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TUCoPS :: Unix :: General :: ciack009.txt

Qpopper Buffer Overflow Vulnerability



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

                             INFORMATION BULLETIN

                     Qpopper Buffer Overflow Vulnerability

December 3, 1999 17:00 GMT                                       Number K-009
PROBLEM:       Some versions of Qpopper are exploitable to a buffer overflow
PLATFORM:      All platforms running any of the officially released versions
               Qpopper 2.41 and earlier, and those running the beta versions
               Qpopper 3.0b21 and older. 
DAMAGE:        Remote users can exploit the vulnerability to obtain 
               unauthorized root access. 
SOLUTION:      Upgrade to the officially released version Qpopper 2.5 or 
               later, or to the beta version Qpopper 3.0b22 or later. 
VULNERABILITY  The risk is HIGH.  Information about these vulnerabilities
               including exploit programs have been publicly distributed. 

CIAC has the following updated information to the AusCERT Alert given below:
If you are using the beta release 3.0b21 or older, upgrade to release 3.0b22
or later.  The official qpopper Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page at

when last updated on 1 December 1999 stated that

    "Qpopper 2.41 and prior versions, and Qpopper 3.0b21 and older, are 
     vulnerable to buffer overflow. Remote users can obtain root access on 
     systems running these versions. Releases of Qpopper 2.5 and later, and 
     3.0b22 and later are immune from all known buffer overrun security holes 
     posted in bugtraq. Please upgrade your server if you are running any 
     Qpopper older than 2.5, or are running a 3.0 beta older than b22."

The FAQ can be accessed through a link found in the official Qpopper home
page at:

[Start AusCERT Alert]


A  U  S  C  E  R  T                                           A  L  E  R  T
                       AL-1999.005  --  AUSCERT ALERT
                         Buffer overflow in qpopper
                              02 December 1999



	The qpopper program is Unix server software that supports the POP3
        protocol for downloading Internet e-mail using software clients.
        AusCERT has received information that some versions of qpopper are
        vulnerable to a remotely exploitable buffer overflow.

	Information regarding these vulnerabilities including exploit
        programs have been made publicly available.  AusCERT expects that
        intruders will actively exploit this vulnerability.

        All qpopper 3.0 beta releases 3.0b20 and older are susceptible to
        this vulnerability.

	qpopper versions prior to 2.41 are also vulnerable to an
        exploitable buffer overflow as described in a previously released
        AusCERT advisory (AA-98.01) available from:


	Vulnerable versions of qpopper may allow remote users to gain root


	Sites running vulnerable versions of qpopper should upgrade to the
	current version.  The latest official release of qpopper is 2.53.
	Sites using the 3.0 beta release should upgrade to the latest
        release which is version 3.0b21.

	For complete details and download instructions see the official 
	qpopper home page at:

- - ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
AusCERT acknowledges the posters to the Bugtraq mailing list and Qualcomm
Support for information provided in this alert.  AusCERT also thanks Joe
Haskian of the University of Melbourne.
- - ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

[AusCERT issues an alert when the risk posed by a vulnerability that may
not have been thoroughly investigated and for which a work-around or fix
may not yet have been developed requires notification.]

The AusCERT team has made every effort to ensure that the information
contained in this document is accurate at the time of publication. However,
the decision to use the information described is the responsibility of
each user or organisation.  The appropriateness of this document for an
organisation or individual system should be considered before application
in conjunction with local policies and procedures.  AusCERT takes no
responsibility for the consequences of applying the contents of this

If you believe that your system has been compromised, contact AusCERT or
your representative in FIRST (Forum of Incident Response and Security

AusCERT maintains an anonymous FTP service which is found on:  This archive contains past SERT
and AusCERT Advisories, and other computer security information.

AusCERT maintains a World Wide Web service which is found on:

Internet Email:
Facsimile:      (07) 3365 7031
Telephone:      (07) 3365 4417 (International: +61 7 3365 4417)
                AusCERT personnel answer during Queensland business
		hours which are GMT+10:00 (AEST).  On call
		after hours for emergencies.
Australian Computer Emergency Response Team
The University of Queensland
Qld  4072

Version: 2.6.3i
Charset: noconv


[End AusCERT Alert]

CIAC wishes to acknowledge the contributions of AUSCERT and Qualcomm 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
    FAX:      +1 925-423-8002
    STU-III:  +1 925-423-2604

For emergencies and off-hour assistance, DOE, DOE contractor sites,
and the NIH may contact CIAC 24-hours a day. During off hours (5PM -
8AM PST), use one of the following methods to contact CIAC:

    1.  Call the CIAC voice number 925-422-8193 and leave a message, or

    2.  Call 888-449-8369 to send a Sky Page to the CIAC duty person or

    3.  Send e-mail to, or

    4.  Call 800-201-9288 for the CIAC Project Leader.

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

   World Wide Web:
                        (or -- they're the same machine)
   Anonymous FTP:
                        (or -- they're the same machine)
   Modem access:        +1 (925) 423-4753 (28.8K baud)
                        +1 (925) 423-3331 (28.8K baud)

CIAC has several self-subscribing mailing lists for electronic
1. CIAC-BULLETIN for Advisories, highest priority - time critical
   information and Bulletins, important computer security information;
2. SPI-ANNOUNCE for official news about Security Profile Inspector
   (SPI) software updates, new features, distribution and
3. SPI-NOTES, for discussion of problems and solutions regarding the
   use of SPI products.

Our mailing lists are managed by a public domain software package
called Majordomo, which ignores E-mail header subject lines. To
subscribe (add yourself) to one of our mailing lists, send the
following request as the E-mail message body, substituting
ciac-bulletin, spi-announce OR spi-notes for list-name:

E-mail to or
        subscribe list-name 
  e.g., subscribe ciac-bulletin 

You will receive an acknowledgment E-mail immediately with a confirmation
that you will need to mail back to the addresses above, as per the
instructions in the E-mail.  This is a partial protection to make sure
you are really the one who asked to be signed up for the list in question.

If you include the word 'help' in the body of an E-mail to the above address,
it will also send back an information file on how to subscribe/unsubscribe,
get past issues of CIAC bulletins via E-mail, etc.

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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