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Sendmail, openSSH and DB2 vulns

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Seven Steps to Software Security

It's become a busy week for *Nix sysadmins with the release of patches over the last few days to resolve vulnerabilities with popular applications including Sendmail, openSSH and DB2.

Those *Nix techies enjoying a sense of schadenfreude as their Windows sysadmin colleagues toiled to defend Windows systems against Blaster, Sobig, Nachi et al over the last month now have some work on their hands.



First, users of the popular OpenSSH security package need to upgrade to version 3.7.1 because of a buffer overflow flaw.


The vulnerability could allow an attacker to corrupt heap memory and trigger a denial-of-service condition. "It may also be possible for an attacker to execute arbitrary code," security clearing house CERT warns. CERT's advisory contains a links to patches from software distros that contain OpenSSH code and to OpenSSH project's own update.

An OpenSSH advisory provides a detailed technical explanation of the flaw.

OpenSSH is a free version of the SSH (Secure Shell) communications suite and is used as a secure replacement for protocols such as Telnet, Rlogin, RSH, and FTP.

SSH Communications Security products have different code base to OpenSSH and are therefore immune to the flaw.



Moving along, the ubiquitous Sendmail email server package is also affected by a buffer overflow vulnerability.


The Sendmail Consortium urges all users to upgrade to Sendmail 8.12.10 because of the flaw in address parsing, which it defines as critical. Credit for discovering the vulnerability goes to security researcher Michal Zalewski.

Although no exploit currently exists, this issue is locally exploitable and may also be remotely exploitable, a Red Hat advisory warns. Red Hat bundles the application in its distro warns. Sendmail 8.12.10 also fixes a potential buffer overflow in rule set parsing. Patches are available from the Sendmail Consortium or Linux distros.

Those not running the open source version of Sendmail are advised to check with their vendors for a patch.



Finally there's vulnerability with the version 7 of the Linux edition of IBM's DB2 database software. IBM has issued a patch, in advance of updating its technical support page with more details.


Boston security company Core Security Technologies, which discovered the problem, is expected to release an advisory later today. The flaw could allow an attacker to get "root" privileges to a DB2 database, C/Net reports. Once again the vulnerability (surprise, surprise) again stems from a buffer overflow flaw. ®

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