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             AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution

                    ESB-2008.0483 -- [Win][UNIX/Linux]
     Common Data Format (CDF) Version 3.2 and earlier Buffer Overflow
                                9 May 2008


        AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary

Product:              CDF 3.2 and prior
Publisher:            NASA
Operating System:     UNIX variants (UNIX, Linux, OSX)
Impact:               Execute Arbitrary Code/Commands
Access:               Remote/Unauthenticated
CVE Names:            CVE-2008-2080

Original Bulletin:  

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Common Data Format (CDF) Version 3.2 and earlier Buffer Overflow
Vulnerability The libraries for the scientific data file format,
Common Data Format (CDF) version 3.2 and earlier, have the potential
for a buffer overflow vulnerability when reading specially-crafted
(invalid) CDF files. If successful, this could trigger execution
of arbitrary code within the context of the CDF-reading program
that could be exploited to compromise a system, or otherwise crash
the program. While it's unlikely that you would open CDFs from
untrusted sources, we recommend everyone upgrade to the latest CDF
libraries on their systems, including the IDL and Matlab plugins.
Most worrisome is any service that enables the general public to
submit CDF files for processing.

The vulnerability is in the CDF library routines not properly
checking the length tags on a CDF file before copying data to a
stack buffer. Exploitation requires the user to explicitly open a
specially-crafted file. CDF users should not open files from untrusted
third parties until the patch is applied (and continue then to
exercise normal caution for files from untrusted third parties).

CDF 3.2.1 addresses this vulnerability and introduces further
usability fixes. Updates for Perl, IDL, Matlab and Java WebStart
are also available. Java WebStart applications that refer to
http://sscweb.gsfc.nasa.gov/skteditor/cdf/cdf-latest.jnlp, will
automatically be updated to include this fix the next time the
application is started while connected to the Internet.

Older versions of CDF have not been updated and have been moved to
the obsolete section of the CDF FTP site. The latest versions of
CDF have added support for very large files, optional pico-second
time variables (Epoch16), detection of file corruption by internal
checksum comparison, internal file compression, and performance
improvements. For compatibility with older libraries, the CDF 3.2
library can create CDF 2.7 files by calling the CDFsetFileBackward
function or setting the CDF_FILEBACKWARD environment variable (see
section 4.18 of the CDF C or Fortran Reference Manuals). Please
contact the CDF team if you still need older versions updated.

CDF 3.2.1 supports the following operating systems: OpenVMS, Windows
2000/XP/Vista, Linux, Solaris, and Mac OS X. If you need to run CDF
3.2 on other platforms, such as HP-UX or IBM AIX, please contact
the CDF team.

The CDF team greatly appreciates the efforts of Alfredo Ortega,
from CORE IMPACT's Exploit Writing Team (EWT), at Core Security
Technologies for discovering, researching and reporting this
vulnerability. Their advisory (Advisory ID: CORE-2008-0326, published
2008 May 5) is available at

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