SUSE Security Announcement: several kernel security problems (SUSE-SA:2005:044)

From: Ludwig Nussel (
Date: 08/04/05

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    Date: Thu, 04 Aug 2005 10:25:41 +0200

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                            SUSE Security Announcement

            Package: kernel
            Announcement ID: SUSE-SA:2005:044
            Date: Thu, 04 Aug 2005 08:00:00 +0000
            Affected Products: 9.0, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3
                                    SUSE Linux Desktop 1.0
                                    SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 8, 9
                                    Novell Linux Desktop 9
                                    Open Enterprise Server 9
            Vulnerability Type: local privilege escalation
            Severity (1-10): 7
            SUSE Default Package: yes
            Cross-References: CAN-2005-1761

        Content of This Advisory:
            1) Security Vulnerability Resolved:
                 several kernel security problems
               Problem Description
            2) Solution or Work-Around
            3) Special Instructions and Notes
            4) Package Location and Checksums
            5) Pending Vulnerabilities, Solutions, and Work-Arounds:
                - see SUSE Security Summary Report
            6) Authenticity Verification and Additional Information


    1) Problem Description and Brief Discussion

          The Linux kernel is the core component of the Linux system.
          This update fixes various security as well as non-security problems
          discovered since the last round of kernel updates.
          Not all kernels are affected by all the problems, each of the problems
          has an affected note attached to it.
          The CAN-YYYY-NNNN IDs are Mitre CVE Candidate IDs, please see
 for more information.
          The following security problems have been fixed:
          - local users could crash the system by causing stack fault
            exceptions (CAN-2005-1767)
            SUSE Linux 9.0 and SLES8 are affected.
          - local users could use ptrace to crash the kernel
            SLES8 on the ia64 architecture is affected.
          - by causing an overflow in the 32bit execve function users could
            crash the kernel or even execute code (CAN-2005-1768).
            SLES 9 on the x86-64 and ia64 architectures and SUSE Linux 9.1
            on the x86-64 architecture are affected.
          - an overflow when validating XDR data for the nfsacl protocol
            could crash the kernel.
            SUSE Linux 9.2 and 9.3 are affected.
          - local users could crash the kernel by reading from large
            offsets in sysfs files
            SUSE Linux 9.2 is affected.
          On SUSE Linux 9.1 this update contains the kernel used by the
          SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9, Service Pack 2. This kernel adds
          among many bugfixes and driver updates support for non-executable
          pages (NX) on x86 CPUs and improves dual core CPU support.

    2) Solution or Work-Around

       There is no known workaround, please install the update packages.

    3) Special Instructions and Notes

         The following paragraphs guide you through the installation
         process in a step-by-step fashion. The character sequence "****"
         marks the beginning of a new paragraph. In some cases, the steps
         outlined in a particular paragraph may or may not be applicable
         to your situation. Therefore, make sure that you read through
         all of the steps below before attempting any of these
         procedures. All of the commands that need to be executed must be
         run as the superuser 'root'. Each step relies on the steps
         before it to complete successfully.
       **** Step 1: Determine the needed kernel type.
         Use the following command to determine which kind of kernel is
         installed on your system:
           rpm -qf --qf '%{name}\n' /boot/vmlinuz
       **** Step 2: Download the packages for your system.
         Download the kernel RPM package for your distribution with the
         name indicated by Step 1. Starting from SUSE LINUX 9.2, kernel
         modules that are not free were moved to a separate package with
         the suffix '-nongpl' in its name. Download that package as well
         if you rely on hardware that requires non-free drivers, such as
         some ISDN adapters. The list of all kernel RPM packages is
         appended below.
         The kernel-source package does not contain a binary kernel in
         bootable form. Instead, it contains the sources that correspond
         with the binary kernel RPM packages. This package is required to
         build third party add-on modules.
       **** Step 3: Verify authenticity of the packages.
         Verify the authenticity of the kernel RPM package using the
         methods as listed in Section 6 of this SUSE Security
       **** Step 4: Installing your kernel rpm package.
         Install the rpm package that you have downloaded in Step 2 with
         the command
             rpm -Uhv <FILE>
         replacing <FILE> with the filename of the RPM package
         Warning: After performing this step, your system may not boot
                  unless the following steps have been followed
       **** Step 5: Configuring and creating the initrd.
         The initrd is a RAM disk that is loaded into the memory of your
         system together with the kernel boot image by the boot loader.
         The kernel uses the content of this RAM disk to execute commands
         that must be run before the kernel can mount its root file
         system. The initrd is typically used to load hard disk
         controller drivers and file system modules. The variable
         INITRD_MODULES in /etc/sysconfig/kernel determines which kernel
         modules are loaded in the initrd.
         After a new kernel rpm has been installed, the initrd must be
         recreated to include the updated kernel modules. Usually this
         happens automatically when installing the kernel rpm. If
         creating the initrd fails for some reason, manually run the
       **** Step 6: Update the boot loader, if necessary.
         Depending on your software configuration, you either have the
         LILO or GRUB boot loader installed and initialized on your
         system. Use the command
           grep LOADER_TYPE /etc/sysconfig/bootloader
         to find out which boot loader is configured.
         The GRUB boot loader does not require any further action after a
         new kernel has been installed. You may proceed to the next step
         if you are using GRUB.
         If you use the LILO boot loader, lilo must be run to
         reinitialize the boot sector of the hard disk. Usually this
         happens automatically when installing the kernel RPM. In case
         this step fails, run the command
         Warning: An improperly installed boot loader will render your
                  system unbootable.
       **** Step 7: Reboot.
         If all of the steps above have been successfully completed on
         your system, the new kernel including the kernel modules and the
         initrd are ready to boot. The system needs to be rebooted for
         the changes to be active. Make sure that all steps have been
         completed then reboot using the command
           /sbin/shutdown -r now
         Your system will now shut down and restart with the new kernel.

    4) Package Location and Checksums

       The preferred method for installing security updates is to use the YaST
       Online Update (YOU) tool. YOU detects which updates are required and
       automatically performs the necessary steps to verify and install them.
       Alternatively, download the update packages for your distribution manually
       and verify their integrity by the methods listed in Section 6 of this
       announcement. Then install the packages using the command

         rpm -Fhv <file.rpm>

       to apply the update, replacing <file.rpm> with the filename of the
       downloaded RPM package.

       Our maintenance customers are notified individually. The packages are
       offered for installation from the maintenance web.

       x86 Platform:
       SUSE Linux 9.3:
       SUSE Linux 9.2:
       SUSE Linux 9.1:
       source rpm(s):
       SUSE Linux 9.0:
       source rpm(s):
       x86-64 Platform:
       SUSE Linux 9.3:
       source rpm(s):
       SUSE Linux 9.2:
       source rpm(s):
       SUSE Linux 9.1:
       source rpm(s):
       SUSE Linux 9.0:
       source rpm(s):


    5) Pending Vulnerabilities, Solutions, and Work-Arounds:

       - see SUSE Security Summary Report

    6) Authenticity Verification and Additional Information

      - Announcement authenticity verification:

        SUSE security announcements are published via mailing lists and on Web
        sites. The authenticity and integrity of a SUSE security announcement is
        guaranteed by a cryptographic signature in each announcement. All SUSE
        security announcements are published with a valid signature.

        To verify the signature of the announcement, save it as text into a file
        and run the command

          gpg --verify <file>

        replacing <file> with the name of the file where you saved the
        announcement. The output for a valid signature looks like:

          gpg: Signature made <DATE> using RSA key ID 3D25D3D9
          gpg: Good signature from "SuSE Security Team <>"

        where <DATE> is replaced by the date the document was signed.

        If the security team's key is not contained in your key ring, you can
        import it from the first installation CD. To import the key, use the

          gpg --import gpg-pubkey-3d25d3d9-36e12d04.asc

      - Package authenticity verification:

        SUSE update packages are available on many mirror FTP servers all over the
        world. While this service is considered valuable and important to the free
        and open source software community, the authenticity and the integrity of
        a package needs to be verified to ensure that it has not been tampered

        There are two verification methods that can be used independently from
        each other to prove the authenticity of a downloaded file or RPM package:

        1) Using the internal gpg signatures of the rpm package
        2) MD5 checksums as provided in this announcement

        1) The internal rpm package signatures provide an easy way to verify the
           authenticity of an RPM package. Use the command

            rpm -v --checksig <file.rpm>

           to verify the signature of the package, replacing <file.rpm> with the
           filename of the RPM package downloaded. The package is unmodified if it
           contains a valid signature from with the key ID 9C800ACA.

           This key is automatically imported into the RPM database (on
           RPMv4-based distributions) and the gpg key ring of 'root' during
           installation. You can also find it on the first installation CD and at
           the end of this announcement.

        2) If you need an alternative means of verification, use the md5sum
           command to verify the authenticity of the packages. Execute the command

             md5sum <filename.rpm>

           after you downloaded the file from a SUSE FTP server or its mirrors.
           Then compare the resulting md5sum with the one that is listed in the
           SUSE security announcement. Because the announcement containing the
           checksums is cryptographically signed (by, the
           checksums show proof of the authenticity of the package if the
           signature of the announcement is valid. Note that the md5 sums
           published in the SUSE Security Announcements are valid for the
           respective packages only. Newer versions of these packages cannot be

      - SUSE runs two security mailing lists to which any interested party may
            - General Linux and SUSE security discussion.
                All SUSE security announcements are sent to this list.
                To subscribe, send an e-mail to
            - SUSE's announce-only mailing list.
                Only SUSE's security announcements are sent to this list.
                To subscribe, send an e-mail to

        For general information or the frequently asked questions (FAQ),
        send mail to <> or

        SUSE's security contact is <> or <>.
        The <> public key is listed below.

        The information in this advisory may be distributed or reproduced,
        provided that the advisory is not modified in any way. In particular, the
        clear text signature should show proof of the authenticity of the text.

        SUSE Linux Products GmbH provides no warranties of any kind whatsoever
        with respect to the information contained in this security advisory.

    Type Bits/KeyID Date User ID
    pub 2048R/3D25D3D9 1999-03-06 SuSE Security Team <>
    pub 1024D/9C800ACA 2000-10-19 SuSE Package Signing Key <>

    Version: GnuPG v1.0.6 (GNU/Linux)
    Comment: For info see

    - -----END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----

    Version: GnuPG v1.4.0 (GNU/Linux)

    -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

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