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Category:   Application (Generic)  >   Vim Vendors:
(Turbo Linux Issues Fix) Re: The Vim Text Editor Allows Local Users to Obtain Escalated Privileges
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1001616
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   GENERIC-MAP-NOMATCH   (Links to External Site)
Date:  May 26 2001
Impact:   User access via local system
Fix Available:  Yes  Vendor Confirmed:  Yes  

Description:   SuSE announced a vulnerability in the "vim" and "gvim" text editor utilities that allows local users to escalate their privileges.

It is reported that vim, ("Vi IMproved") contains a tmp race condition and that vim commands contained in regular files may be executed if the status line of vim is enabled in the vimrc configuration file. Both vulnerabilities can be exploited by a local user to gain additional privileges.

Note that this vulnerability is not limited to just SuSE Linux.

Impact:   A local user could obtain escalated privileges on the host.
Solution:   Turbo Linux issued a fix. See the Source Message for details.
Vendor URL: (Links to External Site)
Cause:   State error
Underlying OS:  Linux (Turbo Linux)

Message History:   This archive entry is a follow-up to the message listed below.
Apr 10 2001 The Vim Text Editor Allows Local Users to Obtain Escalated Privileges

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  [TL-Security-Announce] TLSA2001025 vim-5.7-4

Hash: SHA1


                     Turbolinux Security Announcement

        Package:  vim
        Vulnerable Packages: All Turbolinux versions previous to 5.7-4
        Date: 05/23/2001 5:00 PDT

        Affected Turbolinux versions: TL Server 6.5,
                                      TL Workstation 6.1,
                                      TL Server 6.0.5 and earlier
        Turbolinux Advisory ID#:  TLSA2001025

        Credits: First reported by Red Hat:  RHSA-2001:008-02



A security hole has been fixed in the package vim.  Please update the packages in your 
installation as soon as possible.

1. Problem Summary

   An attacker can create a text file embedded with potentially dangerous commands.  By
   opening this text file in VIM, the commands are executed with the privileges of the user
   that opens the file.  Hence, potential damage to a system can occur if a user were to
   open this file as root.  

   For this vulnerability to be exploited, the ability to modify status lines has to be
   activated.  This is done by adjusting the setting of the parameter "stl" or "statusline"
   in a file called ".vimrc".  

2. Solution
   Update the packages from our ftp server by running the following

   rpm -Uvh ftp_path_to_filename

   Where ftp_path_to_filename is the following:

   The source RPM can be downloaded here:

  **Note: You must rebuild and install the RPM if you choose to download
  and install the SRPM.  Simply installing the SRPM alone WILL NOT CLOSE

          To rebuild the vim packages on Turbolinux Workstation 6.1,
   you must have the package "ctags" installed.  To rebuild the package
   on Turbolinux Server versions 6.0.5 and earlier, make sure you install
   XFree86-devel, gtk+-devel, python-devel, gdbm-devel, and ncurses-devel.

 Please verify the MD5 checksums of the updates before you install:

  MD5 sum                               Package Name
  a97f5d3d5099fa20d742ff0ffac65526      vim-X11-5.7-4.i386.rpm
  7dda4a9746fcfbc16200ecfa0845362f      vim-common-5.7-4.i386.rpm
  419516258c4f6637c504a0ccb9a73ab0      vim-standard-5.7-4.i386.rpm
  51d1ae3a139e53a85b464f2ec25f0c5b      vim-5.7-4.src.rpm                                     

These packages are GPG signed by Turbolinux for security. Our key
is available here:

To verify a package, use the following command:

 rpm --checksig name_of_rpm

To examine only the md5sum, use the following command:

 md5sum name_of_rpm

**Note: Checking GPG keys requires RPM 3.0 or higher.


You can find more updates on our ftp server: 

for TL6.x Workstation and Server security updates

Our webpage for security announcements:

If you want to report vulnerabilities, please contact:

Subscribe to the Turbolinux Security Mailing lists:

  TL-security - A moderated list for discussing security issues
                Turbolinux products.
  Subscribe at

  TL-security-announce - An announce-only mailing list for security
                         updates and alerts.

  Subscribe at:
Version: GnuPG v1.0.4 (GNU/Linux)
Comment: pgpenvelope 2.10.0 -


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