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TUCoPS :: Unix :: General :: ciach085.txt

INN News Servers Vulnerability




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[ For Public Release ]
             __________________________________________________________

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

                             INFORMATION BULLETIN

                        INN News Server Vulnerabilities

July 22, 1997 20:00 GMT                                            Number H-85
______________________________________________________________________________
PROBLEM:       A number of vulnerabilities have been identified in the INN
               News Server.
PLATFORM:      All platforms running of INN prior to version 1.6.
DAMAGE:        May allow remote individuals to obtain access to vulnerable
               systems.  However, post access is required to exploit these
               vulnerabilities.
SOLUTION:      Upgrade to INN version 1.6 immediately.
______________________________________________________________________________
VULNERABILITY  Exploit details involving this vulnerability have been made
ASSESSMENT:    publicly available.
______________________________________________________________________________

[ Start Secure Networks Inc. Advisory ]


Secure Networks Inc.
Security Advisory
July 21, 1997


INN news server vulnerabilities


This advisory addresses a number of vulnerabilities present in all versions of
INN prior to version 1.6.

Problem Description:

A number of vulnerabilities exist in all versions of INN prior to version 1.6
which allow remote individuals to obtain access to vulnerable systems. Post
access is required to exploit these vulnerabilities. However, due to the
method with which news is propagated, once a single server has been broken
into, all of its peers can be accessed.


Technical Details:

A number of string copies within the INN news server fail to check the size of
data they are copying. This results in buffer overflows in several locations,
allowing individuals to execute commands remotely, including spawning a shell
on the NNTP port.

An example of this situation is in the processing of the "From: " line by the
nnrpd process. In the ARTpost function in post.c, the From: line is copied
into a buffer on the stack without performing bounds checking:

STRING
ARTpost(article, idbuff)
    ...
    char                buff[NNTP_STRLEN + 2], frombuf[SMBUF];
    ...
    strcpy(frombuf, HDR(_from));
    ...

By crafting appropriate arguments in the From: header of the message, an
attacker can cause nnrpd to overwrite its stack, overwrite the function return
pointer on the stack, and thus execute arbitrary binary code.


Vulnerable Operating Systems and Software

All versions of INN prior to version 1.6 are vulnerable. To determine which
version of INN you are running, issue the following command on your news
server:

% telnet localhost 119

Your NNTP server version string will be displayed. A typical output from a
vulnerable NNTP server would read:

Trying 127.0.0.1...
Connected to localhost.
Escape character is '^]'.
200 freebsd.secnet.com InterNetNews NNRP server INN 1.5.1 17-Dec-1996 ready

A line reading:

telnet: Unable to connect to remote host: Connection refused

means that you are not running an NNTP server.

Fix Information

INN version 1.6 has been made availible at ftp://ftp.isc.org/isc/inn. A fix
will not be made availible for prior releases and it is suggested that all
users running INN upgrade to version 1.6 immediately.

Please note that INN version 1.6 is currently in beta testing stages,
therefore new versions may appear at this location in the future.

Additional Information

Secure Networks Inc. wishes to thanks James Brister <brister@isc.org> for his
assistance in this advisory and a resolution to these problems.

You can contact Secure Networks Inc. at <sni@secnet.com> using the following
PGP key:

Type Bits/KeyID    Date       User ID
pub  1024/9E55000D 1997/01/13 Secure Networks Inc. <sni@secnet.com>
                              Secure Networks <security@secnet.com>

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You can find past Secure Networks advisories at
http://www.secnet.com/advisories or at ftp://ftp.secnet.com/pub/advisories

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Copyright Notice

The contents of this advisory are Copyright (C) 1997 Secure Networks Inc, and
may be distributed freely provided that no fee is charged for distribution,
and that proper credit is given.

[ End Secure Networks Inc. Advisory ]



CIAC wishes to acknowledge the contributions of Secure Networks Inc. for the
information contained in this bulletin.



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