC bulletins.  If you are not part of these
communities, please contact your agency's response team to report
incidents. Your agency's team will coordinate with CIAC. The Forum of
Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST) is a world-wide
organization. A list of FIRST member organizations and their
constituencies can be obtained via WWW at

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.

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