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TUCoPS :: Unix :: General :: n-031.txt

Buffer Overflows in ISC DHCPD Minires Library (CIAC N-031)


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

                             INFORMATION BULLETIN

                 Buffer Overflows in ISC DHCPD Minires Library
                           [CERT Advisory CA-2003-01]

January 16, 2003 21:00 GMT                                        Number N-031
PROBLEM:       Multiple remote buffer overflow vulnerabilities exist in the
               ISC implementation of DHCP.
PLATFORM:      Systems running ISC DHCPD versions 3.0 through 3.0.1RC10,
DAMAGE:        Remote attackers may be able to execute arbitrary code with the
               privileges of the user running ISC DHCPD.
SOLUTION:      Apply the patch supplied by vendor.
VULNERABILITY  The risk is MEDIUM. Neither CERT nor CIAC have seen any
ASSESSMENT:    exploitation of this vulnerability.
 PATCHES:            Monitor the CERT Advisory for vendor updates.

[***** Start CERT Advisory CA-2003-01 *****]

CERT Advisory CA-2003-01 Buffer Overflows in ISC DHCPD Minires Library

   Original release date: January 15, 2003
   Last revised: --
   Source: CERT/CC

   A complete revision history can be found at the end of this file.

  Systems Affected

     * Systems running ISC DHCPD versions 3.0 through 3.0.1RC10,
     * For detailed vendor status information, see


   The Internet Software Consortium (ISC) has discovered several buffer
   overflow vulnerabilities in their implementation of DHCP (ISC DHCPD).
   These vulnerabilities may allow remote attackers to execute arbitrary
   code on affected systems.  At this time, we are not aware of any

I. Description

   There are multiple remote buffer overflow vulnerabilities in the ISC
   implementation of DHCP.  As described in RFC 2131, "the Dynamic Host
   Configuration Protocol (DHCP) provides a framework for passing
   configuration information to hosts on a TCP/IP network." In addition to
   supplying hosts with network configuration data, ISC DHCPD allows the
   DHCP server to dynamically update a DNS server, eliminating the need
   for manual updates to the name server configuration. Support for
   dynamic DNS updates is provided by the NSUPDATE feature.

   During an internal source code audit, developers from the ISC
   discovered several vulnerabilities in the error handling routines of
   the minires library, which is used by NSUPDATE to resolve hostnames.
   These vulnerabilities are stack-based buffer overflows that may be
   exploitable by sending a DHCP message containing a large hostname
   value.  Note:  Although the minires library is derived from the BIND 8
   resolver library, these vulnerabilities do not affect any current
   versions of BIND.

   The CERT/CC is tracking this issue as VU#284857. This reference number
   corresponds to CVE candidate CAN-2003-0026.

II. Impact

   Remote attackers may be able to execute arbitrary code with the
   privileges of the user running ISC DHCPD.

III. Solution

    Upgrade or apply a patch

   The ISC has addressed these vulnerabilities in versions 3.0pl2 and
   3.0.1RC11 of ISC DHCPD. If your software vendor supplies ISC DHCPD as
   part of an operating system distribution, please see Appendix A for
   vendor-specific patch information.

   For a detailed list of vendors that have been notified of this issue by
   the CERT/CC, please see

    Disable dynamic DNS updates (NSUPDATE)

   As an interim measure, the ISC recommends disabling the NSUPDATE
   feature on affected DHCP servers.

    Block external access to DHCP server ports

   As an interim measure, it is possible to limit exposure to these
   vulnerabilities by restricting external access to affected DHCP servers
   on the following ports:

bootps      67/tcp      # Bootstrap Protocol Server
bootps      67/udp      # Bootstrap Protocol Server
bootpc      68/tcp      # Bootstrap Protocol Client
bootpc      68/udp      # Bootstrap Protocol Client

    Disable the DHCP service

   As a general rule, the CERT/CC recommends disabling any service or
   capability that is not explicitly required. Depending on your network
   configuration, you may not need to use DHCP.

Appendix A. - Vendor Information

   This appendix contains information provided by vendors for this
   advisory.  As vendors report new information to the CERT/CC, we will
   update this section and note the changes in our revision history. If a
   particular vendor is not listed below, we have not received their

    Apple Computer, Inc.

   Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server do not contain the vulnerability described
   in this notice.

    Berkeley Software Design, Inc. (BSDI)

   This vulnerability is addressed by the M431-001 and M500-004 patches
   for the 4.3.1 and 5.0 versions of BSD/OS.

    Cisco Systems

   No Cisco products have been found to be affected by this vulnerability.

   Several Cisco products do utilize the ISC DHCPD, however, no Cisco
   products implement the ISC DHCPD NSUPDATE feature, nor do they include
   the minires library.

    Cray Inc.

   Cray Inc.  is not vulnerable as dhcpd is not supported on any of its


   Fujitsu's UXP/V OS is not vulnerable because it does not support the

    Hewlett-Packard Company

   Source: Hewlett-Packard Company
           Software Security Response Team
   cross reference id: SSRT2423
     HP-UX         - not vulnerable
     HP-MPE/ix     - not vulnerable
     HP Tru64 UNIX - not vulnerable
     HP OpenVMS    - not vulnerable
     HP NonStop Servers - not vulnerable
   To report potential security vulnerabilities in HP software,
   send an E-mail message to:

    Hitachi, Ltd.

   We've checked up on our router (Hitachi,Ltd. GR2000 series) about
   [VU#284857]. Our DHCP implementation is NOT vulnerable.

    IBM Corporation

   IBM's AIX does not ship with the ISC DHCP daemon. The issues discussed
   in VU#284857 or any following advisories based on this vulnerability
   note do not pertain to AIX.

    Internet Software Consortium

   We have a patched version of 3.0 available (3.0pl2) and a new release
   candidate for the next bug-fix release (3.0.1RC11). Both of these new
   releases are available from

    MontaVista Software

   None of MontaVista Software's Linux products are vulnerable to this

    NEC Inc.

   [Server Products]
    * EWS/UP 48 Series operating system
    - is NOT vulnerable.


   Currently supported versions of NetBSD do not contain the error
   handling routine vulnerabilities.  Such vulnerabilities were fixed
   prior to the release of NetBSD 1.5.

   With respect to the patch to ns_name.c, we believe that this is good
   defensive programming and have applied the patch to NetBSD-current.
   However, all calls to ns_name_ntol in the NetBSD source base pass a
   correct, constant, non-zero value as the datsiz parameter.

   Therefore, NetBSD is not vulnerable.


   NetScreen is not vulnerable to this issue.


   OpenBSD's dhcp support is much modified, does not have that feature,
   and therefore does not have that bug.

    Openwall GNU/*/Linux

   Openwall GNU/*/Linux is not vulnerable. We don't yet provide a DHCP

    Red Hat Inc.

   Red Hat distributes a vulnerable version of ISC DHCP in Red Hat Linux
   8.0.  Other distributions of Red Hat Linux are not vulnerable to these
   issues. New DHCP packages are available along with our advisory at the
   URL below. Users of the Red Hat Network can update their systems using
   the 'up2date' tool.

    Riverstone Networks

   Riverstone Networks is not vulnerable to VU#284857.

    Sun Microsystems, Inc.

   Sun confirms that we are not vulnerable to the issues described in
   VU#284857. Solaris does not ship the ISC DHCPD and does not use any of
   the ISC DHCPD source in its version of DHCPD.

    SuSE Linux AG

   We are preparing updates, that will be released soon.


   Xerox is aware of this vulnerability and is currently assessing all
   products.  This statement will be updated as new information becomes

   The CERT Coordination Center thanks David Hankins of the Internet
   Software Consortium for notifying us about this problem and for helping
   us to construct this document.  We also thank Jacques A.  Vidrine for
   drawing attention to this issue.

   Author: This document was written by Jeffrey P. Lanza.

   This document is available from:

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   Copyright 2003 Carnegie Mellon University.

   Revision History
January 15, 2003:  Initial release

[***** End CERT Advisory CA-2003-01 *****]


CIAC wishes to acknowledge the contributions of CERT 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
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