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Home : Advisories : pine4 port contains remote vulnerability

Title: pine4 port contains remote vulnerability
Released by: FreeBSD
Date: 30th October 2000
Printable version: Click here


FreeBSD-SA-00:59                                           Security Advisory

                                                                FreeBSD, Inc.

Topic:          pine4 port contains remote vulnerability

Category:       ports

Module:         pine4/pine4-ssl/zh-pine4/iw-pine4

Announced:      2000-10-30

Affects:        Ports collection.

Corrected:      2000-10-29

Credits: arkane@SPEAKEASY.ORG

Vendor status:  Contacted

FreeBSD only:   NO

I.   Background

Pine is a popular mail user agent.

II.  Problem Description

The pine4 port, versions 4.21 and before, contains a buffer overflow

vulnerability which allows a remote user to execute arbitrary code on

the local client by the sending of a special-crafted email

message.  The overflow occurs during the periodic "new mail" checking

of an open folder.

The pine4 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 4000 third-party applications in a ready-to-install

format.  The ports collections shipped with FreeBSD 4.1.1 and 3.5.1

contain this problem since it was discovered after the releases.

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.

Administrators should note that the Pine software has been a frequent

source of past security holes, and makes extensive use of string

routines commonly associated with security vulnerabilities.  The

FreeBSD Security Officer believes it is likely that further

vulnerabilities exit in this software, and recommends the use of

alternative mail software in environments where electronic mail may be

received from untrusted sources.

III. Impact

Remote users can cause pine4 to crash when closing a mail folder by

sending a malformed email.

If you have not chosen to install the pine4 port/package, then

your system is not vulnerable to this problem.

IV.  Workaround

Deinstall the pine4 port/package, if you have installed it.

The risk can be decreased by not leaving pine sitting idle with an

open folder, but it cannot be completely eliminated without patching

and recompiling the software.

V.   Solution

One of the following:

1) Upgrade your entire ports collection and rebuild the pine4 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.

3) download a new port skeleton for the listmanager 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: For info see http://www.gnupg.org







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