[Full-Disclosure] iDEFENSE Security Advisory 02.10.05: IBM AIX netpmon Local Buffer Overflow Vulnerability
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2005 11:01:14 -0500 To: <email@example.com>
IBM AIX netpmon Local Buffer Overflow Vulnerability
iDEFENSE Security Advisory 02.10.05
February 10, 2005
The netpmon program is a setuid root application, installed by default
under multiple versions of IBM AIX, which can be used to monitor
activity and report statistics on network I/O and network-related CPU
Local exploitation of a buffer overflow vulnerability in the netpmon
command included by default in multiple versions of IBM Corp.'s AIX
Operating System could allow for arbitrary code execution as the root
The vulnerability specifically exists due to an unbounded string copying
operation into stack memory. When provided with a long argument to the
-O option (the ReportType option), the netpmon process will overwrite
stack memory. This allows for the execution of arbitrary code by
overwriting the saved return address.
Exploitation of this vulnerability is simple for a skilled attacker,
however gid "system" is required in order to execute the vulnerable
binary. Successful exploitation yields root access to the system.
iDEFENSE has confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in IBM AIX
version 5.2. It is suspected that previous versions are also vulnerable.
Only allow trusted users local access to security critical systems; only
allow trusted users access to the "system" group. Alternately, remove
the setuid bit from netpmon using chmod u-s /usr/bin/netpmon
VI. VENDOR RESPONSE
Vendor advisories for this issue are available at:
For AIX 5.1:
For AIX 5.2:
For AIX 5.3:
VII. CVE INFORMATION
A Mitre Corp. Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) number has not
been assigned yet.
VIII. DISCLOSURE TIMELINE
12/21/2004 Initial vendor notification
01/07/2004 Initial vendor response
02/10/2005 Coordinated public disclosure
iDEFENSE Labs is credited with this discovery
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X. LEGAL NOTICES
Copyright (c) 2005 iDEFENSE, Inc.
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Disclaimer: The information in the advisory is believed to be accurate
at the time of publishing based on currently available information. Use
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There are no warranties with regard to this information. Neither the
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