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Category:   Application (Generic)  >   Common Desktop Environment Vendors:   Open Group, The
(HP Issues Fix) CDE libDTHelp Buffer Overflow Lets Local Users Execute Arbitrary Code With Root Privileges
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1008216
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   CVE-2003-0834   (Links to External Site)
Date:  Nov 18 2003
Impact:   Execution of arbitrary code via local system, Root access via local system
Fix Available:  Yes  Vendor Confirmed:  Yes  
Version(s): 3.0
Description:   A buffer overflow vulnerability was reported the Common Desktop Environment (CDE) libDTHelp library. A local user can gain root privileges on the system.

It is reported that a local user can set a specially crafted environment variable (DTHELPUSERSEARCHPATH) to execute arbitrary code with root privileges when the dtHelp application is initialized or when applications linked to libtDtHelp are initialized.

Kevin Kotas from Computer Associates Intl. eTrust eVM is credited with reporting this flaw.

In August 2004, iDEFENSE reported that the LOGNAME environment variable is also not properly validated.

Impact:   A local user can execute arbitrary code with root privileges.
Solution:   The vendor has released patches, available at:

B.11.00 PHSS_30010
B.11.11 PHSS_30011

Vendor URL: (Links to External Site)
Cause:   Boundary error
Underlying OS:  UNIX (HP/UX)
Underlying OS Comments:  11.00, 11.11

Message History:   This archive entry is a follow-up to the message listed below.
Nov 5 2003 CDE libDTHelp Buffer Overflow Lets Local Users Execute Arbitrary Code With Root Privileges

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  HP-UX security bulletins digest

Document ID:  HPSBUX0311-297
Date Loaded:  20031116
      Title:  SSRT3657 CDE libDtHelp

Hash: SHA1

 Originally issued: 16 November 2003
 SSRT3657 CDE libDtHelp

NOTICE: There are no restrictions for distribution of this
Bulletin provided that it remains complete and intact.

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: CDE libDtHelp has a potential buffer overflow.

IMPACT: Potential increase in privilege, denial of service.

PLATFORM:   HP-HX B.11.00, B.11.11

SOLUTION: Install the appropriate patch:

          B.11.00   PHSS_30010
          B.11.11   PHSS_30011


AVAILABILITY:  The patches are available now on
 A. Background

     This problem has been reported by CERT/cc as VU#575804:



     The following is a list by HP-UX revision of
     affected filesets or patches and fix information.
     To determine if a system has an affected version,
     search the output of "swlist -a revision -l fileset"
     for an affected fileset or patch, then determine if
     a fixed revision or applicable patch is installed.

     HP-UX B.11.00
     fix: install PHSS_30010 or subsequent

     HP-UX B.11.11
     fix: install PHSS_30011 or subsequent


 B. Recommended solution

    Download and install the appropriate patch:

          B.11.00   PHSS_30010
          B.11.11   PHSS_30011

    The patches are available now on <>.

 C. To subscribe to automatically receive future NEW HP Security
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    The PGP key used to sign this bulletin is available from
    several PGP Public Key servers.  The key identification
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       HP Security Response Team (Security Bulletin signing only)
       Fingerprint =
         6002 6019 BFC1 BC62 F079 862E E01F 3AFC 2D2A 7D59

    If you have problems locating the key please write to  Please note that this key is
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(c)Copyright 2003 Hewlett-Packard Company
Hewlett-Packard Company shall not be liable for technical or
editorial errors or omissions contained herein. The information
in this document is subject to change without notice.
Hewlett-Packard Company and the names of HP products referenced
herein are trademarks and/or service marks of Hewlett-Packard
Company.  Other product and company names mentioned herein may be
trademarks and/or service marks of their respective owners.


Version: PGP 8.0.2

-----End of Document ID:  HPSBUX0311-297--------------------------------------


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