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Linux Advisory Watch: March 25th 2005 Print E-mail
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Source: LinuxSecurity.com Contributors - Posted by Benjamin D. Thomas   
Linux Security Week This week, advisories were released for cyrus-imapd, curl, xloadimage, xli, PERL, slypheed, libgal2, libsoup, evolution, gimp, procps, lsof, lockdev, xloadimage, mailman, boost, kdelibs, firefox, thunderbird, mozilla, devhelp, epiphany, rxvt, LTris, MySQL, ethereal, ipsec-tools, and ImageMagick. The distributors include Conectiva, Debian, Fedora, Genotoo, Mandrake, Red Hat, and SuSE.


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Authentication: Passwords

For most, the subject of passwords is novel. However, it is important to take a step back and analyze their strengths, weaknesses, and alternatives.

Using only passwords as a method of authentication is often insufficient for critical data because they fundamentally have weaknesses. Several of those include: users pick easy to guess words, users often voluntarily give them away in order to make work easier, and passwords are often easily intercepted. Many applications/protocols that are still in use send passwords in cleartext. A weak password is the equivalent of a faulty lock on a safe. Passwords do not guarantee security, only increase the time required to access data or information.

System administrators can improve password security for users in several ways. First, a limit on log-in attempts should be set. For example, user ids should be locked after a number of failed login attempts. Next, passwords should have strength requirements set. For example, passwords should have a minimum length, special characters and capitalizations should be required, and they should be checked against a dictionary file. Password security can also be improved if there are expiration dates set and passwords are not reused consecutively.

Biometrics and other forms of authentication in addition to passwords can dramatically increase security. Having a second line of defense is critical. For example, ssh security can be improved by using key-authentication and IP based access controls. Passwords are slowly becoming obsolete with improvements in technology, but will remain in use for many years. Next week, I'll discuss how using single sign-on mechanisms can improve password security and management for users.

Until next time, cheers!
Benjamin D. Thomas

LinuxSecurity.com Feature Extras:

Getting to Know Linux Security: File Permissions - Welcome to the first tutorial in the 'Getting to Know Linux Security' series. The topic explored is Linux file permissions. It offers an easy to follow explanation of how to read permissions, and how to set them using chmod. This guide is intended for users new to Linux security, therefore very simple. If the feedback is good, I'll consider creating more complex guides for advanced users. Please let us know what you think and how these can be improved.

The Tao of Network Security Monitoring: Beyond Intrusion Detection - To be honest, this was one of the best books that I've read on network security. Others books often dive so deeply into technical discussions, they fail to provide any relevance to network engineers/administrators working in a corporate environment. Budgets, deadlines, and flexibility are issues that we must all address. The Tao of Network Security Monitoring is presented in such a way that all of these are still relevant.

Encrypting Shell Scripts - Do you have scripts that contain sensitive information like passwords and you pretty much depend on file permissions to keep it secure? If so, then that type of security is good provided you keep your system secure and some user doesn't have a "ps -ef" loop running in an attempt to capture that sensitive info (though some applications mask passwords in "ps" output).

 

Take advantage of our Linux Security discussion list! This mailing list is for general security-related questions and comments. To subscribe send an e-mail to security-discuss-request@linuxsecurity.com with "subscribe" as the subject.

Thank you for reading the LinuxSecurity.com weekly security newsletter. The purpose of this document is to provide our readers with a quick summary of each week's most relevant Linux security headline.


   Contectiva
  Conectiva: cyrus-imapd Fix for multiple cyrus-imapd vulnerabilities
  17th, March, 2005

cyrus-imapd[1] is an IMAP and POP3 mail server with several advanced features such as SASL authentication, server-side mail filtering, mailbox ACLs and others.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118624
 
  Conectiva: curl Fix for cURL vulnerability
  21st, March, 2005

cURL[1] is a client to get/put files from/to servers, using any of the supported protocols.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118655
 
   Debian
  Debian: New xloadimage packages fix several vulnerabilities
  21st, March, 2005

Updated package.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118650
 
  Debian: New xli packages fix several vulnerabilities
  21st, March, 2005

Updated package.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118656
 
  Debian: New perl packages fix privilege escalation
  22nd, March, 2005

Updated package.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118663
 
   Fedora
  Fedora Core 2 Update: sylpheed-1.0.3-0.FC2
  17th, March, 2005

Updated package.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118626
 
  Fedora Core 3 Update: libgal2-2.2.5-1
  17th, March, 2005

Updated package.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118627
 
  Fedora Core 3 Update: libsoup-2.2.2-1.FC3
  17th, March, 2005

Updated package.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118628
 
  Fedora Core 3 Update: evolution-data-server-1.0.4-3
  17th, March, 2005

Updated package.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118629
 
  Fedora Core 3 Update: evolution-2.0.4-1
  17th, March, 2005

Updated package.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118630
 
  Fedora Core 3 Update: evolution-connector-2.0.4-1
  17th, March, 2005

Updated package.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118631
 
  Fedora Core 3 Update: selinux-policy-targeted-1.17.30-2.89
  17th, March, 2005

Updated package.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118632
 
  Fedora Core 3 Update: policycoreutils-1.18.1-2.10
  17th, March, 2005

Updated package.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118633
 
  Fedora Core 3 Update: gimp-2.2.4-0.fc3.3
  18th, March, 2005

Updated package.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118640
 
  Fedora Core 3 Update: procps-3.2.3-5.2
  18th, March, 2005

Updated package.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118641
 
  Fedora Core 3 Update: lsof-4.72-2.1
  18th, March, 2005

Updated package.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118642
 
  Fedora Core 3 Update: lockdev-1.0.1-4.1
  18th, March, 2005

Updated package.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118643
 
  Fedora Core 2 Update: xloadimage-4.1-34.FC2
  18th, March, 2005

This update fixes CAN-2005-0638, a problem in the parsing of shell metacharacters in filenames. It also fixes bugs in handling of malformed TIFF and PBM/PNM/PPM issues.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118644
 
  Fedora Core 3 Update: xloadimage-4.1-34.FC3
  18th, March, 2005

This update fixes CAN-2005-0638, a problem in the parsing of shell metacharacters in filenames. It also fixes bugs in handling of malformed TIFF and PBM/PNM/PPM issues.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118645
 
  Fedora Core 2 Update: mailman-2.1.5-10.fc2
  22nd, March, 2005

A cross-site scripting (XSS) flaw in the driver script of mailman prior to version 2.1.5 could allow remote attackers to execute scripts as other web users. The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project (cve.mitre.org) has assigned the name CAN-2004-1177 to this issue. Users of mailman should update to this erratum package, which corrects this issue by turning on STEALTH_MODE by default and using Utils.websafe() to quote the html.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118667
 
  Fedora Core 3 Update: mailman-2.1.5-32.fc3
  22nd, March, 2005

A cross-site scripting (XSS) flaw in the driver script of mailman prior to version 2.1.5 could allow remote attackers to execute scripts as other web users. The Common Vulnerabilities.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118668
 
  Fedora Core 3 Update: boost-1.32.0-5.fc3
  22nd, March, 2005

This is a bugfix release.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118669
 
  Fedora Core 2 Update: kdelibs-3.2.2-14.FC2
  23rd, March, 2005

Updated package.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118683
 
  Fedora Core 3 Update: firefox-1.0.2-1.3.1
  23rd, March, 2005

A buffer overflow bug was found in the way Firefox processes GIF images. It is possible for an attacker to create a specially crafted GIF image, which when viewed by a victim will execute arbitrary code as the victim.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118684
 
  Fedora Core 3 Update: kdelibs-3.3.1-2.9.FC3
  23rd, March, 2005

Updated package.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118685
 
  Fedora Core 3 Update: thunderbird-1.0.2-1.3.1
  23rd, March, 2005

A buffer overflow bug was found in the way Thunderbird processes GIF images. It is possible for an attacker to create a specially crafted GIF image, which when viewed by a victim will execute arbitrary code as the victim. The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project (cve.mitre.org) has assigned the name CAN-2005-0399 to this issue.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118686
 
  Fedora Core 3 Update: mozilla-1.7.6-1.3.2
  23rd, March, 2005

A buffer overflow bug was found in the way Mozilla processes GIF images. It is possible for an attacker to create a specially crafted GIF image, which when viewed by a victim will execute arbitrary code as the victim.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118687
 
  Fedora Core 3 Update: devhelp-0.9.2-2.3.1
  23rd, March, 2005

There were several security flaws found in the mozilla package, which devhelp depends on. Users of devhelp are advised to upgrade to this updated package which has been rebuilt against a later version of mozilla which is not vulnerable to these flaws.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118688
 
  Fedora Core 3 Update: epiphany-1.4.4-4.3.1
  23rd, March, 2005

There were several security flaws found in the mozilla package, which epiphany depends on. Users of epiphany are advised to upgrade to this updated package which has been rebuilt against a later version of mozilla which is not vulnerable to these flaws.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118689
 
  Fedora Core 3 Update: evolution-2.0.4-2
  23rd, March, 2005

There were several security flaws found in the mozilla package, which evolution depends on. Users of evolution are advised to upgrade to this updated package which has been rebuilt against a later version of mozilla which is not vulnerable to these flaws.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118690
 
   Gentoo
  Gentoo: Grip CDDB response overflow
  17th, March, 2005

Grip contains a buffer overflow that can be triggered by a large CDDB response, potentially allowing the execution of arbitrary code.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118625
 
  Gentoo: KDE Local Denial of Service
  19th, March, 2005

KDE is vulnerable to a local Denial of Service attack.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118646
 
  Gentoo: rxvt-unicode Buffer overflow
  20th, March, 2005

rxvt-unicode is vulnerable to a buffer overflow that could lead to the execution of arbitrary code.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118647
 
  Gentoo: LTris Buffer overflow
  20th, March, 2005

LTris is vulnerable to a buffer overflow which could lead to the execution of arbitrary code.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118648
 
  Gentoo: Sylpheed, Sylpheed-claws Message reply overflow
  20th, March, 2005

Sylpheed and Sylpheed-claws contain a vulnerability that can be triggered when replying to specially crafted messages.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118649
 
   Mandrake
  Mandrake: Updated KDE packages address
  21st, March, 2005

New KDE packages are available to address various bugs. The details are as follows.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118661
 
  Mandrake: Updated MySQL packages fix
  21st, March, 2005

A number of vulnerabilities were discovered by Stefano Di Paola in the MySQL server: If an authenticated user had INSERT privileges on the 'mysql' database, the CREATE FUNCTION command allowed that user to use libc functions to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user running the database server (mysql) (CAN-2005-0709).

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118662
 
   Red Hat
  RedHat: Moderate: ethereal security update
  18th, March, 2005

Updated Ethereal packages that fix various security vulnerabilities are now available. This update has been rated as having moderate security impact by the Red Hat Security Response Team.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118636
 
  RedHat: Important: sylpheed security update
  18th, March, 2005

An updated sylpheed package that fixes a buffer overflow issue is now available. This update has been rated as having important security impact by the Red Hat Security Response Team.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118635
 
  RedHat: Important: mailman security update
  21st, March, 2005

An updated mailman package that corrects a cross-site scripting flaw is now available. This update has been rated as having important security impact by the Red Hat Security Response Team.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118658
 
  RedHat: Important: realplayer security update
  21st, March, 2005

Updated realplayer packages that fix a number of security issues are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 Extras. This update has been rated as having important security impact by the Red Hat Security Response Team.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118659
 
  RedHat: Low: libexif security update
  21st, March, 2005

Updated libexif packages that fix a buffer overflow issue are now available. This update has been rated as having low security impact by the Red Hat Security Response Team.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118660
 
  RedHat: Moderate: ImageMagick security update
  23rd, March, 2005

Updated ImageMagick packages that fix a heap based buffer overflow are now available. This update has been rated as having moderate security impact by the Red Hat Security Response Team.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118670
 
  RedHat: Moderate: ipsec-tools security update
  23rd, March, 2005

An updated ipsec-tools package that fixes a bug in parsing of ISAKMP headers is now available. This update has been rated as having moderate security impact by the Red Hat Security Response Team.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118671
 
  RedHat: Moderate: ImageMagick security update
  23rd, March, 2005

Updated ImageMagick packages that fix a format string bug are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4. This update has been rated as having moderate security impact by the Red Hat Security Response Team.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118672
 
  RedHat: Important: kdelibs security update
  23rd, March, 2005

Updated kdelibs packages that fix several security issues are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4. This update has been rated as having important security impact by the Red Hat Security Response Team.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118673
 
  RedHat: Critical: mozilla security update
  23rd, March, 2005

Updated mozilla packages that fix various bugs are now available. This update has been rated as having critical security impact by the Red Hat Security Response Team.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118679
 
  RedHat: Critical: mozilla security update
  23rd, March, 2005

Updated mozilla packages that fix various bugs are now available. This update has been rated as having critical security impact by the Red Hat Security Response Team.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118680
 
  RedHat: Critical: firefox security update
  23rd, March, 2005

Updated firefox packages that fix various bugs are now available. This update has been rated as having critical security impact by the Red Hat Security Response Team.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118681
 
  RedHat: Critical: thunderbird security update
  23rd, March, 2005

Updated thunderbird packages that fix various bugs are now available. This update has been rated as having critical security impact by the Red Hat Security Response Team.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118682
 
   SuSE
  SuSE: ImageMagick problems
  23rd, March, 2005

This update fixes several security issues in the ImageMagick program suite: - A format string vulnerability was found in the display program which could lead to a remote attacker being to able to execute code as the user running display by providing handcrafted filenames of images. This is tracked by the Mitre CVE ID CAN-2005-0397.

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/118678
 

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