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AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution
ESB-2000.109 -- FreeBSD-SA-00:20
krb5 port contains remote and local root exploits
30 May 2000
AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary
Operating System: FreeBSD 2.2.5
Impact: Root Compromise
Access Required: Remote, Local
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FreeBSD-SA-00:20 Security Advisory
Topic: krb5 port contains remote and local root exploits.
Credits: Jeffrey I. Schiller <jis@MIT.EDU>
Affects: Ports collection prior to the correction date
Vendor status: Patch released
FreeBSD only: NO
MIT Kerberos 5 is an implementation of the Kerberos 5 protocol which
is available in the FreeBSD ports collection as the security/krb5
port. FreeBSD also includes separately-developed Kerberos 4 and 5
implementations from KTH, which are optionally installed as part of
the base system (KTH Heimdal, the Kerberos 5 implementation, is
currently considered "experimental" software).
II. Problem Description
The MIT Kerberos 5 port, versions 1.1.1 and earlier, contains several
remote and local buffer overflows which can lead to root compromise.
Note that the implementations of Kerberos shipped in the FreeBSD base
system are separately-developed software to MIT Kerberos and are
believed not to be vulnerable to these problems.
However, a very old release of FreeBSD dating from 1997 (FreeBSD
2.2.5) did ship with a closely MIT-derived Kerberos implementation
("eBones") and may be vulnerable to attacks of the kind described
here. Any users still using FreeBSD 2.2.5 and who have installed the
optional Kerberos distribution are urged to upgrade to 2.2.8-STABLE or
later. Note however that FreeBSD 2.x is no longer an officially
supported version, nor are security fixes always provided.
The krb5 port is not installed by default, nor is it "part of FreeBSD"
as such: it is part of the FreeBSD ports collection, which contains
nearly 3300 third-party applications in a ready-to-install format. The
ports collection shipped with FreeBSD 4.0 contains this problem since
it was discovered after the release.
FreeBSD makes no claim about the security of these third-party
applications, although an effort is underway to provide a security
audit of the most security-critical ports.
Local or remote users can obtain root access on the system running krb5.
If you have not chosen to install the krb5 port, then your system is
not vulnerable to this problem.
Due to the nature of the vulnerability there are several programs and
network services which are affected. If recompiling the port is not
practical, please see the MIT Kerberos advisory for suggested
workarounds (including the disabling or adjustment of services and
removal of setuid permissions on vulnerable binaries). The advisory
can be found at the following location:
1) Upgrade your entire ports collection and rebuild the krb5 port. A
package is not provided for this port for export control reasons.
2) download a new port skeleton for the krb5 port from:
and use it to rebuild the port.
3) Use the portcheckout utility to automate option (3) above. The
portcheckout port is available in /usr/ports/devel/portcheckout or the
package can be obtained from:
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