6042 : FreeBSD catopen() Arbitrary Code Execution
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Disclosure Date


FreeBSD contains a flaw that may allow a malicious user to gain access to unauthorized privileges. The issue is triggered when a malicious user misuses the catopen() function. A valid locale file or message catalog containing specially formatted characters can be read by poorly coded privileged applications to execute arbitrary code. This flaw may lead to a loss of integrity.


Location: Local Access Required
Attack Type: Input Manipulation
Impact: Loss of Integrity


Upgrade to version FreeBSD 4.1-STABLE or 3.5-STABLE after the correction date or later, or patch your present system source code and rebuild, as it has been reported to fix this vulnerability. It is also possible to correct the flaw by implementing the following workaround(s): (1) download the 'scan_locale.sh' and 'test_locale.sh' scripts provided by FreeBSD using the fetch command, (2) verify their md5 checksums, (3) run the scan_locale.sh script, and (4) remove any binaries found that make use of the exploitable function catopen().


The FreeBSD Project



  • Ivan Arce - iarcecore-sdi.com -

CVSSv2 Score

CVSSv2 Base Score = 7.2
Source: nvd.nist.gov | Generated: 2003-12-31 | Disagree?

Access_vector_0 Access_complexity_2 Authentication_2 Confidentiality_impact_2 Integrity_impact_2 Availability_impact_2


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