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AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution
ESB-2004.0606 -- Sun Alert Notification 57649
Security Vulnerability in "a2ps" May Allow A Local
Unprivileged User to Execute Arbitrary Code
27 September 2004
AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary
Product: a2ps (Any to PostScript)
Publisher: Sun Microsystems
Operating System: Sun Java Desktop System (JDS)
Impact: Increased Privileges
Access: Existing Account
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Sun(sm) Alert Notification
* Sun Alert ID: 57649
* Synopsis: Security Vulnerability in "a2ps" May Allow A Local
Unprivileged User to Execute Arbitrary Code
* Category: Security
* Product: Sun Java Desktop System (JDS)
* BugIDs: 5103385
* Avoidance: Patch
* State: Resolved
* Date Released: 23-Sep-2004
* Date Closed: 23-Sep-2004
* Date Modified:
Insufficient validation of shell characters in "a2ps" causes a
filename vulnerability that may allow a local unprivileged user to
execute arbitrary code.
Note: The "Any to PostScript" filter (a2ps.1) formats files for
printing to a PostScript printer.
A description of this issue can be found at
2. Contributing Factors
This issue can occur in the following releases:
* Sun Java Desktop System (JDS) 2003 without the updated RPMs
* Sun Java Desktop System (JDS) Release 2 without the updated RPMs
1. JDS for Solaris is not impacted by this issue.
2. This issue only occurs with versions a2ps-4.13-1026 or earlier.
To determine the release of JDS for Linux installed on a system, the
following command can be run:
% cat /etc/sun-release
Sun Java Desktop System, Release 2 -build 10b (GA)
Assembled 30 March 2004
To determine the version of "a2ps" the following command can be run:
% rpm -qf /usr/bin/a2ps
There are no predictable symptoms that would indicate the described
issue has been exploited.
Solution Summary Top
To work around the described issue, remove the "a2ps RPM" by running
the following command as "root":
# rpm -e `rpm -qf /usr/bin/a2ps`
This issue is addressed in the following releases:
* Sun Java Desktop System (JDS) 2003 with the updated RPMs
* Sun Java Desktop System (JDS) Release 2 with the updated RPMs
To download and install the updated RPMs from the update servers,
select the following sequence from the "launch" bar:
Launch >> Applications >> System Tools >> Online Update
For more information on obtaining RPM updates, see:
This Sun Alert notification is being provided to you on an "AS IS"
basis. This Sun Alert notification may contain information provided by
third parties. The issues described in this Sun Alert notification may
or may not impact your system(s). Sun makes no representations,
warranties, or guarantees as to the information contained herein. ANY
AND ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION
WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR
NON-INFRINGEMENT, ARE HEREBY DISCLAIMED. BY ACCESSING THIS DOCUMENT
YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT SUN SHALL IN NO EVENT BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT,
INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, PUNITIVE, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES THAT ARISE
OUT OF YOUR USE OR FAILURE TO USE THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN.
This Sun Alert notification contains Sun proprietary and confidential
information. It is being provided to you pursuant to the provisions of
your agreement to purchase services from Sun, or, if you do not have
notification may only be used for the purposes contemplated by these
Copyright 2000-2004 Sun Microsystems, Inc., 4150 Network Circle, Santa
Clara, CA 95054 U.S.A. All rights reserved.
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