MAC address change on SGI Origin 3000

From: SGI Security Coordinator (
Date: 08/14/02

Date: Wed, 14 Aug 2002 10:20:28 -0700 (PDT)
From: SGI Security Coordinator <>



                          SGI Security Advisory

        Title: MAC address change on Origin 3000
        Number: 20020805-01-I
        Date: August 14, 2002

- -----------------------
- --- Issue Specifics ---
- -----------------------

It's been reported that when an Origin 3000 system is upgraded from a
version of IRIX lower than 6.5.13 to 6.5.13, .14, .15, or .16, the MAC
address for the base ethernet changes. This can cause problems for sites
using MAC addresses for packet filtering.

SGI has investigated the issue and recommends the following steps for
neutralizing the exposure. It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that these measures be
implemented on ALL vulnerable SGI systems.

These issues have been partially corrected in future releases of IRIX.

- --------------
- --- Impact ---
- --------------

This is a kernel and PROM level issue, and exists on all Origin 3000 systems
using an L1 controller and running IRIX versions from 6.5.13 through 6.5.16.

To determine the version of IRIX you are running, execute the following

  # uname -R

That will return a result similar to the following:

  # 6.5 6.5.16f

The first number ("6.5") is the release name, the second ("6.5.16f" in this
case) is the extended release name. The extended release name is the
"version" we refer to throughout this document.

- ----------------------------
- --- Temporary Workaround ---
- ----------------------------

There is no effective workaround available for these problems. SGI
recommends upgrading to IRIX 6.5.17 when it becomes available. At that OS
release, the O3000 will report the proper MAC address once it has booted
past the PROM and into the kernel.

- ----------------
- --- Solution ---
- ----------------

SGI has not provided patches for these vulnerabilities. Our recommendation
is to upgrade to IRIX 6.5.17 when available, or install the appropriate

   OS Version Vulnerable? Patch # Other Actions
   ---------- ----------- ------- -------------
   IRIX 3.x unknown Note 1
   IRIX 4.x unknown Note 1
   IRIX 5.x unknown Note 1
   IRIX 6.0.x unknown Note 1
   IRIX 6.1 unknown Note 1
   IRIX 6.2 unknown Note 1
   IRIX 6.3 unknown Note 1
   IRIX 6.4 unknown Note 1
   IRIX 6.5 n/a
   IRIX 6.5.1 n/a
   IRIX 6.5.2 n/a
   IRIX 6.5.3 n/a
   IRIX 6.5.4 n/a
   IRIX 6.5.5 n/a
   IRIX 6.5.6 n/a
   IRIX 6.5.7 n/a
   IRIX 6.5.8 n/a
   IRIX 6.5.9 no
   IRIX 6.5.10 no
   IRIX 6.5.11 no
   IRIX 6.5.12 no
   IRIX 6.5.13 yes Notes 2 & 3
   IRIX 6.5.14 yes Notes 2 & 3
   IRIX 6.5.15 yes Notes 2 & 3
   IRIX 6.5.16 yes Notes 2 & 3
   IRIX 6.5.17 no


     1) This version of the IRIX operating has been retired. Upgrade to an
        actively supported IRIX operating system. See for more

     2) If you have not received an IRIX 6.5.X CD for IRIX 6.5, contact your
        SGI Support Provider or URL:

     3) Upgrade to IRIX 6.5.17 which can be downloaded from:

- ------------------------
- --- Acknowledgments ----
- ------------------------

SGI wishes to thank FIRST and the users of the Internet Community at large
for their assistance in this matter.

- -------------
- --- Links ---
- -------------

SGI Security Advisories can be found at: and

SGI Security Patches can be found at: and

SGI patches for IRIX can be found at the following patch servers: and

SGI freeware updates for IRIX can be found at:

SGI fixes for SGI open sourced code can be found on:

SGI patches and RPMs for Linux can be found at: or

SGI patches for Windows NT or 2000 can be found at:

IRIX 5.2-6.4 Recommended/Required Patch Sets can be found at: and

IRIX 6.5 Maintenance Release Streams can be found at:

IRIX 6.5 Software Update CDs can be obtained from:

The primary SGI anonymous FTP site for security advisories and patches is ( Security advisories and patches are
located under the URL

For security and patch management reasons, (mirrors security FTP repository) lags behind and does not do a
real-time update.

- -----------------------------------------
- --- SGI Security Information/Contacts ---
- -----------------------------------------

If there are questions about this document, email can be sent to


SGI provides security information and patches for use by the entire SGI
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