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AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution
ESB-2001.074 -- NetBSD Security Advisory 2001-001
Multiple BIND vulnerabilities
19 February 2001
AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary
Operating System: NetBSD
Impact: Denial of Service
Execute Arbitrary Code/Commands
Access Required: Remote
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NetBSD Security Advisory 2001-001
Topic: Multiple BIND vulnerabilities
Version: All release versions of NetBSD, and NetBSD-current
Severity: Remote root execution of commands is possible
Fixed: NetBSD-current: January 27, 2001
NetBSD 1.5 branch: January 28, 2001
NetBSD 1.4 branch: January 28, 2001
Several security problems were recently found in the ISC BIND
software, used in NetBSD (and many other systems) to provide Domain
Name System (DNS) services.
At least one of these vulnerabilities included the possibility of a
remote root exploit through execution of arbitrary code in an
All systems running DNS servers should remove the vulnerabilities by
updating to a current version of ISC bind by following one of several
Technical details of the vulnerabilities are publicised in CERT
Advisory CA-2001-02, and by the ISC at:
This information is not duplicated here. The purpose of this
advisory is to clarify the vulnerability and appropriate remedial
action for users of affected versions of NetBSD.
CERT identified four separate vulnerabilities present in various
versions of BIND. The version of BIND included with different NetBSD
releases varies, therefore the vulnerability of those NetBSD releases
also varies, as summarised here:
CERT# Descr. BIND NetBSD versions vulnerable
196945 Trans. Sig. buffer o/f 8 1.4.x, 1.5, current
572183 nslookupComplain buff. o/f 4 <1.4 only
868916 nslookupComplain input val. 4 <1.4 only
325431 Env. variable disclosure 4,8 <1.4, 1.4.x, 1.5, current
Note that although not all vulnerabilities apply to all systems, the
most serious vulnerability (196945) applies to all recent releases and
NetBSD-current, and all versions have some vulnerability.
Users of versions prior to NetBSD 1.4 should see the special note, below.
Solutions and Workarounds
All systems with BIND in use should be fixed; this is all systems
offering DNS services through named(8).
Systems are vulnerable if the version reported by "/usr/sbin/named -v"
is less than 8.2.3, and named is running.
There are several ways that systems administrators may update their
versions of BIND. Each of these mechanisms is described in more detail
in the following subsections.
* System upgrade via source
* Replace the system BIND with one from the NetBSD Packages collection.
Updating via source:
Users may update their system source, from the appropriate release
branch or NetBSD-current, and rebuild BIND (as well as other parts
of the system).
This method is recommended for users of NetBSD-current and
technically literate users of the most recent releases on each
branch (1.4.3 or 1.5).
Note that the NetBSD release branches contain accumulated changes
and bugfixes since the most recent release; these changes are
intended to improve the system, but have not yet been through the
complete release engineering cycle. Users who wish to remain at a
formal release should use the pkgsrc method instead.
System sources can be updated via anonymous CVS, SUP, or via
download of source tarfiles from the appropriate branch,
collection or directory:
Release CVS branch SUP collection FTP directory
1.4 netbsd-1-4 release-1-4 /pub/NetBSD/NetBSD-release-1-4
1.5 netbsd-1-5 release-1-5 /pub/NetBSD/NetBSD-release-1-4
current HEAD current /pub/NetBSD/NetBSD-current
Systems running NetBSD-current dated from before 2001-01-28 should
be upgraded to NetBSD-current dated 2001-01-28 or later. For
NetBSD-current, see /usr/src/UPDATING for additional instructions,
as additional dependencies may need to be rebuilt before BIND.
Systems running either NetBSD-release* branch dated from before
2001-01-29 should be upgraded to 2001-01-29 or later.
It is recommended that users tracking inter-release sources do a
full system update. Once sources and dependencies have been taken
care of, the following will rebuild *just* BIND:
# cd /usr/src/usr.sbin/bin
# make depend
# make install
Updating via pkgsrc:
For many users looking for a quick and specific update, the NetBSD
packages collection provides a simple mechanism to install a
current version of BIND directly from the ISC distribution, to
replace the system version.
This technique is applicable to ALL systems, and is recommended
for urgent fixes. It may be used as a temporary measure even by
those intending to follow up with a full system upgrade.
1) First, make sure you have an up-to-date pkgsrc collection (at
least as recent as 2001-01-28). This can be obtained via
anonymous CVS, SUP or FTP from the project servers or mirrors.
2) Change to the appropriate subdirectory:
# cd /usr/pkgsrc/net/bind8
3) Ensure that the pkgsrc version is 8.2.3 or newer:
# grep PKGNAME Makefile
4) Build and install the package. This will download the sources
automatically. (If prompted to update the pkg tools first, do
so according to the instructions presented, then return to the
bind8 directory and resume here).
# make install
5) Now you have an up-to-date version of BIND installed in
/usr/pkg/. Next, it is necessary to disable the system named,
and replace it with a link to the new one:
# cd /usr/sbin
# mv named named.OFF
# ln -s /usr/pkg/sbin/named .
# mv ndc ndc.OFF
# ln -s /usr/pkg/sbin/ndc .
6) Next, place a link to the name server configuration file into
/usr/pkg/etc/named.conf, where the pkgsrc named(8) expects to
# cd /usr/pkg/etc
# ln -sf /etc/namedb/named.conf .
(If you keep your named.conf file somewhere other than
/etc/namedb, adjust the command above accordingly.)
7) Then kill the running named, and restart from the new one:
# kill <pid>
# /usr/pkg/sbin/ndc start
Pre-compiled binary packages of net/bind8 have been prepared for
some architectures and NetBSD versions. These can be found under
You may wish to use one of these instead of having the pkgsrc
system compile for you. Download the appropriate file for your
system if available, and use:
# pkg_add bind-8.2.3.tgz
to install the pre-built package. Then follow the steps from 5
above to disable the system named and enable the new one.
NOTE FOR SYSTEMS PRIOR TO NetBSD 1.4:
Systems running releases older than NetBSD 1.4 should be upgraded
to a supported NetBSD version.
These releases shipped a version of BIND based on BIND4. Systems
administrators need to be aware of several configuration mechanism
changes between BIND4 and BIND8, details can be found at the ISC
website. BIND8 ships with a script called named-bootconf which
will assist part of the process.
The pkgsrc method is expected to work for these systems. It has
been done successfully in a number of instances, but it has not
been tested in all cases. It may very well necessitate updating of
the pkgtools/pkg_install package prior to updating bind, if these
systems have not had active pkgsrc installations recently.
The use of BIND4 is no longer encouraged by NetBSD or the ISC;
nevertheless the current ISC version of BIND4 is available in
pkgsrc/net/bind4, to provide system adminstrators the option of
patching the vulnerability quickly and then planning an upgrade to
Thanks go to Jun-Ichiro Hagino for prompt attention to incorporating
the BIND upgrade, and to Havard Eidnes for providing the pull-ups to
the release branches.
2001/02/10 - Initial Release
Information about NetBSD and NetBSD security can be found at
http://www.NetBSD.ORG/ and http://www.NetBSD.ORG/Security/.
Copyright 2001, The NetBSD Foundation, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
$NetBSD: NetBSD-SA2001-001.txt,v 1.5 2001/02/10 22:28:27 dan Exp $
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