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From: FreeBSD Security Advisories (security-advisoriesFreeBSD.org)
Date: Mon Apr 23 2001 - 22:17:03 CDT

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    FreeBSD-SA-01:34 Security Advisory
                                                                    FreeBSD, Inc.

    Topic: hylafax contains local compromise

    Category: ports
    Module: hylafax
    Announced: 2001-04-23
    Credits: Marcin Dawcewicz <mivIIDEA.PL>
    Affects: Ports collection prior to the correction date.
    Corrected: 2001-04-17
    Vendor status: Updated version released
    FreeBSD only: NO

    I. Background

    HylaFAX is a facsimile system for UNIX systems.

    II. Problem Description

    The hylafax port, versions prior to hylafax-4.1.b2_2, contains a
    format string bug in the hfaxd program. A local user may execute
    the hfaxd program with command-line arguments containing format string
    characters, potentially gaining root privileges on the local system.

    The hylafax port is not installed by default, nor is it "part of
    FreeBSD" as such: it is part of the FreeBSD ports collection, which
    contains over 5000 third-party applications in a ready-to-install
    format. The ports collections shipped with FreeBSD 3.5.1 and 4.2
    contain this problem since it was discovered after the releases.
    The ports collection that shipped with FreeBSD 4.3 is not vulnerable
    since this problem was corrected prior to the release.

    FreeBSD makes no claim about the security of these third-party
    applications, although an effort is underway to provide a security
    audit of the most security-critical ports.

    III. Impact

    Local users may gain root privileges on the local system.

    If you have not chosen to install the hylafax port/package, then your
    system is not vulnerable to this problem.

    IV. Workaround

    Deinstall the hylafax port/package if you have installed it.

    V. Solution

    One of the following:

    1) Upgrade your entire ports collection and rebuild the hylafax port.

    2) Deinstall the old package and install a new package dated after the
    correction date, obtained from:


    NOTE: it may be several days before updated packages are available.

    Packages are not automatically generated for the alpha architecture at
    this time due to lack of build resources.

    3) download a new port skeleton for the hylafax port from:


    and use it to rebuild the port.

    4) Use the portcheckout utility to automate option (3) above. The
    portcheckout port is available in /usr/ports/devel/portcheckout or the
    package can be obtained from:


    Version: GnuPG v1.0.4 (FreeBSD)
    Comment: FreeBSD: The Power To Serve

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