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Date: Tue, 01 Jan 2013 00:22:45 -0700
From: Kurt Seifried <>
To: KB Sriram <>
        "" <>
Subject: Re: GnuPG 1.4.12 and lower - memory access errors and keyring database

Hash: SHA1

On 12/28/2012 06:06 PM, KB Sriram wrote:
> Versions of GnuPG <= 1.4.12 are vulnerable to memory access
> violations and public keyring database corruption when importing
> public keys that have been manipulated.
> An OpenPGP key can be fuzzed in such a way that gpg segfaults (or
> has other memory access violations) when importing the key.
> The key may also be fuzzed such that gpg reports no errors when 
> examining the key (eg: "gpg the_bad_key.pkr") but importing it
> causes gpg to corrupt its public keyring database.
> The database corruption issue was first reported on Dec 6th,
> through the gpg bug tracking system:
> The subsequent memory access violation was discovered and reported
> in a private email with the maintainer on Dec 20th.
> A zip file with keys that causes segfaults and other errors is 
> available at
> and includes
> a log file that demonstrates the issues [on MacOS X and gpg
> 1.4.11]
> A new version of gpg -- 1.4.13 -- that addressed both these issues,
> was independently released by the maintainer on Dec 20th.
> The simplest solution is to upgrade all gpg installs to 1.4.13.
> [Workarounds: A corrupted database may be recovered by manually 
> copying back the pubring.gpg~ backup file. Certain errors may also
> be prevented by never directly importing a key, but first just
> "looking" at the key (eg: "gpg bad_key.pkr"). However, this is not
> guaranteed to work in all cases; though upgrading to 1.4.13 does
> work for the issues reported.]
> Discovery:
> The problem was discovered during a byte-fuzzing test of OpenPGP 
> certificates for an unrelated application. Each byte in turn was 
> replaced by a random byte, and the modified certificate fed to the 
> application to check that it handled errors correctly. Gpg was used
> as a control, but it itself turned out to have errors related to
> packet parsing. The errors are generally triggered when fuzzing the
> length field of OpenPGP packets, which cascades into subsequent
> errors in certain situations.
> -kb

Has this been assigned a CVE identifier yet?

- -- 
Kurt Seifried Red Hat Security Response Team (SRT)
PGP: 0x5E267993 A90B F995 7350 148F 66BF 7554 160D 4553 5E26 7993

Version: GnuPG v1.4.12 (GNU/Linux)


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