[NEWS] Light Vulnerable to Remotely Exploitable Arbitrary Code Execution

From: support@securiteam.com
Date: 08/27/02

From: support@securiteam.com
To: list@securiteam.com
Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2002 21:36:50 +0200 (CEST)

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  Light Vulnerable to Remotely Exploitable Arbitrary Code Execution


All versions of Light prior to 2.7.30p5 (on the 2.7 branch) or 2.8pre10
(on the 2.8 branch) running under any version of EPIC4 on any platform are
vulnerable to a remotely exploitable bug that can execute nearly arbitrary
code. All Light users are very strongly urged to upgrade to stable release
2.7.30p5 or beta 2.8pre10 immediately. See below for URLs, MD5 hashes, and
other information.


J.S. Connell has recently discovered that the IRC script for EPIC4 that J.
S. maintains is vulnerable to an easy remote attack. If a malicious user
can convince a user to join a channel whose name contains embedded EPIC4
script, several different code paths inside Light will cause that script
to be executed.

The attack is mollified by four factors:
1. A user has to be incautious enough to join a channel with embedded

2. The embedded code is limited to expanding variables and calling EPIC
built-in functions and user-defined aliases and functions -- built-in
commands cannot be executed.

3. Light does not contain any features for automatically joining channels.
However, it should be pointed out that auto-join-on-invite can be achieved
by simply adding 'on invite * join $1' to one's .ircrc.

4. An unmodified copy of Light will not permit you to run it as root,
slightly limiting potential damage.

One might be tempted to add a fifth factor -- that channel names cannot
contain spaces -- but EPIC provides built-in functions that provide a
space-free and opaque (to the naked eye) 'transport armour'.

It should also be noted that EPIC4 with *no* scripts loaded is also
vulnerable to this attack, but *only* if the STATUS_DOES_EXPANDOS setting
is changed from its default to ON.

Because other IRC scripts may well be vulnerable to this attack or to
other, similar attacks, J. S. does not wish to provide examples of how to
exploit this, although it should be obvious to anyone familiar with EPIC4

Immune versions:
Light 2.7.30p5 and Light 2.8pre10 have been released, which resolve this
issue. The tarballs are available for download from:

Updated Debian packages will also available shortly. To the best of J.
S.'s knowledge, Light is not distributed by any other vendors.

You can find J. S. Connell on IRC as Liandrin, on Undernet in #epic+light,
or on EFnet in #epic.

   6dffeddbb059a145dba2694fd2d04d6e Light-2.7.30p5.tar.bz2
   28c6f204e92dd6a1f89724e9e7af80e1 Light-2.7.30p5.tar.bz2.asc

   4a815f15c522e016a39c42fc96cb33ad Light-2.7.30p5.tar.gz
   570dde757ed65a2b133f24c3406a9399 Light-2.7.30p5.tar.gz.asc

   6f201aa5c2fc729766a5b11840bf07a5 Light-2.8pre10.tar.bz2
   2d463273545694ef9862a90d3acbbe1c Light-2.8pre10.tar.bz2.asc

   c1dde9996bb63be29cc1cfcd56479675 Light-2.8pre10.tar.gz
   c56873d39d67243f19874c3c21bff0b2 Light-2.8pre10.tar.gz.asc

(Note to Macintosh and Windows users: the .asc files must be transferred
in BINARY mode for the md5sum to compute correctly. Users of Cygwin's
md5sum command should use the -b (binary mode) flag.)


The information has been provided by <mailto:ankh@canuck.gen.nz> J. S.


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