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AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution
ESB-2000.251 -- FreeBSD-SA-00:47
pine4 port allows denial of service
14 September 2000
AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary
Vendor: FreeBSD Ports Collection
Operating System: FreeBSD
Impact: Denial of Service
Access Required: Remote
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FreeBSD-SA-00:47 Security Advisory
Topic: pine4 port allows denial of service
Affects: Ports collection.
Credits: Juhapekka Tolvanen <juhtolv@ST.JYU.FI>
Vendor status: Contacted
FreeBSD only: NO
Pine is a popular mail user agent.
II. Problem Description
The pine4 port, versions 4.21 and before, contained a bug which would
cause the program to crash when processing a folder which contains an
email message with a malformed X-Keywords header. The message itself
could be deleted within pine if identified, but other operations such
as closing the folder with the message still present would cause the
program to crash with no apparent cause, discarding changes to the
The FreeBSD port of pine4 was changed on 2000-07-17 to use an updated
version of the c-client library which is used to handle the mailbox
processing. This library does not contain the bug and versions of
pine4 built with it (i.e. ports or packages dated after the correction
date) do not suffer from this vulnerability.
The pine4 port is not installed by default, nor is it "part of
FreeBSD" as such: it is part of the FreeBSD ports collection, which
contains over 3800 third-party applications in a ready-to-install
format. The ports collections shipped with FreeBSD 4.1 and 3.5.1
contain this problem since it was discovered after the releases.
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.
Remote users can cause pine4 to crash when closing a mail folder by
sending a malformed email.
If you have not chosen to install the pine4 port/package, then
your system is not vulnerable to this problem.
Deinstall the pine4 port/package, if you have installed it.
It may be possible to use a mail filtering utility such as procmail
(available in FreeBSD ports as /usr/ports/mail/procmail) to filter out
the malformed X-Keywords header from incoming mail, but this solution
is not discussed here.
One of the following:
1) Upgrade your entire ports collection and rebuild the pine4 port.
2) Deinstall the old package and install a new package dated after the
correction date, obtained from:
NOTE: Be sure to check the file creation date on the package, because
the version number of the software has not changed.
3) download a new port skeleton for the listmanager port from:
and use it to rebuild the port.
4) 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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