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AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution
ESB-2000.335 -- FreeBSD-SA-00:66
Client vulnerability in Netscape
9 November 2000
AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary
Vendor: FreeBSD Ports Collection
Operating System: FreeBSD
Impact: Execute Arbitrary Code/Commands
Access Required: Remote
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FreeBSD-SA-00:66 Security Advisory
Topic: Client vulnerability in Netscape
Credits: Michal Zalewski <lcamtuf@DIONE.IDS.PL>
Affects: Ports collection prior to the correction date.
Vendor status: Updated version released
FreeBSD only: NO
Netscape is a popular web browser, available in several versions in
the FreeBSD ports collection.
II. Problem Description
Versions of netscape prior to 4.76 allow a client-side exploit through
a buffer overflow in html code. A malicious website operator can cause
arbitrary code to be executed by the user running the netscape client.
The netscape ports are not installed by default, nor are they "part of
FreeBSD" as such: they are part of the FreeBSD ports collection, which
contains over 4100 third-party applications in a ready-to-install
format. The ports collections shipped with FreeBSD 3.5.1 and 4.1.1 are
vulnerable to this problem since it was discovered after the release,
but it was corrected prior to the release of FreeBSD 4.2.
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 attackers can execute arbitrary code on the local system by
convincing users to visit a malicious website.
If you have not chosen to install the netscape port/package, then your
system is not vulnerable to this problem.
Deinstall the netscape port/package, if you you have installed it.
One of the following:
1) Upgrade your entire ports collection and rebuild the relevant
2) Deinstall the old package and install a new package dated after the
correction date, obtained from the following directories:
Since there are so many variations of the netscape ports in the
FreeBSD ports collection they are not listed separately
here. Localized versions are also available in the respective language
3) download a new port skeleton for the netscape 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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