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||Vulnerability in statd exposes vulnerability in
||9th June 1999
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CERT Advisory CA-99-05 Vulnerability in statd exposes vulnerability in
Original issue date: June 9, 1999
Revised Date: July 22, 1999
Added link to IN-99-04 in the "Description" section.
Systems running older versions of rpc.statd and automountd
This advisory describes two vulnerabilities that are being used
together by intruders to gain access to vulnerable systems. The first
vulnerability is in rpc.statd, a program used to communicate state
changes among NFS clients and servers. The second vulnerability is in
automountd, a program used to automatically mount certain types of
file systems. Both of these vulnerabilities have been widely discussed
on public forums, such as BugTraq, and some vendors have issued
security advisories related to the problems discussed here. Because of
the number of incident reports we have received, however, we are
releasing this advisory to call attention to these problems so that
system and network administrators who have not addressed these
problems do so immediately. For more information about attacks using
various RPC services please see CERTŪ Incident Note IN-99-04
The vulnerability in rpc.statd allows an intruder to call arbitrary
rpc services with the privileges of the rpc.statd process. The called
rpc service may be a local service on the same machine or it may be a
network service on another machine. Although the form of the call is
constrained by rpc.statd, if the call is acceptable to another rpc
service, the other rpc service will act on the call as if it were an
authentic call from the rpc.statd process.
The vulnerability in automountd allows a local intruder to execute
arbitrary commands with the privileges of the automountd process. This
vulnerability has been widely known for a significant period of time,
and patches have been available from vendors, but many systems remain
vulnerable because their administrators have not yet applied the
By exploiting these two vulnerabilities simultaneously, a remote
intruder is able to "bounce" rpc calls from the rpc.statd service to
the automountd service on the same targeted machine. Although on many
systems the automountd service does not normally accept traffic from
the network, this combination of vulnerabilities allows a remote
intruder to execute arbitrary commands with the administrative
privileges of the automountd service, typically root.
Note that the rpc.statd vulnerability described in this advisory is
distinct from the vulnerabilities described in CERT Advisories
CA-96.09 and CA-97.26.
The vulnerability in rpc.statd may allow a remote intruder to call
arbitrary rpc services with the privileges of the rpc.statd process,
typically root. The vulnerablility in automountd may allow a local
intruder to execute arbitrary commands with the privileges of the
By combining attacks exploiting these two vulnerabilities, a remote
intruder is able to execute arbitrary commands with the privileges of
the automountd service.
It may still be possible to cause rpc.statd to call other rpc services
even after applying patches which reduce the privileges of rpc.statd.
If there are additional vulnerabilities in other rpc services
(including services you have written), an intruder may be able to
exploit those vulnerabilities through rpc.statd. At the present time,
we are unaware of any such vulnerabilitity that may be exploited
through this mechanism.
Install a patch from your vendor
Appendix A contains input from vendors who have provided information
for this advisory. We will update the appendix as we receive more
information. If you do not see your vendor's name, the CERT/CC did not
hear from that vendor. Please contact your vendor directly.
Appendix A: Vendor Information
Caldera's currently not shipping statd.
Compaq Computer Corporation
(c) Copyright 1998, 1999 Compaq Computer Corporation. All rights
SOURCE: Compaq Computer Corporation
Software Security Response Team USA
This reported problem has not been found to affect the as
shipped, Compaq's Tru64/UNIX Operating Systems Software.
- Compaq Computer Corporation
We are investigating. We will provide an update when our
investigation is complete.
HP is not vulnerable.
The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc.
No SCO products are vulnerable.
Silicon Graphics, Inc.
IRIX 6.2 and above ARE NOT vulnerable.
IRIX 5.3 is vulnerable, but no longer supported.
With patches from SGI Security Advisory
IRIX 6.2 and above ARE NOT vulnerable.
Currently, SGI is investigating and no further information
available for public release at this time.
As further information becomes available, additional
will be issued via the normal SGI security information
method including the wiretap mailing list.
SGI Security Headquarters
Sun Microsystems Inc.
The following patches are available:
Patch OS Version
106592-02 SunOS 5.6
106593-02 SunOS 5.6_x86
104166-04 SunOS 5.5.1
104167-04 SunOS 5.5.1_x86
103468-04 SunOS 5.5
103469-05 SunOS 5.5_x86
102769-07 SunOS 5.4
102770-07 SunOS 5.4_x86
102932-05 SunOS 5.3
The fix for this vulnerability was integrated in SunOS
5.7 (Solaris 7) before it was released.
104654-05 SunOS 5.5.1
104655-05 SunOS 5.5.1_x86
103187-43 SunOS 5.5
103188-43 SunOS 5.5_x86
101945-61 SunOS 5.4
101946-54 SunOS 5.4_x86
101318-92 SunOS 5.3
SunOS 5.6 (Solaris 2.6) and SunOS 5.7 (Solaris 7) are not
Sun security patches are available at:
Our thanks to Olaf Kirch of Caldera for his assistance in
helping us understand the problem and Chok Poh of Sun
Microsystems for his assistance in helping us construct this
This document is available from:
CERT/CC Contact Information
Phone: +1 412-268-7090 (24-hour hotline)
Fax: +1 412-268-6989
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July 22, 1999 Added link to IN-99-04 in the "Description" section.
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