[UNIX] POPclient DoS Due To An Off-By-One Overflow Condition

From: SecuriTeam (support_at_securiteam.com)
Date: 07/01/04

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    Date: 1 Jul 2004 17:36:46 +0200

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      POPclient DoS Due To An Off-By-One Overflow Condition


    " <http://man.he.net/man1/popclient> popclient is a Post Office Protocol
    compliant mail retrieval client that supports both POP2 (as specified in
    RFC 937) and POP3 (RFC 1725)". An off-by-one condition exists in the POP3
    handler code present in this application. By crafting a malicious Email a
    remote attacker may cause a denial of service against users of this


    Vulnerable Systems:
     * popclient version 3.0b6

    The problem originates from the POP3_readmsg() function in the pop3.c
    source file:
     int POP3_readmsg (socket,mboxfd,topipe)
            int socket;
            int mboxfd;
            int topipe;
    [1] char buf [MSGBUFSIZE];
              char *bufp;
              char savec;
              char fromBuf[MSGBUFSIZE];
              int needFrom;
              int lines,sizeticker;
              time_t now;
              /* This keeps the retrieved message count for display purposes
              static int msgnum = 0;
              /* set up for status message if outlevel allows it */
              if (outlevel > O_SILENT && outlevel < O_VERBOSE) {
                fprintf(stderr,"reading message %d",++msgnum);
                /* won't do the '...' if retrieved messages are being sent to
    stdout */
                if (mboxfd == 1)
              /* read the message content from the server */
              lines = 0;
              sizeticker = MSGBUFSIZE;
              while (1) {
    [2] if (SockGets(socket,buf,sizeof(buf)) < 0)
                bufp = buf;
                if (*bufp == '.') {
                  if (*bufp == 0)
                    break; /* end of message */
    [3] strcat(bufp,"\n");

    A buffer of size MSGBUFSIZE is declared at [1]. At [2], the function
    SockGets is called, which returns a line of input from the message into
    this buffer. In the case of a long line, this will return at maximum a
    string of (MSGBUFSIZE - 1) characters plus the null terminator required.

    In this case, then the strcat is performed at [3], the null is overwritten
    with the '\n' character, and a new null is placed one byte after the
    buffer, partially overwriting the saved stack pointer. When the function
    returns this leads to an application crash, however there does not appear
    to be any possibility of influencing this behavior to cause anything other
    than a DoS.


    The information has been provided by <mailto:incidents@oneguard.com> Dean


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