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Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2018 12:59:12 -0400
From: "Kevin A. McGrail" <>
To: Spamassassin <>,
 SpamAssassin Devel List <>,,
Subject: [SECURITY] Apache SpamAssassin 3.4.2 resolves CVE-2017-15705,
 CVE-2016-1238, CVE-2018-11780 & CVE-2018-11781

Apache SpamAssassin 3.4.2 was recently released [1], and fixes several
issues of security note.

First, a denial of service vulnerability that exists in all modern versions.

The vulnerability arises with certain unclosed tags in emails that cause
markup to be handled incorrectly leading to scan timeouts.

In Apache SpamAssassin, using HTML::Parser, we setup an object and hook
into the begin and end tag event handlers  In both cases, the "open"
event is immediately followed by a "close" event - even if the tag *does
not* close in the HTML being parsed.

Because of this, we are missing the "text" event to deal with the object
normally.  This can cause carefully crafted emails that might take more
scan time than expected leading to a Denial of Service.

The issue is possibly a bug or design decision in HTML::Parser that
specifically impacts the way Apache SpamAssassin uses the module with
poorly formed html.

The exploit has been seen in the wild but not believe to have been
purposefully part of a Denial of Service attempt.  We are concerned that
there may be attempts to abuse the vulnerability in the future. 
Therefore, we strongly recommend all users of these versions upgrade to
Apache SpamAssassin 3.4.2 as soon as possible.

This issue has been assigned CVE id CVE-2017-15705 [2].

Second, this release also fixes a reliance on "." in @INC in one
configuration script.  Whether this can be exploited in any way is

This issue has been assigned CVE id CVE-2016-1238 [3].

Third, this release fixes a potential Remote Code Execution bug with the
PDFInfo plugin.  Thanks to cPanel Security Team for their report of this

This issue has been assigned CVE id CVE-2018-11780 [4].

Fourth, this release fixes a local user code injection in the meta rule
syntax. Thanks again to cPanel Security Team for their report of this issue.

This issue has been assigned CVE id CVE-2018-11781 [5].

To contact the Apache SpamAssassin security team, please e-mail
security at  For more information about Apache
SpamAssassin, visit the web site.

Apache SpamAssassin Security Team






Kevin A. McGrail
VP Fundraising, Apache Software Foundation
Chair Emeritus Apache SpamAssassin Project - 703.798.0171

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