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Date: Tue, 19 May 2020 10:25:25 -0700
From: Qualys Security Advisory <>
Subject: qmail: short/int vs. gid_t

Hi all,

While discussing the qmail vulnerabilities on distros@...nwall, we also
discussed the following issue (which exists in qmail and in related
software such as checkpassword):

On Thu, May 07, 2020 at 05:39:18PM +0200, Solar Designer wrote:
> BTW, how about this piece in qmail 1.03? -
> /* XXX: there are more portability problems here waiting to leap out at me */
> int prot_gid(gid) int gid;
> {
>   short x[2];
>   x[0] = gid; x[1] = 73; /* catch errors */
>   if (setgroups(1,x) == -1) return -1;
> #else
>   if (setgroups(1,&gid) == -1) return -1;
> #endif
>   return setgid(gid); /* _should_ be redundant, but on some systems it isn't */
> }
> As you can see, this tries to workaround ancient systems where the size
> of groups array elements might not be reliably known.  However, notice
> that none of the compile-time options uses gid_t.  If the size of gid_t
> doesn't match either "short" or "int" (whichever is chosen at compile
> time above), this might set a wrong supplementary group, especially on
> big-endian architectures.
> The workaround with setting two groups array elements is rather common -
> I used that one myself - but it's only safe on modern systems when used
> along with gid_t (so the extra element is guaranteed to be ignored when
> the workaround is unneeded).
> You might want to check how this function changed(?) in currently
> maintained qmail forks, and suggest they use gid_t if not already.
> I guess original qmail didn't use gid_t so that it'd build on systems
> that don't define this type.  Supporting those systems should be
> unneeded now.

The developers of notqmail have been working on a fix for this issue:

Thank you very much!

With best regards,

the Qualys Security Advisory team


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