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Home : Advisories : UMN UNIX gopher and gopher+ Vulnerabilities

Title: UMN UNIX gopher and gopher+ Vulnerabilities
Released by: CERT
Date: 9th August 1993
Printable version: Click here

Hash: SHA1



Last Revised: September 19,1997

                Attached copyright statement


                                CERT Advisory

                                August 9, 1993

                  UMN UNIX gopher and gopher+ Vulnerabilities

- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

The CERT Coordination Center has received information concerning

vulnerabilities in versions of the UMN UNIX gopher and gopher+ server and

client available before August 6, 1993.  Vulnerable versions were available on


boombox.micro.umn.edu:/pub/gopher/Unix/gopher2.03.tar.Z, and many other

anonymous FTP sites mirroring these software versions.

We strongly recommend that any site using versions of UMN UNIX gopher

and gopher+ dated prior to August 6, 1993 (including version 1.12, 1.12s,

2.0+, 2.03, and all earlier versions) immediately take corrective action.

If you have further questions regarding UMN UNIX gopher or gopher+ software, 

send e-mail to: gopher@boombox.micro.umn.edu 

- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

I.   Description

     Several vulnerabilities have been identified in UMN UNIX gopher and 

     gopher+ when configured as a server or public access client.


     Intruders are known to have exploited these vulnerabilities to obtain 

     password files.  Other actions may also have been taken by intruders

     exploiting these vulnerabilities.  CERT has already contacted those

     sites currently known to have been victims of these activities. However, 

     sites may want to check for weak passwords, or consider changing 

     passwords, after installing the new gopher software.

II.  Impact

     Anyone (remote or local) can potentially gain unrestricted access 

     to the account running the public access client, thereby permitting 

     them to read any files accessible to this account (possibly including 

     /etc/passwd or other sensitive files).

     In certain configurations, anyone (remote or local) can potentially

     gain access to any account, including root, on a host configured as a

     server running gopherd.


III. Solution 

     Affected sites should consider disabling gopherd service and public gopher

     logins until they have installed the new software.

     New versions of the UMN UNIX gopher and gopher+ software have been 

     released that provide bug fixes and correct these security problems.  

     Sites can obtain these new versions via anonymous FTP from 

     boombox.micro.umn.edu ( The files are located in:

     Filename                                Size     Checksum

     --------                                ------   -----------


     /pub/gopher/Unix/gopher1.12S.tar.Z      306872   46311   300


     /pub/gopher/Unix/gopher2.04.tar.Z       294872   29411   288

- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

The CERT Coordination Center wishes to thank Matt Schroth, Williams College, 

and others for informing us of these vulnerabilities.  We would also like to 

thank Paul Lindner, University of Minnesota, for his quick response to these 


- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you believe that your system has been compromised, contact the CERT

Coordination Center or your representative in FIRST (Forum of Incident

Response and Security Teams).

Internet E-mail: cert@cert.org

Telephone: 412-268-7090 (24-hour hotline)

           CERT personnel answer 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. EST(GMT-5)/EDT(GMT-4),

           and are on call for emergencies during other hours.

CERT Coordination Center

Software Engineering Institute

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890

Past advisories, information about FIRST representatives, and other information

related to computer security are available for anonymous FTP from cert.org


- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Copyright 1993 Carnegie Mellon University. Conditions for use, disclaimers,

and sponsorship information can be found in

http://www.cert.org/legal_stuff.html and http://ftp.cert.org/pub/legal_stuff .

If you do not have FTP or web access, send mail to cert@cert.org with

"copyright" in the subject line.

CERT is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.


Revision History:

September 19,1997  Attached Copyright Statement


Version: PGP for Personal Privacy 5.0

Charset: noconv





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