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Category:   Application (Generic)  >   setrlimit Vendors:   HPE
(HP Issues Fix for HP-UX 11.11) HP/UX setrlimit Resource Limiting Utility Lets Local Users Cause Denial of Service Conditions and Possibly Execute Arbitrary Code on the Server with Root Level Privileges
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1003537
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   GENERIC-MAP-NOMATCH   (Links to External Site)
Date:  Feb 13 2002
Impact:   Denial of service via local system, Execution of arbitrary code via local system, Root access via local system
Fix Available:  Yes  Vendor Confirmed:  Yes  
Version(s): HP-UX 11.11
Description:   HP announced a vulnerability in the setrlimit() function that allows local users to cause denial of service conditions and may allow local users to execute arbitrary code on the server with root level privileges.

HP reported that if a local user sets the core file size limit to 0 for a process that has set user id or set group id privileges, that process could create corefiles or be attached to with a debugger. This may allow a local user to execute arbitrary code with the setuid or setgid privileges of the process. The vulnerability is reportedly due to a flaw that causes incorrect core processing when a process with its core file size limit set to 0 by setrlimit() aborts.

Impact:   A local user can cause denial of service conditions and may be able to execute arbitrary code on the server with root level privileges.
Solution:   The vendor has released the following patch for HP/UX 11.11:


This patch requires a reboot.

Patches for other versions of HP/UX were previously released and are described in a separate alert.

Vendor URL: (Links to External Site)
Cause:   Exception handling error
Underlying OS:  UNIX (HP/UX)

Message History:   This archive entry is a follow-up to the message listed below.
Jul 2 2001 HP/UX setrlimit Resource Limiting Utility Lets Local Users Cause Denial of Service Conditions and Possibly Execute Arbitrary Code on the Server with Root Level Privileges

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  HP-UX security bulletins digest

Document ID:  HPSBUX0202-183
Date Loaded:  20020212
      Title:  Sec. Vulnerability with setrlimit()

    Originally issued:  12 February 2002

The information in the following Security Bulletin should be acted
upon as soon as possible.  Hewlett-Packard Company will not be
liable for any consequences to any customer resulting from customer's
failure to fully implement instructions in this Security Bulletin as
soon as possible.

PROBLEM: The HP-UX kernel incorrectly specifies arguements for
         setrlimit() and can produce unexpected panics.

PLATFORM: HP 9000 Series Servers running only HP-UX 11.11.

DAMAGE:   Possible denial of service.

SOLUTION: Install the following patch for HP-UX release 11.11



AVAILABILITY: The patch is available now.

A. Background
   Hewlett-Packard Company has discovered a kernel flaw by which
   servers could be locally compromised.

B. Recommended solution
   Obtain and install the following patch on all servers running
   HP-UX 11.11.

   A reboot is required.

C. To subscribe to automatically receive future NEW HP Security
   Bulletins from the HP IT Resource Center via electronic
   mail, do the following:

   Use your browser to get to the HP IT Resource Center page

   Use the 'Login' tab at the left side of the screen to login
   using your ID and password.  Use your existing login or the
   "Register" button at the left to create a login, in order to
   gain access to many areas of the ITRC.  Remember to save the
   User ID assigned to you, and your password.

   In the left most frame select "Maintenance and Support".

   Under the "Notifications" section (near the bottom of
   the page), select "Support Information Digests".

   To -subscribe- to future HP Security Bulletins or other
   Technical Digests, click the check box (in the left column)
   for the appropriate digest and then click the "Update
   Subscriptions" button at the bottom of the page.


    To -review- bulletins already released, select the link
    (in the middle column) "Search Technical Knowledge

    To -gain access- to the Security Patch Matrix, or the
    "The Security Bulletins Archive" select the link for
    "The Security Bulletins Archive" (near the bottom of
    the page).  Once in the archive the third link is
    to the current Security Patch Matrix. Updated daily, this
    matrix categorizes security patches by platform/OS release,
    and by bulletin topic.  Security Patch Check completely
    automates the process of reviewing the patch matrix for
    11.XX systems.

    For information on the Security Patch Check tool, see:"

    The security patch matrix is also available via anonymous

    On the "Support Information Digest Main" page:
    click on the "HP Security Bulletin Archive".

D. To report new security vulnerabilities, send email to

   Please encrypt any exploit information using the
   security-alert PGP key, available from your local key
   server, or by sending a message with a -subject- (not body)
   of 'get key' (no quotes) to

   Permission is granted for copying and circulating this
   Bulletin to Hewlett-Packard (HP) customers (or the Internet
   community) for the purpose of alerting them to problems,
   if and only if, the Bulletin is not edited or changed in
   any way, is attributed to HP, and provided such reproduction
   and/or distribution is performed for non-commercial purposes.

   Any other use of this information is prohibited. HP is not
   liable for any misuse of this information by any third party.
-----End of Document ID:  HPSBUX0202-183--------------------------------------


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