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Date: Wed, 05 Mar 2008 09:42:59 +0100
From: Matthieu Herrb <>
Subject: Re: request CVE id: insecure handling of DISPLAY in

Nico Golde wrote:
> Hi all,
> Steve, can I get a CVE id for the following issue in rxvt?
> "If the DISPLAY environment is not set, rxvt opens an xterm 
> on :0, which on some headless login-server means anyone can setup 
> an fake X server waiting for someone loggin in without X 
> forwarding to start rxvt by some mistake or by some program (thus 
> without even noticing) and getting full shell access to that other 
> account."
> This is Debian bug 469296[0].
> It should be a good idea to check other terminal emulators 
> as well.
> [0]

I don't understand how that's an issue with rxvt. If you "fix" the 
terminal emulator not to that, yo can still run rxvt -display :0 or env 
DISPLAY=:0 rxvt.

But then  I also don't understant what you mean by "setup an fake X 
server waiting for someone loggin in..."

Could you describe the attack scenario in  a bit more details?
Matthieu Herrb

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