KDE Security Advisory: Multiple vulnerabilities in KDE
Original Release Date: 2002-12-20
1. Systems affected:
All KDE 2 releases and all KDE 3 releases (up to and including
In some instances KDE fails to properly quote parameters of
instructions passed to a command shell for execution.
These parameters may incorporate data such as URLs, filenames and
e-mail addresses, and this data may be provided remotely to a victim
in an e-mail, a webpage or files on a network filesystem or other
By carefully crafting such data an attacker might be able to
execute arbitary commands on a vulnerable sytem using the victim's
account and privileges.
The KDE Project is aware of several possible ways to exploit these
vulnerabilities and is releasing this advisory with patches to
correct the issues. The patches also provide better safe guards and
check data from untrusted sources more strictly in multiple places.
The vulnerabilities potentially enable local or remote attackers
to compromise the privacy of a vicitim's data and to execute arbitrary
shell commands with the victim's privileges, such as erasing files or
accessing or modifying data.
The code audit resulted in several fixes which have been applied
to the KDE 2.2.x and each KDE 3.x branch.
All identified problems have been corrected in KDE 3.0.5a.
For affected KDE 3.0 systems, we strongly recommend upgrading
to this latest stable release.
KDE 3.0.5a can be downloaded from
Please visit the 3.0.5a Info Page (http://www.kde.org/info/3.0.5a.html
and your vendor's website for exact package locations and information
about available binary packages or updates.
For affected KDE 2 systems, a patch for the 2.2.2 source code has
been made available which fixes these vulnerabilities. Contact your
OS vendor / binary package provider for information about how to
obtain updated binary packages.
Patches are available for KDE 2.2.2 from the KDE FTP server
6. Timeline and credits:
11/26/2002 FozZy of the "Hackademy Audit Project"
notified the KDE Security Team
<firstname.lastname@example.org> about vulnerable code parts.
11/27/2002 Patches for the initially reported vulnerabilites
were applied to KDE CVS.
11/27/2002 An audit of KDE CVS was started to find more instances
of the problematic code sequences.
12/06/2002 KDE 3.1 release was delayed because the audit was not
12/17/2002 Patches for KDE 2.2.2 were created.
12/20/2002 KDE 3.0.5a tarballs were generated and released.
12/21/2002 Public Security Advisory by the KDE Security team.