SUSE Security Announcement

Package: gaim
Announcement-ID: SUSE-SA:2004:025
Date: Thursday, Aug 12th 2004 12:00 MEST
Affected products: 9.1
Vulnerability Type: remote code execution
Severity (1-10): 6
SUSE default package: No
Cross References: CAN-2004-0500

Content of this advisory:
1) security vulnerability resolved:
- buffer overflow in gaim
problem description
2) solution/workaround
3) special instructions and notes
4) package location and checksums
5) pending vulnerabilities, solutions, workarounds:
- mozilla/firefox
- ethereal
- arts
6) standard appendix (further information)


1) problem description, brief discussion

Gaim is an instant messaging client which supports a wide range of

Sebastian Krahmer of the SuSE Security Team discovered various remotely
exploitable buffer overflows in the MSN-protocol parsing functions during
a code review of the MSN protocol handling code.

Remote attackers can execute arbitrary code as the user running the gaim

The vulnerable code exists in SUSE Linux 9.1 only.

2) solution/workaround

There is no known workaround.

3) special instructions and notes

Before applying the update, all instances of the gaim client should be

4) package location and checksums

Please download the update package for your distribution and verify its
integrity by the methods listed in section 3) of this announcement.
Then, install the package using the command "rpm -Fhv file.rpm" to apply
the update.
Our maintenance customers are being notified individually. The packages
are being offered to install from the maintenance web.

x86 Platform:

SUSE Linux 9.1:
patch rpm(s):
source rpm(s):

x86-64 Platform:

SUSE Linux 9.1:
patch rpm(s):
source rpm(s):


5) Pending vulnerabilities in SUSE Distributions and Workarounds:

The KDE libs package contained two occureneces of insecure handling
of temporary files in the mcoputils code (Thanks to Andrew Tuitt for
reporting this to us) and in the dcopserver code.
These two bugs can be exploited locally to remove and/or overwrite files
with the privileges of the user running a vulnerable KDE application.
A bug in the kdebase3 package allows the content of unrelated browser
windows to be modified.
This issue may be used to trick users into entering sensitive
informations on a malicious web-site.
New packages will be available soon.

- mozilla/firefox
We are currently testing new mozilla/firefox packages that include
several fixes for security-related bugs.
New packages will be available soon.

- ethereal
It may be possible to make Ethereal crash or run arbitrary code by
injecting a malformed packet or by convincing someone to read a
malformed packet trace file. (CAN-2004-0633, CAN-2004-0634, CAN-2004-0635)
New packages are available at our FTP servers.

- arts
This update removes an inconsistency in the comparsion of credentials
while creating temporary files. This flaw can be exploited locally in
conjunction with setuid Arts applications. (very unlikely)


6) standard appendix: authenticity verification, additional information

- Package authenticity verification:

SUSE update packages are available on many mirror ftp servers all over
the world. While this service is being considered valuable and important
to the free and open source software community, many users wish to be
sure about the origin of the package and its content before installing
the package. There are two verification methods that can be used
independently from each other to prove the authenticity of a downloaded
file or rpm package:
1) md5sums as provided in the (cryptographically signed) announcement.
2) using the internal gpg signatures of the rpm package.

1) execute the command
md5sum <name-of-the-file.rpm>
after you downloaded the file from a SUSE ftp server or its mirrors.
Then, compare the resulting md5sum with the one that is listed in the
announcement. Since the announcement containing the checksums is
cryptographically signed (usually using the key,
the checksums show proof of the authenticity of the package.
We disrecommend to subscribe to security lists which cause the
email message containing the announcement to be modified so that
the signature does not match after transport through the mailing
list software.
Downsides: You must be able to verify the authenticity of the
announcement in the first place. If RPM packages are being rebuilt
and a new version of a package is published on the ftp server, all
md5 sums for the files are useless.

2) rpm package signatures provide an easy way to verify the authenticity
of an rpm package. Use the command
rpm -v --checksig <file.rpm>
to verify the signature of the package, where <file.rpm> is the
filename of the rpm package that you have downloaded. Of course,
package authenticity verification can only target an un-installed rpm
package file.
a) gpg is installed
b) The package is signed using a certain key. The public part of this
key must be installed by the gpg program in the directory
~/.gnupg/ under the user's home directory who performs the
signature verification (usually root). You can import the key
that is used by SUSE in rpm packages for SUSE Linux by saving
this announcement to a file ("announcement.txt") and
running the command (do "su -" to be root):
gpg --batch; gpg < announcement.txt | gpg --import
SUSE Linux distributions version 7.1 and thereafter install the
key "" upon installation or upgrade, provided that
the package gpg is installed. The file containing the public key
is placed at the top-level directory of the first CD (pubring.gpg)
and at .

- SUSE runs two security mailing lists to which any interested party may
- general/linux/SUSE security discussion.
All SUSE security announcements are sent to this list.
To subscribe, send an email to
- SUSE's announce-only mailing list.
Only SUSE's security announcements are sent to this list.
To subscribe, send an email to

For general information or the frequently asked questions (faq)
send mail to:
<> or
<> respectively.

SUSE's security contact is <> or <>.
The <> public key is listed below.

The information in this advisory may be distributed or reproduced,
provided that the advisory is not modified in any way. In particular,
it is desired that the clear-text signature shows proof of the
authenticity of the text.
SUSE Linux AG makes no warranties of any kind whatsoever with respect
to the information contained in this security advisory.

Type Bits/KeyID Date User ID
pub 2048R/3D25D3D9 1999-03-06 SuSE Security Team <>
pub 1024D/9C800ACA 2000-10-19 SuSE Package Signing Key <>
And of course, here's some more information.