This file lists all changes made between Owl 2.0 and its corresponding
stable branch. Please note that the release itself remains fixed; it's
only the stable branch which has these changes.
The dates shown in braces indicate when an equivalent change went into Owl-current, where applicable.
Security fixes have a "Severity" specified for the issue(s) being fixed. The three comma-separated metrics given after "Severity:" are: risk impact (low, medium, or high), attack vector (local, remote, or indirect), and whether the attack may be carried out at will (active) or not (passive). Please note that the specified risk impact is just that, it is not the overall severity, so other metrics are not factored into it. For example, a "high" impact "local, passive" issue is generally of lower overall severity than a "high" impact "remote, active" one - this is left up to our users to consider given their specific circumstances.
Per our current conventions, a Denial of Service (DoS) vulnerability is generally considered to have a "low" risk impact (even if it is a "remote, active" one, which is to be considered separately as it may make the vulnerability fairly critical under specific circumstances). Some examples of "medium" impact vulnerabilities would be bugs enabling non-critical information leaks, cryptographic signature forgeries, and/or sending of or accepting spoofed/forged network traffic (where such behavior was unexpected), as long as they would not directly allow for a "high" impact attack. Finally, a typical "high" impact vulnerability would allow for privilege escalation such as ability to execute code as another user ID than the attacker's (a "local" attack) or without "legitimately" having such an ability (a "remote" attack).
The metrics specified are generally those for a worst case scenario, however in certain cases ranges such as "none to low" or/and "local to remote" may be specified, referring to the defaults vs. a worst case yet "legitimate" custom configuration. In some complicated cases, multiple issues or attacks may be dealt with at once. When those differ in their severity metrics, we use slashes to denote the possible combinations. For example, "low/none to high, remote/local" means that we've dealt with issue(s) or attack(s) that are "low, remote" and those that are "none to high, local". In those tricky cases, we generally try to clarify the specific issue(s) and their severities in the description.
Changes made between Owl 2.0 and Owl 2.0-stable.
2010/02/19 kernel SECURITY FIX Severity: none to medium, remote, active
Updated to Linux 184.108.40.206-ow1. The 220.127.116.11 kernel fixes an e1000
Ethernet driver issue that could have allowed remote attackers to bypass
(2010/01/20) 2010/01/20 Package: gzip SECURITY FIX Severity: none to high, indirect, passive
Applied upstream's fix for an integer underflow leading to an array
index error in the way gzip used to decompress data compressed with the
Lempel-Ziv-Welch (LZW) compression algorithm. An attacker could provide
a specially-crafted LZW-compressed gzip archive, which once decompressed
by an unsuspecting user on a 64-bit system would lead to a gzip crash or
potentially to arbitrary code execution with the privileges of the user
(2009/11/17) 2009/11/17 kernel SECURITY FIX Severity: none to high, local, active
Updated to Linux 18.104.22.168-ow1. The 22.214.171.124 kernel fixes a number of security-related bugs.
(2009/10/25) 2009/10/25 kernel SECURITY FIX Severity: none to medium, local, active
Updated to Linux 126.96.36.199-ow1. The 188.8.131.52 kernel fixes a number of information leak vulnerabilities. One of these was already fixed in 184.108.40.206-ow1, and the remaining ones may or may not affect specific systems depending on both kernel and userspace configuration.
(2009/08/23) 2009/08/23 kernel SECURITY FIX Severity: none to high/medium, local, active
Updated to Linux 220.127.116.11-ow1. The 18.104.22.168 kernel adds a fix for the
"Linux NULL pointer dereference due to incorrect proto_ops
initializations", which on Owl was not exploitable into privilege
escalation on its own due to the vm.mmap_min_addr feature, as long as
the latter was enabled and working (there have been no known issues with
it in recent kernels). In our patched kernels, vm.mmap_min_addr is
enabled by default. Additionally, our default kernels did not include
support for any socket types via which the bug is known to be
triggerable. More importantly, Linux 22.214.171.124-ow1 adds a fix for the
sigaltstack local information leak affecting 64-bit kernel builds.
(2009/07/15) 2009/08/23 Package: dhcp SECURITY FIX Severity: none to low, remote, active
Updated to 3.0.7. Fixed the DHCP server premature termination bug when
receiving certain well-formed DHCP requests, provided that the server
configuration mixes host definitions using "dhcp-client-identifier" and
"hardware ethernet". It has not been fully researched whether the bug
had any impact on versions 3.0.x of the DHCP server, and there is a
specific reason why it might not have had any impact, yet we're fixing
the underlying bug. Discovery and patch by Christoph Biedl.
(2009/07/20 - 2009/08/03) 2009/08/03 kernel SECURITY FIX Severity: none to high, local to remote, active
Updated from Linux 126.96.36.199-ow1 to 188.8.131.52-ow1 (jumping over the update
to 184.108.40.206-ow1, which was temporary and thus only made in Owl-current).
This update adds the "-fno-delete-null-pointer-checks" option to gcc
invocations, which is important to reduce the impact of a class of
kernel bugs (which are yet to be found and fixed individually, but are
known to exist in general). It also introduces an additional security
hardening measure where the kernel will no longer allow the
"personality" feature (which is needed to support some program binaries
from other operating systems) to be abused to bypass the
vm.mmap_min_addr restriction via SUID-root programs with a certain class
of design errors in them. Finally, the update adds several
security-relevant fixes to the RTL-8169 NIC driver, and makes other
(2009/07/28) 2009/07/29 Package: bind SECURITY FIX Severity: low, remote, active
Backported upstream fix for a remote DoS bug: by sending a specially
crafted dynamic update packet to a BIND server, a remote unauthenticated
attacker could cause the server to crash. According to the ISC and to
our own testing, this vulnerability affects servers that are masters for
one or more zones - it is not limited to those that are configured to
allow dynamic updates. Our default BIND configuration includes several
master zones, such as 127.in-addr.arpa, which are usable for the attack.
BIND's own access controls (such as the "allow-query" directive) are
ineffective against the attack.
(2009/07/07) 2009/07/07 kernel SECURITY FIX Severity: none to high, remote, active
Updated to Linux 220.127.116.11-ow1. The 18.104.22.168 kernel release adds several bug fixes, including security-relevant ones.
(2009/07/07) 2009/07/07 Package: openssh SECURITY FIX Severity: none to high, remote, active
Backported upstream fix for a syslog call inside a signal handler. The
security impact this issue might have had was not fully evaluated. On
Debian systems, the reported impact was processes getting stuck on locks
inside glibc. On Owl, no problems were ever reported, yet the call was
unsafe, with the worst-case impact being arbitrary code execution
(depending on processing inside glibc).
(2009/05/24) 2009/05/24 kernel SECURITY FIX Severity: none to high, local, active
Updated to Linux 22.214.171.124-ow1. Linux 126.96.36.199, compared to 2.4.35-ow2, adds numerous security-relevant fixes to various kernel subsystems.
(2009/05/09) 2009/05/23 Package: postfix
Introduced a patch to prevent leaking of the install host's name into the aliases.db file.
(2009/04/08) 2009/04/11 Package: tcb
In the new version 1.0.3 of the tcb package, child processes spawned by pam_tcb will now always use _exit(2) rather than exit(3) to avoid triggering side effects. When changing passwords, pam_tcb will now fsync(2) the temporary file prior to renaming it over the actual shadow file, as needed on filesystems with not entirely atomic rename(2) (XFS). Thanks to Pascal Terjan of Mandriva and to Ermanno Scaglione for reporting these two issues, respectively.
(2009/03/06) 2009/03/06 Package: bind
Dropped the root-delegation-only directive from the default named
configuration because the list of TLDs that are not delegation-only was
incomplete and wouldn't be maintained/updated on all installs, causing
some DNS lookups of valid records to fail.
(2009/01/08) 2009/01/21 Packages: openssl, bind SECURITY FIX Severity: medium, remote, passive
Backported upstream fixes for multiple OpenSSL signature verification
(2008/08/14) 2008/08/24 Package: postfix
Disabled the Solaris symlink hack that allowed local mail deliveries
through "root-owned" symlinks. Although this is a security update for
some other systems, on Owl the problem was avoided or mitigated in
(2008/08/10) 2008/08/10 Package: bind
Updated to 9.3.5-P2, added an OpenBSD-derived patch to implement support for more than 1024 simultaneous recursive queries.
(2008/07/08) 2008/07/11 Package: bind SECURITY FIX Severity: medium, remote, active
Updated to 9.3.5-P1, which additionally randomizes UDP query ports to
improve resilience to DNS cache poisoning attacks.
(2008/05/27) 2008/05/30 Package: openssh
Implemented support for RSA/DSA key blacklisting in sshd based on
partial fingerprints, added a subpackage with blacklisted 48-bit partial
fingerprints for 1024-bit and 2048-bit RSA and 1024-bit DSA keys as
generated on vulnerable Debian, Ubuntu, and derived systems for PID
range 1 to 32767. Due to the encoding scheme used, the blacklist file
size is just 1.3 MB, which corresponds to less than 4.5 bytes per
fingerprint. This effort was supported by CivicActions. References:
(2008/03/26) 2008/03/26 Package: gnupg
Updated to 1.4.9.
(2008/03/20) 2008/03/22 Package: bzip2
Updated to 1.0.5. This release fixes a potential buffer over-read bug,
which allowed user-assisted remote attackers to cause a crash in libbz2
via a crafted file.
(2006/02/20) 2008/03/16 Package: sed
Updated to 4.1.5.
(2008/01/01) 2008/01/04 Package: gnupg
Updated to 1.4.8.
(2008/01/01) 2008/01/04 Package: e2fsprogs
Updated to 1.40.4. This release fixes multiple integer overflows
in libext2fs which allow user-assisted remote attacks via a crafted
(2007/10/07 - 2007/11/08) 2007/11/08 Package: bind
Updated L.ROOT-SERVERS.NET address. Added "recursing-file" directive to option.conf file, to make "rndc recursing" work in "control bind-debug enabled" mode. Changed startup script to use /dev/urandom as a source of randomness during rndc key generation. Changed startup script to robustify stopping the server.
(2007/10/13) 2007/10/13 Package: openssl
Backported upstream fix for off-by-one bug in the SSL_get_shared_ciphers
function. It is unclear whether the bug had any security impact.
(2007/08/30) 2007/08/30 Package: vim SECURITY FIX Severity: none to high, indirect, passive
Backported upstream fix to restrict dangerous functions in modelines.
Note that vim's modelines have always been disabled on Owl by default
(with a setting in /usr/share/vim/vimrc) and even this fix is no guarantee
modelines will be safe to use or the restricted mode safe to rely upon
in the future.
Backported upstream fix for format string vulnerability in the
helptags_one function, which allowed user-assisted remote attackers to
execute arbitrary code via format string specifiers in a help-tags tag
in a help file.
(2007/08/18) 2007/08/18 kernel
Updated to Linux 2.4.35-ow2. The single known security-relevant change
added with Linux 2.4.35 is correction of the randomness pool update bug
discovered by the PaX Team. The -ow2 revision adds a fix for the parent
process death signal bug in the Linux kernel discovered by Wojciech
Purczynski of COSEINC PTE Ltd. and iSEC Security Research; this bug has
no security impact on Owl with no added SUID programs. Also added are
two security hardening features, both enabled by default: restricted
access to VM86 mode (specific to 32-bit x86) and restricted zero page
(2007/07/30) 2007/07/30 Package: bind SECURITY FIX Severity: medium, remote, passive
Updated to 9.3.4-P1, which fixes a weakness in DNS query ids generator
when answering resolver questions or sending NOTIFY messages to slave
name servers. The weakness used to make it easier for remote attackers
to guess the next query id and perform DNS cache poisoning.
(2007/05/31) 2007/05/31 Package: mutt
Updated to 188.8.131.52. This release fixes msgid validation in APOP
authentication and potential buffer overflow in passwd gecos field parser.
(2007/03/25 - 2007/05/22) 2007/03/25 - 2007/05/23 Package: file SECURITY FIX Severity: high, indirect, passive
Fixed potential heap buffer overflow in the file_printf function of the
(2007/04/23) 2007/04/25 Package: grep
Applied upstream fix for "grep -D skip". Fixed several potential NULL dereferences and reads beyond end of buffer. Applied "fgrep -w" fix by Pavel Kankovsky. Adopted Debian fix for big file handling.
(2007/03/06) 2007/03/06 Package: gnupg SECURITY FIX Severity: medium, indirect, passive
Updated to 1.4.7. This includes a fix for an unsigned data injection
An attacker is able to add arbitrary content to a signed message, and
the receiver of the message may not be able to distinguish the forged
and the properly signed parts of the message.
(2007/02/21) 2007/02/21 Package: bash
Removed the duplicate "file locks" entries from "ulimit -a" and the bash(1) man page.
(2006/12/26) 2007/02/07 Package: crontabs
Updated run-parts from debianutils-2.17.4. Restricted permissions to /etc/cron.* directories and /etc/crontab file to root only.
(2007/01/29) 2007/01/30 Package: bind SECURITY FIX Severity: low, remote, active
Updated to 9.3.4, which fixes two security issues.
The first issue is a "use after free" vulnerability which allowed remote
DoS attack via unspecified vectors that cause BIND to "dereference (read)
a freed fetch context".
The second issue allowed remote DoS attack via a type ANY DNS query
response that contains multiple RR sets in the answer section, which
triggers an assertion error if DNSSEC validation is enabled.
(2006/12/27) 2006/12/27 kernel
Updated to Linux 2.4.34-ow1.
(2006/12/06) 2006/12/07 Package: gnupg SECURITY FIX Severity: high, indirect, passive
Updated to 1.4.6. This includes a fix for a remotely controllable
function pointer vulnerability: using malformed OpenPGP packets an
attacker was able to modify and dereference a function pointer in gpg.
(2006/11/28) 2006/11/29 Package: gnupg SECURITY FIX Severity: high, indirect, passive
Applied upstream fix for heap buffer overflow bug in gpg when running
(2006/11/28) 2006/11/29 Package: tar SECURITY FIX Severity: high, indirect, passive
Disabled GNUTYPE_NAMES handling by default to avoid directory traversal
in GNU tar (where a malicious archive containing GNUTYPE_NAMES record
with a symbolic link could specify files to be extracted to outside of
the intended directory tree).
(2006/11/19) 2006/11/19 Package: rpm
Backported upstream fix for potential heap buffer overflow in
showQueryPackage function. Although this particular bug is fixed,
it remains unsafe to invoke "rpm" queries on untrusted package files.
(2006/11/09) 2006/11/09 Package: openssh
Backported upstream fix for a bug in the sshd privilege separation
monitor that weakened its verification of successful authentication.
(2006/11/07) 2006/11/07 Package: texinfo SECURITY FIX Severity: high, indirect, passive
Applied upstream patch that fixes potential heap buffer overflow in
(2006/10/29) 2006/10/31 Package: screen SECURITY FIX Severity: low, remote, passive
Applied upstream patch that fixes two bugs in UTF-8 combining characters
handling. The bugs could be used to crash/hang screen by writing a
special string to a window.
(2006/04/04) 2006/10/14 Package: vim
Repaired ex, view and rview symlinks. Packaged rvim and vimdiff symlinks for completeness.
(2006/10/03) 2006/10/14 Package: openssh SECURITY FIX Severity: low/none to high, remote/local, active
Backported upstream fixes for sshd connection consumption vulnerability
(severity: low, remote, active), scp local arbitrary command execution
vulnerability (severity: none to high, local, active), CRC compensation
attack detector DoS (severity: low, remote, active), client NULL
dereference on protocol error (severity: low, remote, passive).
(2006/09/29) 2006/10/01 Package: openssl SECURITY FIX Severity: none to low/high, remote, active/passive
Applied upstream fixes for DoS bugs in the ASN.1 parser (CVE-2006-2937,
CVE-2006-2940). Applied fixes for a buffer overflow in
SSL_get_shared_ciphers() and a DoS bug in the SSLv2 client code, both
discovered and patched by Tavis Ormandy and Will Drewry of Google
Security Team (CVE-2006-3738, CVE-2006-4343).
(2006/09/19) 2006/09/19 Package: gzip SECURITY FIX Severity: high, indirect, passive
Fixed multiple vulnerabilities (stack buffer overflow, heap buffer
underflow, heap buffer overflow, infinite loop) discovered by Tavis
Ormandy of Google Security Team.
(2006/09/06) 2006/09/09 Package: openssl SECURITY FIX Severity: none to medium, remote, passive to active
Applied upstream patch to avoid RSA signature forgery.
(2006/09/06) 2006/09/09 Package: bind SECURITY FIX Severity: none to low, remote, active
Updated to 9.3.2-P1, which fixes a couple of bugs that allowed for DoS
attacks on certain BIND configurations.
(2006/08/04) 2006/08/04 Package: gnupg SECURITY FIX Severity: high, remote, passive
Updated to 1.4.5. This includes fixes for two more possible memory
allocation bugs, similar to the problem fixed in gnupg-1.4.4.
(2006/06/22 - 2006/06/28) 2006/06/28 Package: gnupg SECURITY FIX Severity: high, remote, passive
Updated to 1.4.4. This includes fix for integer overflow vulnerability in
packet processing that could allow a remote attacker to cause gpg to crash
and possibly overwrite memory via a message packet with a large length.
(2006/06/27) 2006/06/28 Package: mutt SECURITY FIX Severity: high, remote, passive
Applied an upstream fix for potential stack-based buffer overflow when
processing an overly long namespace from IMAP server.
(2006/03/11) 2006/03/25 Package: gnupg SECURITY FIX Severity: medium, indirect, passive
Updated to 184.108.40.206. This includes fixes for the signature verification
vulnerabilities discovered by Tavis Ormandy of Gentoo.
(2006/02/27 - 2006/03/20) 2006/03/25 Package: john
Applied many minor corrections, including for better handling of certain uncommon scenarios and improper uses of John. Added a "keyboard cracker" to the default john.conf that will try sequences of adjacent keys on a keyboard as passwords.
(2006/02/20) 2006/03/25 Package: tar SECURITY FIX Severity: high, local, passive
Backported upstream fix for potential heap buffer overrun in handling
$Owl: Owl/doc/CHANGES-2.0-stable,v 220.127.116.11 2018/05/23 20:06:40 solar Exp $