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August 28, 2002 12:34 Red Hat: Updated mailman packages close cross-site script...

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Mailman versions prior to 2.0.12 contain a cross-site scripting vulnerability in the processing of invalid requests to edit a subscriber's list subscription options. Fixed packages are available from updates.redhat.com.

August 28, 2002 07:41 Debian: New Python packages fix insecure temporary file use

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Zack Weinberg discovered an insecure use of a temporary file in os._execvpe from os.py. It uses a predictable name which could lead execution of arbitrary code. Fixed packages are available from security.debian.org.

August 27, 2002 10:49 Debian: New gaim packages fix arbitrary program execution

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The developers of Gaim, an instant messenger client that combines several different networks, found a vulnerability in the hyperlink handling code. The 'Manual' browser command passes an untrusted string to the shell without escaping or reliable quoting, permitting an attacker to execute arbitrary commands on the users machine. Unfortunately, Gaim doesn't display the hyperlink before the user clicks on it. Users who use other inbuilt browser commands aren't vulnerable. Fixed packages are available from security.debian.org.

No avatar August 24, 2002 00:00 Linux Cluster Architecture

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I've been using Beowulfs for a while now and have seen a number of tutorials, articles, and books on how to go about building a Beowulf cluster or writing programs for a Beowulf cluster. However, when it comes to job scheduling or cluster monitoring, the topic is usually relegated to a small paragraph (or even a few lines) mentioning that using a job scheduling package such as PBS makes one's life easier. I can say from experience that such a statement is very true, but I haven't seen many mainstream articles on implementing a job scheduler or methods and techniques for measuring cluster performance. If you've ever been interested in the implementation of a job scheduling and performance measuring system, "Linux Cluster Architecture" by Alex Vrenios is just what you (and I) have been looking for.

August 23, 2002 10:46 Debian: New irssi-text packages fix denial of service

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The IRC client irssi is vulnerable to a denial of service condition. The problem occurs when a user attempts to join a channel that has an overly long topic description. When a certain string is appended to the topic, irssi will crash. Fixed packages are available from

August 23, 2002 01:00 Debian: New Light package fixes arbitrary script execution

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All versions of the EPIC script Light prior to 2.7.30p5 (on the 2.7 branch) and prior to 2.8pre10 (on the 2.8 branch) running on any platform are vulnerable to a remotely-exploitable bug, which can lead to nearly arbitrary code execution. Fixed packages can be obtained from security.debian.org.

August 23, 2002 00:57 Red Hat: New kernel update available, fixes i810 video oo...

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Updated kernel packages are now available which fix an oops in the i810 3D kernel code. This kernel update also fixes a difficult to trigger race in the dcache (filesystem cache) code, as well as some potential security holes, although no exploits are currently known to exist. Updated packages are available from updates.redhat.com.

August 23, 2002 00:56 Red Hat: New PHP packages fix vulnerability in safemode

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PHP is an HTML-embedded scripting language commonly used with Apache. PHP versions 4.0.5 through 4.1.0 in safe mode do not properly cleanse the 5th parameter to the mail() function. This vulnerability allows local users and possibly remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands via shell metacharacters. Fixed packages are available from updates.redhat.com.

August 22, 2002 01:06 Debian: New kdelibs packages fix several vulnerabilities

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Due to a security engineering oversight, the SSL library from KDE, which Konqueror uses, doesn't check whether an intermediate certificate for a connection is signed by the certificate authority as safe for the purpose, but accepts it when it is signed. This makes it possible for anyone with a valid VeriSign SSL site certificate to forge any other VeriSign SSL site certificate, and abuse Konqueror users. A local root exploit using artsd has been discovered which exploited an insecure use of a format string. The exploit wasn't working on a Debian system since artsd wasn't running setuid root. Neither artsd nor artswrapper need to be setuid root anymore since current computer systems are fast enuogh to handle the audio data in time. Fixed packages can be obtained from security.debian.org.

August 19, 2002 13:21 Red Hat: Updated libpng packages fix buffer overflow

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The libpng package contains a library of functions for creating and manipulating PNG (Portable Network Graphics) image format files. PNG is a bit-mapped graphics format similar to the GIF format. Versions of libpng prior to 1.0.14 contain a buffer overflow in theprogressive reader when the PNG datastream contains more IDAT data than indicated by the IHDR chunk. Such deliberately malformed datastreams would crash applications that are linked to libpng and that use the progressive reading feature. Mozilla is such an application. Fixed packages can be obtained from updates.redhat.com.

August 19, 2002 13:19 Red Hat: Updated krb5 packages fix remote buffer overflow

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Sun RPC is a remote procedure call framework which allows clients to invoke procedures in a server process over a network. XDR is a mechanism for encoding data structures for use with RPC. The Kerberos 5 network authentication system contains an RPC library which includes an XDR decoder derived from Sun's RPC implementation. The Sun implementation was recently demonstrated to be vulnerable to a heap overflow. It is believed that the attacker needs to be able to authenticate to the kadmin daemon for this attack to be successful. No exploits are known to currently exist. Fixed packages can be obtained from updates.redhat.com.

August 17, 2002 03:19 Debian: New fam packages fix privilege escalation

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A flaw was discovered in FAM's group handling. In the effect users are unable to FAM directories they have group read and execute permissions on. However, also unprivileged users can potentially learn names of files that only users in root's group should be able to view. Fixed packages can be obtained from security.debian.org.

No avatar August 17, 2002 00:00 Linux in Education: Two Years Later

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About two years ago, Doug Loss and I from the Simple End User Linux Project (SEUL.org) wrote an editorial about the state of Linux in schools. In the intervening time, much has happened, both inside and outside the Linux/Free Software community, and in this editorial, I revisit the state of Linux in terms of its use both as infrastructure and on the desktop. I conclude by examining some of the non-technical issues impinging on the periphery where I feel work needs to be done to make it an even more compelling choice.

August 14, 2002 10:08 Debian: New mantis package fixes cross site code execution

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Joao Gouveia discovered an uninitialized variable which was insecurely used with file inclusions in the mantis package, a php based bug tracking system. The Debian Security Team found even more similar problems. When these occasions are exploited, a remote user is able to execute arbitrary code under the webserver user id on the web server hosting the mantis system. Fixed packages are available from security.debian.org.

August 14, 2002 02:45 Debian: New l2tpd packages add better randomization

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Current versions of l2tpd, a layer 2 tunneling client/server program, forgot to initialize the random generator which made it vulnerable since all generated random number were 100% guessable. When dealing with the size of the value in an attribute value pair, too many bytes were able to be copied, which could lead into the vendor field being overwritten. Fixed packages can be obtained from security.debian.org.

August 14, 2002 02:44 Debian: New xinetd packages fix local denial of service

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Solar Designer found a vulnerability in xinetd, a replacement for the BSD derived inetd. File descriptors for the signal pipe introduced in version 2.3.4 are leaked into services started from xinetd. The descriptors could be used to talk to xinetd resulting in crashing it entirely. This is usually called a denial of service. Fixed packages can be obtained from security.debian.org.

August 14, 2002 02:42 Debian: New interchange packages fix illegal file exposition

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A problem has been discovered in Interchange, an e-commerce and general HTTP database display system, which can lead to an attacker being able to read any file to which the user of the Interchange daemon has sufficient permissions, when Interchange runs in "INET mode" (internet domain socket). This is not the default setting in Debian packages, but configurable with Debconf and via configuration file. Fixed packages can be obtained from security.debian.org.

August 14, 2002 01:35 Red Hat: Updated Tcl/Tk packages fix local vulnerability

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The Tcl/Tk development environment comprises a number of applications tcl, tk, tix, tclX, expect, and itcl. The expect application, prior to version 5.32, searched for its libraries in /var/tmp before searching in other directories. This behavior could allow local users to gain root privileges by writing a Trojan horse library and getting the root user to run mkpasswd. The tcl/tk package searched for its libraries in the current working directory before other directories, which could allow local users to execute arbitrary code by writing Trojan horse library that is under a user-controlled directory. Fixed packages are available from updates.redhat.com.

August 14, 2002 01:34 Red Hat: Updated glibc packages fix vulnerabilities in RP...

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The glibc package contains standard libraries which are used by multiple programs on the system. Sun RPC is a remote procedure call framework which allows clients to invoke procedures in a server process over a network. XDR is a mechanism for encoding data structures for use with RPC. NFS, NIS, and many other network services are built upon Sun RPC. glibc contains an XDR encoder/decoder derived from Sun's RPC implementation which was recently demonstrated to be vulnerable to a heap overflow. Fixed packages are available from updates.redhat.com.

August 13, 2002 04:43 Debian: New glibc packages fix security related problems

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An integer overflow bug has been discovered in the RPC library used by GNU libc, which is derived from the SunRPC library. This bug could be exploited to gain unauthorized root access to software linking to this code. The mentioned packages also fix integer overflows in the malloc code and contain a fix from Andreas Schwab to reduce linebuflen in parallel to bumping up the buffer pointer in the NSS DNS code. The packages may be obtained from security.debian.org.

August 12, 2002 07:33 SuSE: local privilege escalation in i4l

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The i4l package contains several programs for ISDN maintenance and connectivity on Linux. The ipppd program which is part of the package contained various buffer overflows and format string bugs. Since ipppd is installed setuid to root and executable by users of group 'dialout' this may allow attackers with appropriate group membership to execute arbitrary commands as root.

August 12, 2002 04:24 Debian: New hylafax packages fix security related problems

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A set of problems have been discovered in Hylafax, a flexible client/server fax software distributed with many GNU/Linux distributions, the details of which are available in the body of this advisory. Fixed packages can be obtained from security.debian.org.

August 10, 2002 00:20 Red Hat: Updated bind packages fix buffer overflow in res...

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ISC BIND (Berkeley Internet Name Domain) is an implementation of the DNS (Domain Name System) protocols. BIND includes a DNS server (named), which resolves host names to IP addresses; a resolver library (routines for applications to use when interfacing with DNS); and various tools. A buffer overflow vulnerability exists in multiple implementations of DNS resolver libraries. Applications that utilize vulnerable DNS resolver libraries may be affected. A remote attacker who is able to send malicious DNS responses could potentially exploit this vulnerability to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service on a vulnerable system. Updated packages are available from updates.redhat.com.

No avatar August 10, 2002 00:00 Time to Rethink Your Help Flag

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It may come as a surprise to many of you, but sometimes, featuritis can be a good thing. Sure, you may only use 20% or even just 10% of the features, but, to quote Joel Spolsky, everybody uses a different 20%. Take 10 or 20 random people, and you'll get about 99%. You may happen to face the situation in which your program has gained more commandline arguments than GNU ls. How should you deal with the --help switch?

August 09, 2002 07:43 Debian: New mailman packages fix cross-site scripting pro...

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A cross-site scripting vulnerability was discovered in mailman, a software to manage electronic mailing lists. When a properly crafted URL is accessed with Internet Explorer (other browsers don't seem to be affected), the resulting webpage is rendered similar to the real one, but the javascript component is executed as well, which could be used by an attacker to get access to sensitive information. Fixed packages can be obtained from security.debian.org.

August 08, 2002 06:20 Debian: New dietlibc packages fix integer overflows

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An integer overflow bug has been discovered in the RPC library used by dietlibc, a libc optimized for small size, which is derived from the SunRPC library. This bug could be exploited to gain unauthorized root access to software linking to this code. The packages below also fix integer overflows in the calloc, fread and fwrite code. They are also more strict regarding hostile DNS packets that could lead to a vulnerability otherwise. Fixed packages are available from security.debian.org.

August 08, 2002 01:04 Debian: New tinyproxy packages fix security vulnerability

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The authors of tinyproxy, a lightweight HTTP proxy, discovered a bug in the handling of some invalid proxy requests. Under some circumstances, an invalid request may result in a allocated memory being freed twice. This can potentially result in the execution of arbitrary code. Fixed packages are available from security.debian.org.

August 06, 2002 11:20 Red Hat: Updated openssl packages fix protocol parsing bugs

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Updated OpenSSL packages are available for Red Hat Linux 6.2, 7, 7.1, 7.2, and 7.3. These updates fix multiple protocol parsing bugs which may be used in a denial of service (DoS) attack or cause SSL-enabled applications to crash. Fixed packages are available from updates.redhat.com.

August 06, 2002 11:16 Red Hat: Updated gaim client fixes Jabber plug-in vulnera...

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Gaim is an instant messaging client based on the published TOC protocol from AOL. Versions of gaim prior to 0.58 contain a buffer overflow in the Jabber plug-in module. Fixed packages are available from updates.redhat.com.

August 06, 2002 05:19 Debian: New wwwoffle packages fix security related problems

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A problem with wwwoffle has been discovered. The web proxy didn't handle input data with negative Content-Length settings properly which causes the processing child to crash. It is at this time not obvious how this can lead to an exploitable vulnerability. Additionally, in the woody version empty passwords will be treated as wrong when trying to authenticate. Fixed packages can be obtained from security.debian.org.
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