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Home : Advisories : getnameinfo function allows remote denial of service

Title: getnameinfo function allows remote denial of service
Released by: Free
Date: 1st November 2000
Printable version: Click here


FreeBSD-SA-00:63                                           Security Advisory

                                                                FreeBSD, Inc.

Topic:          getnameinfo function allows remote denial of service

Category:       core

Module:         libc

Announced:      2000-11-01

Credits:        Pavel Kankovsky 

Affects:        FreeBSD 4.x (all releases prior to 4.2), 4.1.1-STABLE prior

                to the correction date.

Corrected:      2000/09/25 (FreeBSD 4.1.1-STABLE)

FreeBSD only:   NO

I.   Background

The getnameinfo() function is part of the protocol-independent

resolver library from the KAME project.

II.  Problem Description

An off-by-one error exists in the processing of DNS hostnames which

allows a long DNS hostname to crash the getnameinfo() function when an

address resolution of the hostname is performed (e.g. in response to a

connection to a service which makes use of getnameinfo()).

Under the following conditions, this bug can be used as a denial of

service attack against vulnerable services:

* The attacker must control their DNS server.

* The service must be run as a persistent daemon (i.e. running

  "standalone", not spawned as-needed from a supervisor process such

  as inetd)

* The daemon must perform the getnameinfo() call on the remote

  hostname prior to forking a child process to handle the connection

  (otherwise it is just the child process which dies, and the parent

  remains running).

* The daemon is not automatically restarted by a "watchdog" process.

All released versions of FreeBSD 4.x prior to the correction date

including 4.0, 4.1, and 4.1.1 are vulnerable to this problem, but it

was fixed in the 4.1.1-STABLE branch prior to the release of FreeBSD

4.2-RELEASE.  The FreeBSD 3.x branch is unaffected since it does not

include the KAME code.

Note that this vulnerability is not believed to pose a vulnerability

for any servers included in the FreeBSD base system.  It is only a

potential problem for certain third party servers fulfilling the above

conditions (none of which are currently known).  Therefore the impact

on the vast majority of FreeBSD systems is expected to be nonexistent.

III. Impact

Remote users may be able to cause a very small class of network

servers to terminate abnormally, causing a denial of service


IV.  Workaround

None practical.

V.   Solution

One of the following:

1) Upgrade your vulnerable FreeBSD 4.x system to 4.1.1-STABLE after

the correction date.

2) Apply the patch below and recompile the relevant files:

Either save this advisory to a file, or download the patch and

detached PGP signature from the following locations, and verify the

signature using your PGP utility.



Execute the following commands as root:

# cd /usr/src/lib/libc

# patch -p < /path/to/patch_or_advisory

# make depend && make all install

Patch for vulnerable systems:

    --- net/getnameinfo.c 2000/07/05 05:09:17 1.5

    +++ net/getnameinfo.c 2000/09/25 23:04:36 1.6

    @@ -154,12 +153,12 @@

     (flags & NI_DGRAM) ? "udp" : "tcp");


     if (sp) {

    - if (strlen(sp->s_name) > servlen)

    + if (strlen(sp->s_name) + 1 > servlen)

     return ENI_MEMORY;

     strcpy(serv, sp->s_name);

     } else {

     snprintf(numserv, sizeof(numserv), "%d", ntohs(port));

    - if (strlen(numserv) > servlen)

    + if (strlen(numserv) + 1 > servlen)

     return ENI_MEMORY;

     strcpy(serv, numserv);


    @@ -253,7 +252,7 @@

     *p = '\0';



    - if (strlen(hp->h_name) > hostlen) {

    + if (strlen(hp->h_name) + 1 > hostlen) {


     return ENI_MEMORY;



Version: GnuPG v1.0.4 (FreeBSD)

Comment: For info see http://www.gnupg.org







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