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Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2008 18:08:19 +0000
From: "Morris, John R. (SSRT)" <>
To: "" <>
Subject: FW: CVE-2008-1668 - ftpd 2.4 - unauthorized root access - patch

 Re-send. truncated for some reason.

-----Original Message-----
From: Morris, John R. (SSRT)
Sent: Wednesday, August 20, 2008 2:05 PM
To: oss-
Cc: Steven M. Christey
Subject: CVE-2008-1668 - ftpd 2.4 - unauthorized root access - patch details

Hash: SHA1

This security vulnerability was reported in the HP Security Bulletin,
HPSBUX02356 SSRT080051 rev.1 - HP-UX Running ftpd, Remote Privileged Access.
=c01525562  We believe the vulnerability exists in the latest wu-ftpd
2.4 code.

Code diff

< /* CVE-2008-1668: Introduced to track  errno set by getpwnam() */ < int getpwnam_err=0; <
< /* CVE-2008-1668 : Setting ernno to zero to get the errno details of getpwnam() */ < errno = 0;
<     if ((p = getpwnam(name)) == NULL){
<       getpwnam_err = errno;  /* CVE-2008-1668 */
- ---
>     if ((p = getpwnam(name)) == NULL)
<     }
<               /* CVE-2008-1668: pw check is introduced to avoid
unauthorised access */
<       if (((status = pam_process_pass(passwd, &pw) ) !=
PAM_SUCCESS) || ( pw  == NULL)) {
<                    reply(530, "Login incorrect.");
<                    if (logging){
<                       if ( pw == NULL  && getpwnam_err )
<                               syslog(LOG_ERR,"getpwnam failed :
<                       else
<                               syslog(LOG_INFO, "User %s: Login
incorrect", the_user);
<                   }
<                     if (++login_attempts >= lgi_failure_threshold){
- ---
>                 if ((status = pam_process_pass (passwd, &pw)) !=
>                         reply(530, "Login incorrect.");
>                         if (logging)
>                                syslog(LOG_INFO, "User %s: Login
> incorrect", the_user);
>                         if (++login_attempts >=
> lgi_failure_threshold)
>                         {

Problem description

SSRT080051 (CVE-2008-1668):
WU-FTP2.4 Security issue problem setting up user environment

Problem Statement:

WU-FTPD2.4 allows a user to login even if the user does not have an entry in the passwd(4) file.  The user incorrectly gets 'root'

Detail Analysis:

This issue occurs when LDAP is used for pam(3) authentication and the
nsswitch.conf(4) file does not include 'ldap' as a source for the 'passwd' database.

When a client tries to FTP LOGIN as a user included in an LDAP directory, where the FTP server machine is not configured correctly (i.e. pam(3) is configured to use LDAP but nsswitch.conf(4) has no entry for ldap against 'passwd') then the pam authentication passes (because pam(3) is using ldap for authentication) but getpwnam(3C) fails to get the users details (as nsswitch.conf(4) has no entry for ldap).

In this situation user is incorrectly given root privileges thus causing a Security issue.

In short, ftpd allows a user to login as root if pam(3) authentication passes and getpwnam(3C) returns NULL.

Note1: getpwnam(3C) gets an entry from the databases listed in
nsswitch.conf(4) and if no entry for the user present is present
getpwnam(3C) will return NULL.

Note2: This problem may also occur when using database sources other than LDAP  (LDAP was used in all our testing).  The primary factor is successful pam(3) authentication followed by a failure to retrieve user details.

Note3: It is possible to see this problem where an ldapclientd hang occurs, such that the correct nsswitch.conf(4) configuration is in place but the ldap client does not return correctly.

To get the security-alert PGP keys, please send an e-mail message as
  Subject: get key

Yours truly,
HP Software Security Response Team (SSRT)

Version: PGP 8.1


View attachment "SB2356r1.txt" of type "text/plain" (6429 bytes)

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