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Home : Advisories : pine4 port allows denial of service

Title: pine4 port allows denial of service
Released by: FreeBSD
Date: 13th September 2000
Printable version: Click here


FreeBSD-SA-00:47                                           Security Advisory

                                                                FreeBSD, Inc.

Topic:          pine4 port allows denial of service

Category:       ports

Module:         pine4

Announced:      2000-09-13

Affects:        Ports collection.

Corrected:      2000-07-17

Credits: Juhapekka Tolvanen 

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, contained a bug which would

cause the program to crash when processing a folder which contains an

email message with a malformed X-Keywords header. The message itself

could be deleted within pine if identified, but other operations such

as closing the folder with the message still present would cause the

program to crash with no apparent cause, discarding changes to the


The FreeBSD port of pine4 was changed on 2000-07-17 to use an updated

version of the c-client library which is used to handle the mailbox

processing. This library does not contain the bug and versions of

pine4 built with it (i.e. ports or packages dated after the correction

date) do not suffer from this vulnerability.

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 3800 third-party applications in a ready-to-install

format. The ports collections shipped with FreeBSD 4.1 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.

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.

It may be possible to use a mail filtering utility such as procmail

(available in FreeBSD ports as /usr/ports/mail/procmail) to filter out

the malformed X-Keywords header from incoming mail, but this solution

is not discussed here.

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: Be sure to check the file creation date on the package, because

the version number of the software has not changed.

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: 2.6.2







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