Security hole in Netscape Communicator's 4.5
Posted by LinuxSecurity.com Team   
SuSE The Netscape Communicator 4.5 comes with "talkback", a quality enhancement tool by Fullcircle (www.fullcircle.com). If the communicator crashs for any reason, the file with the name /tmp/.$UID.talkback is read in, and the pid in this file is killed. After that, the file is truncated/created without checks for {sym|hard}links and the pid of the current talkback process is written into the file.

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                        SuSE Security Announcement

        Package:  netscape-4.5-9
        Date:     Thu Mar 18 10:22:11 CET 1999
        Affected: unix operating systems using netscape communicator 4.5

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A security hole was discovered in the package mentioned above.
Please update as soon as possible or disable the service if you are using
this software on your SuSE Linux installation(s).

Other Linux distributions or operating systems might be affected as
well, please contact your vendor for information about this issue.

Please note, that that we provide this information on as "as-is" basis only.
There is no warranty whatsoever and no liability for any direct, indirect or
incidental damage arising from this information or the installation of
the update package.

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1. Problem Description

    The Netscape Communicator 4.5 comes with "talkback", a quality
    enhancement tool by Fullcircle (www.fullcircle.com).
    If the communicator crashs for any reason, the file with the
    name
	/tmp/.$UID.talkback
    is read in, and the pid in this file is killed.
    After that, the file is truncated/created without checks for
    {sym|hard}links and the pid of the current talkback process is
    written into the file.

2. Impact

    Anyone on the system can kill a process of users if their communicator
    crashs.
    Anyone on the system can overwrite/create any file an attacked users#
    has write access to.
    We didn't check if there's a buffer overflow possible when the talkback
    application reads in the file.

3. Solution

    Disable talkback. You may do this my executing the following commands
    (your path to netscape may differ):

        /bin/mv /opt/netscape/talkback /opt/netscape/talkback.disable
	/bin/chmod -R 600 /opt/netscape/talkback

    Netscape responded to this vulnerability that the current version
    does not install the talkback application. You may install the new
    version 4.51 from Netscape which also fixes some other security
    vulnerabilities. However, if you update from a 4.5 installation, ensure
    that you execute the lines above.

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Type Bits/KeyID    Date       User ID
pub  2048/3D25D3D9 1999/03/06 SuSE Security Team