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Linux Advisory Watch: November 25th 2005 Print E-mail
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Source: Contributors - Posted by Benjamin D. Thomas   
Linux Advisory Watch This week, advisories were released for phpgroupware, egroupware, fetchmail, gnump3d, common-lisp-controller, xmail, unzip, netpbm, mantis, fetchmail-ssl, sylpheed, ipmenu, horde3, zope, Smb4k, mtab, phpSysInfo, eix, php, drakxtools, binutils, and fuse. The distributors include Debian, Gentoo, Mandriva.

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Administration Notes
By: Benjamin Thomas

Knowing that your servers are up-to-date is a good way to help ensure that you will have uninterrupted holidays. What else can assure you that operations will run smoothly during time off? There are many pieces to the equation that are important. One of the most significant aspects is using servers that are properly configured and hardened. In addition, proper server administration procedures must be followed. While many intrusions are a result of vulnerable packages, a large number of them can also be attributed to improper software configuration and administration. This burden falls on the administrator. What can be done to reduce the risk of improper software configuration?

The easiest way, is to look for a pre configured or specialized security distribution. Because I am a long time contributor to EnGarde Secure Linux, I am biased in this recommendation. However, I personally feel that using a distribution such as EnGarde will dramatically improve your organization's security stance with very little time, effort, and money invested. You'll find that with EnGarde, administration becomes easy. I have used it for years and now I find myself becoming lazy when it comes to using other systems. I find myself not wanting to do anything manually. Administration has become easy and now it is possible to concentrate on more intellectually stimulating projects. A specialized distribution is ideal for administrators with multiple systems to maintain in a critical environment. More information can be found out about EnGarde at:

If you've only installed Linux and Apache to host a personal Web site, or you are just looking to learn the inter workings of security and administration. I recommend finding a good Linux security book. An interesting book that I recently had the pleasure of reading is titled Linux Security Toolkit, by David Bandel. It covers host security, network security, firewalls & specialized security software, and Linux security auditing. It is easy to read and suitable for administrators wishing to concentrate on security. Like most books published today, it is not suitable for the seasoned administrator. Although the book is well written, it is not full of cutting edge knowledge. If you're looking to learn more about security, I recommend taking a look. It is available used through at a very reasonable price. Feature Extras:

Linux File & Directory Permissions Mistakes - One common mistake Linux administrators make is having file and directory permissions that are far too liberal and allow access beyond that which is needed for proper system operations. A full explanation of unix file permissions is beyond the scope of this article, so I'll assume you are familiar with the usage of such tools as chmod, chown, and chgrp. If you'd like a refresher, one is available right here on

Introduction: Buffer Overflow Vulnerabilities - Buffer overflows are a leading type of security vulnerability. This paper explains what a buffer overflow is, how it can be exploited, and what countermeasures can be taken to prevent the use of buffer overflow vulnerabilities.

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.


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 with "subscribe" as the subject.

Thank you for reading the 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.

  Debian: New phpgroupware packages fix several vulnerabilities
  17th, November, 2005

Updated package.
  Debian: New egroupware packages fix several vulnerabilities
  17th, November, 2005

Updated package.
  Debian: New fetchmail packages fix potential information leak
  18th, November, 2005

Updated package.
  Debian: New gnump3d packages fix several vulnerabilities
  19th, November, 2005

Updated package.
  Debian: New common-lisp-controller packages fix arbitrary code injection
  21st, November, 2005

Updated package.
  Debian: New xmail packages fix arbitrary code execution
  21st, November, 2005

Updated package.
  Debian: New fetchmail packages fix potential information leak
  21st, November, 2005

Updated package.
  Debian: New unzip packages fix unauthorised permissions modification
  21st, November, 2005

Updated package.
  Debian: New netpbm packages fix arbitrary code execution
  21st, November, 2005

Updated package.
  Debian: New mantis packages fix several vulnerabilities
  22nd, November, 2005

Updated package.
  Debian: New fetchmail-ssl packages fix potential information leak
  22nd, November, 2005

Updated package.
  Debian: New sylpheed packages fix arbitrary code execution
  22nd, November, 2005

Updated package.
  Debian: New ipmenu packages fix insecure temporary file creation
  23rd, November, 2005

Updated package.
  Debian: New sylpheed-claws packages fix arbitrary code execution
  23rd, November, 2005

Updated package.
  Debian: New horde3 packages fix cross-site scripting
  23rd, November, 2005

Updated package.
  Debian: New zope2.7 packages fix arbitrary file inclusion
  24th, November, 2005

Updated package.
  Gentoo: Smb4k Local unauthorized file access
  18th, November, 2005

A vulnerability has been identified that allows unauthorized access to the contents of /etc/sudoers and /etc/ files.
  Gentoo: GNUMP3d Directory traversal and insecure temporary
  21st, November, 2005

Two vulnerabilities have been identified in GNUMP3d allowing for limited directory traversal and insecure temporary file creation.
  Gentoo: FUSE mtab corruption through fusermount
  22nd, November, 2005

The fusermount utility from FUSE can be abused to corrupt the /etc/mtab file contents, potentially allowing a local attacker to set unauthorized mount options.
  Gentoo: phpSysInfo Multiple vulnerabilities
  22nd, November, 2005

phpSysInfo is vulnerable to multiple issues, including a local file inclusion leading to information disclosure and the potential execution of arbitrary code.
  Gentoo: eix Insecure temporary file creation
  22nd, November, 2005

eix has an insecure temporary file creation vulnerability, potentially allowing a local user to overwrite arbitrary files.
  Gentoo: Horde Application Framework XSS vulnerability
  22nd, November, 2005

The Horde Application Framework is vulnerable to a cross-site scripting vulnerability which could lead to the compromise of the victim's browser content.
  Mandriva: Updated php packages fix multiple vulnerabilities
  17th, November, 2005

Updated package.
  Mandriva: Updated file package fixes segfault
  18th, November, 2005

A bug in the file program would cause it to segfault on the x86_64 architecture on certain files. This update corrects the problem.
  Mandriva: Updated drakxtools packages fix various bugs
  18th, November, 2005

A number of bugs have been fixed in this new drakxtools package.
  Mandriva: Updated gdk-pixbuf/gtk+2.0 packages fix vulnerability
  18th, November, 2005

A heap overflow vulnerability in the GTK+ gdk-pixbuf XPM image rendering library could allow for arbitrary code execution.
  Mandriva: Updated binutils packages fix vulnerabilities
  23rd, November, 2005

Integer overflows in various applications in the binutils package may allow attackers to execute arbitrary code via a carefully crafted object file. The updated packages have been patched to help address these problems.
  Mandriva: Updated fuse packages fix vulnerability
  24th, November, 2005

Thomas Beige found that fusermount failed to securely handle special characters specified in mount points, which could allow a local attacker to corrupt the contents of /etc/mtab by mounting over a maliciously-named directory using fusermount.

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