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AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution
ESB-2000.404 -- NetBSD Security Advisory 2000-018
One-byte buffer overrun in ftpd
22 December 2000
AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary
Operating System: NetBSD
Impact: Root Compromise
Access Required: Remote
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NetBSD Security Advisory 2000-018
Topic: One-byte buffer overrun in ftpd
Version: All official releases up to and including 1.5
Severity: possible remote root compromise.
Fixed: NetBSD-current: December 4, 2000
NetBSD 1.4 branch: December 14, 2000
NetBSD 1.5 branch: December 13, 2000
A one-byte buffer overrun was found in the ftp server daemon
(/usr/libexec/ftpd). It is rumored to be remotely exploitable.
Systems running ftpd are vulnerable.
ftpd is usually started from inetd; inetd is configured through the
As of the release date of this advisory, all of past NetBSD releases,
including NetBSD 1.5, are vulnerable.
Fresh installs of NetBSD 1.5 are not vulnerable as ftpd is disabled by
default in /etc/inetd.conf; however, a system upgraded from an earlier
release to 1.5 may still be using an old inetd.conf with ftpd still
enabled, or it may need to run and ftp server and will thus have it
The replydirname() function is used in ftpd to return pathname strings
to the ftp client. It contained an erroneous bounds check.
Solutions and Workarounds
All NetBSD official releases up to 1.5, have a vulnerable ftp server
binary in /usr/libexec/ftpd. We need to replace it to fix the
If you do not run ftpd on your system, you system is not vulnerable. Check
/etc/inetd.conf to see if you have a line starts with "ftp". We suggest
you to apply the fix anyways, in case you want to run ftpd in the future.
Note that NetBSD 1.5 does not run ftpd by default (inetd.conf has a
commented-out "ftp" line).
Systems running NetBSD-current dated from before December 4, 2000 should be
upgraded to NetBSD-current dated December 4, 2000 or later.
Systems running releases older than NetBSD 1.4 should be upgraded to
NetBSD 1.4.3 before applying the fixes described here.
Systems running NetBSD 1.4.3 should apply the patch contained in
Systems running NetBSD 1.5 should apply the patch contained in
Different patches are needed because the vulnerable function was
moved from ftpd.c to cmds.c.
In the following examples, we assume that you have full source code
under /usr/src, and have stored a copy of the patch in a file named
"20001220-ftpd" in /usr/src/libexec/ftpd
In either case, the patch should be applied in /usr/src/libexec/ftpd
and ftpd should then be rebuilt and reinstalled using the following
# cd /usr/src/libexec/ftpd
# patch < 20001220-ftpd
# make cleandir
# make depend
# make install
To be sure that the system is no longer vulnerable, you should ensure
that all ftpd processes running on the system started after ftpd was
Kristian Vlaardingerbroek <email@example.com>
2000/12/20 - Initial revision
Information about NetBSD and NetBSD security can be found at
http://www.NetBSD.ORG/ and http://www.NetBSD.ORG/Security/.
Copyright 2000, The NetBSD Foundation, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
$NetBSD: NetBSD-SA2000-018.txt,v 1.1 2000/12/20 18:46:53 sommerfeld Exp $
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