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TUCoPS :: Unix :: General :: ciaci046.txt

Open Group Xterm Xaw Lib Vulnerabilities




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             __________________________________________________________

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

                             INFORMATION BULLETIN

                Open Group xterm and Xaw Library Vulnerabilities

April 28, 1998 16:00 GMT                                          Number I-046
______________________________________________________________________________
PROBLEM:       Vulnerabilities exist in the terminal emulator xterm(1) and the
               Xaw library.
PLATFORM:      In various MIT X Consortium and The Open Group X Project Team
               releases.
DAMAGE:        If exploited, these vulnerabilities may allow an intruder root
               access.
SOLUTION:      Apply patches or workaround.
______________________________________________________________________________
VULNERABILITY  The Open Group X Project Team HIGHLY recommends that the
ASSESSMENT:    information below be acted upon as soon as possible.
______________________________________________________________________________


[  Start The Open Group Advisory  ]

=======================FORWARDED TEXT STARTS HERE============================
______________________________________________________________________________
             The Open Group X Project Team Security Advisory

        Title:   xterm and Xaw library vulnerability
        Date:    April 27, 1998
______________________________________________________________________________

The Open Group X Project Team provides this information freely to the X11
user community for its consideration, interpretation, implementation and use.
The Open Group X Project Team recommends that this information be acted upon
as soon as possible.

The Open Group X Project Team provides the information in this Security
Advisory on an "AS-IS" basis only, and disclaims all warranties with respect
thereto, express, implied or otherwise, including, without limitation, any
warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.  In no event
shall The Open Group be liable for any loss of profits, loss of business, loss
of data or for any indirect, special, exemplary, incidental or consequential
damages of any kind arising from your use of, failure to use or improper
use of any of the instructions or information in this Security Advisory.
______________________________________________________________________________


I. Description

Vulnerabilities exist in the terminal emulator xterm(1), and the Xaw
library distributed in various MIT X Consortium; X Consortium, Inc.;
and The Open Group X Project Team releases. These vulnerabilities may
be exploited by an intruder to gain root access.

The resources and the releases affected by the xterm vulnerability are:

                              Resources
                 inputMethod       preeditType      *Keymap
    Release     
    X11R3           NO                 NO             YES
    X11R4           NO                 NO             YES
    X11R5           NO                 NO             YES
    X11R6           NO                 NO             YES
    X11R6.1         YES                YES            YES
    X11R6.2         YES                YES            YES
    X11R6.3         YES                YES            YES
    X11R6.4         YES                YES            YES

The resources and the releases affected by the Xaw library
vulnerability are

                              Resources
                 inputMethod       preeditType
    Release     
    X11R6           YES                YES
    X11R6.1         YES                YES
    X11R6.2         YES                YES
    X11R6.3         YES                YES
    X11R6.4         YES                YES


(X11R6.2 was not released to the public.)

The Open Group X Project Team has investigated the issue and recommends
the following steps for neutralizing the exposure. It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
that these measures be implemented on ALL vulnerable systems. This issue
will be corrected in future X Project Team releases of X11.


- -----------------
- ------ Impact ---
- -----------------

By crafting an arbitrarily long string that contains embedded machine code
and using it to set specific "resources", a user may obtain a shell prompt
that has root privileges.

Anyone using the MIT X Consortium; X Consortium, Inc.; or X Project Team
xterm and that has xterm installed setuid-root may be vulnerable.

Anyone using an xterm based on any of the sources listed above may
also be vulnerable to the xterm vulnerability.

In order to be vulnerable to the Xaw library vulnerability, the Xaw
Text widget must be used by a setuid-root program. Anyone using an
Xaw replacement based on any of the released versions of Xaw listed
above (e.g. Xaw3d) may also be vulnerable to the Xaw vulnerability.


- -----------------------------
- ------ Temporary Solution  ---
- -----------------------------

     1) Become the root user on the system.

                % /bin/su -
                Password:
                #

     2) Remove the setuid-root bit from the xterm binary.

                # chmod 0755 <path-to-xterm>/xterm


For the Xaw vulnerability, remove the suid-root bit from any programs
which use the Xaw text widget.

 2) Remove the setuid-root bit from the binary.

                # chmod 0755 <setuid-root-program>


- -------------------
- ------ Solution ---
- -------------------

Patches to address this vulnerability have been given to X Project Team
members:

    Astec
    Attachmate
    BARCO Chromatics
    CliniComp International
    Digital
    Hewlett-Packard
    Hitachi
    Hummingbird Communications
    IBM
    Jupiter Systems
    Metro Link
    Network Computing Devices
    NetManage
    Peritek
    Seaweed Systems
    Sequent Computer Systems
    Shiman Associates
    Silicon Graphics
    Societe Axel
    Siemens Nixdorf
    Starnet
    SunSoft
    WRQ
    Xi Graphics

The X Project Team periodically makes public patches available to fix a
variety of problems. Announcements about the availability of these patches
is announced on the Usenet comp.windows.x.announce newsgroup. The patches,
when they become available, may be found on ftp://ftp.x.org/pub/R6.4/fixes/.
The X Project Team only supplies patches for the latest release -- we do
not make patches for prior releases.

Information on joining The Open Group can be found at

        http://www.opengroup.org/howtojoin.htm

========================FORWARDED TEXT ENDS HERE=============================

[  End The Open Group Advisory  ]

______________________________________________________________________________

CIAC wishes to acknowledge the contributions of CERT and The Open Group for
the information contained in this bulletin.
______________________________________________________________________________


CIAC, the Computer Incident Advisory Capability, is the computer
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This document was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an
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