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From: Stanley G. Bubrouski (stanccs.neu.edu)
Date: Thu Sep 20 2001 - 19:53:51 CDT
Author: Stan Bubrouski (stanccs.neu.edu)
Date: September 20, 2001
Versions Affected: 188.8.131.52 (September 19, 2001) and all previous versions
Severity: A Half-Life server can exploit buffer overflow in Client to
execute arbitrary code on their machines.
Vendor: Valve Software (http://www.valvesoftware.com)
Vendor Contacted: September 18, 2001
Vendor Status: A fix will be included in the next update
Details: There is a buffer overflow in the console command "connect" on
Windows Half-Life clients. The "connect" command is a command available
in the client console which is used to connect to game servers when given
a specific IP address and port. The format of the command is as follows:
By running the command with around 128 characters it is possible to
overflow the buffer and execute arbitrary code. While this problem is on
the client side it is still a serious issue, since servers have a function
named "g_engfuncs.pfnClientCommand" which allows the server to force
clients to execute whatever console command they want. This means that
this overflow can be exploited remotely by means of this function. A
server administrator could easily easily take advantage of this and
exploit clients automatically as they connected to the server. An example
of this would be Admin-Mod a popular remote administration plugin for many
Half-Life mods like Counter-Strike, Team Fortress Classic, Day of Defeat,
and Firearms. Admin-Mod has a command named admin_execclient which allows
admins to force users to execute commands, including "connect."
Alfred Reynolds one of the maintainers of Admin-Mod was quick to point out
to me that Admin-Mod's admin_execclient command only holds 100 characters
and therefore would have to be modified to make use of this. He then also
mentioned that since Admin-Mod is opensource anyone could modify the
source and increase the buffer size anyways. Only part of one line of
code in the Admin-Mod source would need to be changed to exploit this.
Of course this is not an issue with Admin-Mod I was just using it as an
Valve Software was contacted on September 18, 2001 and informed me it will
be fixed in the next patch (presumably v184.108.40.206). They did not believe it
to be a serious threat.
Solution: Install the patch when it becomes available.
-- Stan Bubrouski stanccs.neu.edu 23 Westmoreland Road, Hingham, MA 02043 Cell: (617) 835-3284