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SuSE: several kernel security problems Print E-mail
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Posted by Benjamin D. Thomas   
SuSE The Linux kernel is the core component of the Linux system. Several vulnerabilities were reported in the last few weeks which is fixed by this update.

                        SUSE Security Announcement

        Package:                kernel
        Announcement-ID:        SUSE-SA:2005:018
        Date:                   Thu, 24 Mar 2005 15:00:00 +0000
        Affected products:      8.2, 9.0, 9.1, 9.2
                                SUSE Linux Desktop 1.0
                                SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 8, 9
                                Novell Linux Desktop 9
        Vulnerability Type:     remote denial of service
        Severity (1-10):        9
        SUSE default package:   yes
        Cross References:       CAN-2005-0449

    Content of this advisory:
        1) security vulnerability resolved:
             several kernel security problems
           problem description
        2) solution/workaround
        3) special instructions and notes
        4) package location and checksums
        5) pending vulnerabilities, solutions, workarounds:
            See SUSE Security Summary Report (next one due after Easter).
        6) standard appendix (further information)


1) problem description, brief discussion

    The Linux kernel is the core component of the Linux system.

    Several vulnerabilities were reported in the last few weeks which
    are fixed by this update.

    Not all kernels are affected by all the problems, each of the problems
    has an affected note attached to it.

    The CAN-XXXX-XXX IDs are Mitre CVE Candidate IDs, please see for more information.

    Following security vulnerabilities are fixed:
    - CAN-2005-0449: The netfilter/iptables module in Linux before
      allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (kernel crash)
      or bypass firewall rules via crafted packets, which are not properly
      handled by the skb_checksum_help function.

      A remote attacker could crash a SUSE Linux system when this system
      is used as a router/firewall.

      Only SUSE Linux versions using the 2.6 kernels are affected.

    - CAN-2005-0209: When forwarding fragmented packets, we can only
      use hardware assisted checksum once.

      This could lead to a denial of service attack / crash potentially
      trigger able by remote users.

      Only SUSE Linux versions using the 2.6 kernels are affected.

    - CAN-2005-0529: Linux kernels before 2.6.11 use different size types
      for offset arguments to the proc_file_read and locks_read_proc
      functions, which leads to a heap-based buffer overflow when a signed
      comparison causes negative integers to be used in a positive context.

      Only SUSE Linux versions using the 2.6 kernels are affected.

    - CAN-2005-0530: Signedness error in the copy_from_read_buf function in
      n_tty.c before Linux kernel 2.6.11 allows local users to read
      kernel memory via a negative argument.

      Only SUSE Linux versions using the 2.6 kernels are affected.

    - Missing checking in the epoll system calls allowed overwriting of
      a small range of kernel memory. This allows a local attacker
      to gain root privileges.

      All SUSE Linux versions except SUSE Linux 8.2 are affected.

    - A integer overflow was possible when writing to a sysfs file, allowing
      an attacker to overwrite kernel memory.

      Only SUSE Linux versions using the 2.6 kernels are affected.

    - CAN-2005-0532: The reiserfs_copy_from_user_to_file_region function in
      reiserfs/file.c before Linux kernel 2.6.11, when running on 64-bit
      architectures, may allow local users to trigger a buffer overflow as
      a result of casting discrepancies between size_t and int data types.

      This allows a remote attacker to overwrite kernel memory, crash
      the machine or potential get root access.

      Only SUSE Linux versions using the 2.6 kernels running on 64 bit
      machines are affected.

    - CAN-2005-0384: Fixed a local denial of service attack in the kernel
      PPP code. This allows a local attacker to hang the system.

      All SUSE Linux versions are affected.

    - CAN-2005-0210: A dst leak problem in the ip_conntrack module of the
      iptables firewall was fixed.

      Only SUSE Linux versions using the 2.6 kernels are affected.

    - CAN-2005-0504: Buffer overflow in the MoxaDriverIoctl function for
      the moxa serial driver (moxa.c) in Linux 2.2.x, 2.4.x, and 2.6.x allows
      local users to execute arbitrary code via a certain modified length value.

      Only SUSE Linux versions using the 2.6 kernels are fixed, this
      was considered too minor for our 2.4 line.

    - Only root should be able to set the N_MOUSE line discipline, this
      is a partial fix for CAN-2004-0814.

    - Due to an xattr sharing bug in the ext2 and ext3 file systems, default
      ACLs could disappear.

      Only SUSE Linux versions using the 2.6 kernels are affected.

    - CAN-2005-0003: Fixed a potential problem with overlapping VMAs also
      on 2.4 kernels.

      Only SUSE Linux versions using the 2.4 kernels are affected.

    - CAN-2004-1333: Fixed a local denial of service problem with the
      VC_RESIZE ioctl. A local user logged in to a text console can crash
      the machine.

      Only SUSE Linux versions using the 2.4 kernels are affected.

    Additional kernel module had bugs fixed:
    - antivir / dazuko.ko: The capability handling of this module was broken
      and was fixed by a version upgrade.
    - drbd: A slow memory leak in drbd was fixed.
    - Bugs fixed after the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 SP4 release
      (for the SLES 8 and United Linux 1 updates).
    - Bugs fixed after the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 SP1 release
      (for the SLES 9 and NLD 9 updates).

2) solution/workaround

    None. Please install the updated packages.

3) special instructions and notes

    The following paragraphs will guide you through the installation
    process in a step-by-step fashion. The character sequence "****"
    marks the beginning of a new paragraph. In some cases, the steps
    outlined in a particular paragraph may or may not be applicable
    to your situation.
    Therefore, please make sure to read through all of the steps below
    before attempting any of these procedures.
    All of the commands that need to be executed are required to be
    run as the superuser (root). Each step relies on the steps before
    it to complete successfully.

  **** Step 1: Determine the needed kernel type

    Please use the following command to find the kernel type that is
    installed on your system:

      rpm -qf /boot/vmlinuz

    Following are the possible kernel types (disregard the version and
    build number following the name separated by the "-" character)

      k_deflt   # default kernel, good for most systems.
      k_i386    # kernel for older processors and chip sets
      k_athlon  # kernel made specifically for AMD Athlon(tm) family processors
      k_psmp    # kernel for Pentium-I dual processor systems
      k_smp     # kernel for SMP systems (Pentium-II and above)
      k_smp4G   # kernel for SMP systems which supports a maximum of 4G of RAM

  **** Step 2: Download the package for your system

    Please download the kernel RPM package for your distribution with the
    name as indicated by Step 1. The list of all kernel rpm packages is
    appended below. Note: The kernel-source package does not
    contain a binary kernel in bootable form. Instead, it contains the
    sources that the binary kernel rpm packages are created from. It can be
    used by administrators who have decided to build their own kernel.
    Since the kernel-source.rpm is an installable (compiled) package that
    contains sources for the linux kernel, it is not the source RPM for
    the kernel RPM binary packages.

    The kernel RPM binary packages for the distributions can be found at the
    locations below


    After downloading the kernel RPM package for your system, you should
    verify the authenticity of the kernel rpm package using the methods as
    listed in section 3) of each SUSE Security Announcement.

  **** Step 3: Installing your kernel rpm package

    Install the rpm package that you have downloaded in Steps 3 or 4 with
    the command
        rpm -Uhv --nodeps --force 
    where  is the name of the rpm package that you downloaded.

    Warning: After performing this step, your system will likely not be
             able to boot if the following steps have not been fully

  **** Step 4: configuring and creating the initrd

    The initrd is a ramdisk that is loaded into the memory of your
    system together with the kernel boot image by the bootloader. The
    kernel uses the content of this ramdisk to execute commands that must
    be run before the kernel can mount its actual root filesystem. It is
    usually used to initialize SCSI drivers or NIC drivers for diskless

    The variable INITRD_MODULES in /etc/sysconfig/kernel determines
    which kernel modules will be loaded in the initrd before the kernel
    has mounted its actual root filesystem. The variable should contain
    your SCSI adapter (if any) or filesystem driver modules.

    With the installation of the new kernel, the initrd has to be
    re-packed with the update kernel modules. Please run the command


    as root to create a new init ramdisk (initrd) for your system.
    On SuSE Linux 8.1 and later, this is done automatically when the
    RPM is installed.

  **** Step 5: bootloader

    If you run a SUSE LINUX 8.x, SLES8, or SUSE LINUX 9.x system, there
    are two options:
    Depending on your software configuration, you have either the lilo
    bootloader or the grub bootloader installed and initialized on your
    The grub bootloader does not require any further actions to be
    performed after the new kernel images have been moved in place by the
    rpm Update command.
    If you have a lilo bootloader installed and initialized, then the lilo
    program must be run as root. Use the command

      grep LOADER_TYPE /etc/sysconfig/bootloader

    to find out which boot loader is configured. If it is lilo, then you
    must run the lilo command as root. If grub is listed, then your system
    does not require any bootloader initialization.

    Warning: An improperly installed bootloader may render your system

  **** Step 6: reboot

    If all of the steps above have been successfully completed on your
    system, then the new kernel including the kernel modules and the
    initrd should be ready to boot. The system needs to be rebooted for
    the changes to become active. Please make sure that all steps have
    completed, then reboot using the command
        shutdown -r now
        init 6

    Your system should now shut down and reboot with the new kernel.

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 9.2:

    SUSE Linux 9.1:
    source rpm(s):

    SUSE Linux 9.0:
    source rpm(s):

    SUSE Linux 8.2:
    source rpm(s):

    x86-64 Platform:

    SUSE Linux 9.2:
    source rpm(s):

    SUSE Linux 9.1:
    source rpm(s):

    SUSE Linux 9.0:
    source rpm(s):


5)  Pending vulnerabilities in SUSE Distributions and Workarounds:

    See the SUSE Security Summary report after Easter holidays.


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
       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 
       to verify the signature of the package, where  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:

    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.
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