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Home : Advisories : xchat vulnerability

Title: xchat vulnerability
Released by: TurboLinux
Date: 20th September 2000
Printable version: Click here


                        TurboLinux Security Announcement

        Package: xchat-1.4.2 and earlier

        Date: Monday September 18 19:20 PDT 2000

        Affected TurboLinux versions: 6.0.5 and earlier

        TurboLinux Advisory ID#:  TLSA2000022-1

        BugTraq ID#: 1601


A security hole was discovered in the package mentioned above.

Please update the package in your installation as soon as possible.


1. Problem Summary

   There has been a well-known vulnerability existing with all un-patched 

   xchat versions 1.4.2 and earlier. By supplying commands enclosed in 

   backticks (``) in URL's sent to X-Chat, it is possible to execute 

   arbitrary commands should the X-Chat user decide to view the link by 

   clicking on it. This is due to the manner in which X-Chat launches 

   pages for viewing.

2. Impact

   Allows an attacker to exploit shell expansion capabilities to

   execute commands as the user running Netscape. 

3. Thanks

   Thanks to Zenith Parsec for reporting the security hole to Bugtraq

   and for updates by Zed, forgive me if I got this wrong.


4. Solution

  Update the package from our ftp server by running the following command:

  rpm -Uvh --nodeps --Force ftp_path_to_filename

  Where ftp_path_to_filename is the following:


  The source RPM can be downloaded here:


  **Note: You must rebuild and install the RPM if you choose to download

  and install the SRPM.  Simply installing the SRPM alone WILL NOT CLOSE


 Please verify the MD5 checksums of the updates before you install:

  MD5 sum                               Package Name


56d0f9cfa44ea14d7ad5f21b9f419c17  xchat-1.4.3-1.i386.rpm

a6fa049893620723cd48e9925b5a283d  xchat-1.4.3-1.src.rpm


These packages are GPG signed by Turbolinux for security. Our key

is available here:


To verify a package, use the following command:

 rpm --checksig name_of_rpm

To examine only the md5sum, use the following command:

 rpm --checksig --nogpg name_of_rpm 

**Note: Checking GPG keys requires RPM 3.0 or higher.


You can find more updates on our ftp server:

   http://ftp.turbolinux.com/pub/updates/6.0/security/ for TL6.0 Workstation

   and Server security updates

   http://ftp.turbolinux.com/pub/updates/4.0/security/ for TL4.0 Workstation

   and Server security updates

Our webpage for security announcements:


If you want to report vulnerabilities, please contact:



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  Subscribe at http://www.turbolinux.com/mailman/listinfo/tl-security

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  and alerts.

  Subscribe at http://www.turbolinux.com/mailman/listinfo/tl-security-announce

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