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AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution
ESB-2002.633 -- KDE Security Advisory
rlogin.protocol and telnet.protocol URL KIO Vulnerability
14 November 2002
AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary
Product: KIO Subsystem
Impact: Execute Arbitrary Code/Commands
Access Required: Remote
Comment: The PGP signature on the original advisory could not be
verified, however the original document can be found at
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KDE Security Advisory: rlogin.protocol and telnet.protocol URL KIO Vulnerability
Original Release Date: 2002-11-11
1. Systems affected:
All KDE 2 releases starting with KDE 2.1 and all KDE 3 releases
(up to 3.0.4 and 3.1rc3).
KDE provides support for various network protocols via the KIO
subsystem. These protocols are implemented with text files
containing the extension .protocol, normally stored in the
shared/services/ subdirectory under the KDE installation root.
The implementation of the rlogin protocol in all of the affected
systems, and the implementation of the telnet protocol in affected
KDE 2 systems, allows a carefully crafted URL in an HTML page,
HTML email or other KIO-enabled application to execute arbitrary
commands on the system using the victim's account on the
The vulnerability potentially enables local or remote attackers
to compromise a victim's account and execute arbitrary commands
on the local system with the victim's privileges, such as erasing
files, accessing data or installing trojans.
The vulnerability has been fixed in KDE 3.0.5 and a patch is
available for KDE 3.0.4. For affected KDE 3 systems, we recommend
upgrading to KDE 3.0.5, applying the patch provided or disabling
the rlogin protocol.
For affected KDE 2 systems, we recommend disabling both the rlogin
and telnet KIO protocols.
The rlogin protocol vulnerability can be disabled by deleting
any rlogin.protocol files on the system and restarting the active
KDE sessions. The file is usually installed in
[kdeprefix]/share/services/rlogin.protocol ([kdeprefix] is typically
/opt/kde3 or /usr), but copies may exist elsewhere, such as in
users' [kdehome]/share/services directory ([kdehome] is typically
the .kde directory in a user's home directory).
The telnet protocol vulnerability can be similary disabled in
affected KDE 2 systems.
kdelibs-3.0.5 can be downloaded from
Some vendors are building binary packages of kdelibs-3.0.5.
Please check your vendors website and the KDE 3.0.5 information page
(http://ww.kde.org/info/3.0.5.html) periodically for availability.
Patches are available for KDE 3.0.x from the KDE FTP server
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