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Category:   Application (Generic)  >   slocate Vendors:   Lindsay, Kevin
(Red Hat Issues Fix for RH Linux) slocate Buffer Management Error May Let Local Users Gain Elevated Privileges
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1008825
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   CVE-2003-0848   (Links to External Site)
Date:  Jan 22 2004
Impact:   Disclosure of system information, Disclosure of user information, Execution of arbitrary code via local system, User access via local system
Fix Available:  Yes  Vendor Confirmed:  Yes  
Version(s): 2.6 and prior versions
Description:   A buffer management vulnerability was reported in slocate. A local user may be able to gain elevated privileges on the target system.

Patrik Hornik reported that a heap overflow may let a local user execute arbitrary code with 'slocate' group privileges. The flaw reportedly resides in 'main.c', where some dynamically allocated memory may not be properly freed.

Impact:   A local user may be able to cause arbitrary code to be executed with set group id (setgid) 'slocate' privileges. With those privileges, the local user can view a list of all files on the system.
Solution:   Red Hat has released a fix.

Red Hat Linux 9:



The verification checksums are:

MD5 sum Package Name
e3a6fc1f4a5330433d1e7f3c0f56b050 9/en/os/SRPMS/slocate-2.7-2.src.rpm
37c73b3b4cc7bc8791f48abfac99c63e 9/en/os/i386/slocate-2.7-2.i386.rpm

Vendor URL: (Links to External Site)
Cause:   Boundary error, State error
Underlying OS:  Linux (Red Hat Linux)
Underlying OS Comments:  9

Message History:   This archive entry is a follow-up to the message listed below.
Oct 6 2003 slocate Buffer Management Error May Let Local Users Gain Elevated Privileges

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  [RHSA-2004:040-01] Updated slocate packages fix vulnerability

Hash: SHA1

- ---------------------------------------------------------------------
                   Red Hat Security Advisory

Synopsis:          Updated slocate packages fix vulnerability
Advisory ID:       RHSA-2004:040-01
Issue date:        2004-01-21
Updated on:        2004-01-21
Product:           Red Hat Linux
Cross references:  
CVE Names:         CAN-2003-0848
- ---------------------------------------------------------------------

1. Topic:

Updated slocate packages are now available that fix a heap overflow

2. Relevant releases/architectures:

Red Hat Linux 9 - i386

3. Problem description:

Slocate is a security-enhanced version of locate, designed to find files on
a system via a central database.

Patrik Hornik discovered a vulnerability in Slocate versions up to and
including 2.7 where a carefully crafted database could overflow a
heap-based buffer.  A local user could exploit this vulnerability to gain
"slocate" group privileges and then read the entire slocate database.  The
Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project ( has assigned
the name CAN-2003-0848 to this issue.

Users of Slocate should upgrade to these erratum packages, which contain a
patch from Kevin Lindsay that causes slocate to drop privileges before
reading a user-supplied database.

4. Solution:

Before applying this update, make sure all previously released errata
relevant to your system have been applied.

To update all RPMs for your particular architecture, run:

rpm -Fvh [filenames]

where [filenames] is a list of the RPMs you wish to upgrade.  Only those
RPMs which are currently installed will be updated.  Those RPMs which are
not installed but included in the list will not be updated.  Note that you
can also use wildcards (*.rpm) if your current directory *only* contains the
desired RPMs.

Please note that this update is also available via Red Hat Network.  Many
people find this an easier way to apply updates.  To use Red Hat Network,
launch the Red Hat Update Agent with the following command:


This will start an interactive process that will result in the appropriate
RPMs being upgraded on your system.

If up2date fails to connect to Red Hat Network due to SSL Certificate 
Errors, you need to install a version of the up2date client with an updated 
certificate.  The latest version of up2date is available from the Red Hat 
FTP site and may also be downloaded directly from the RHN website:

5. Bug IDs fixed ( for more info):

114014 - CAN-2003-0858 slocate buffer overflow

6. RPMs required:

Red Hat Linux 9:



7. Verification:

MD5 sum                          Package Name
- --------------------------------------------------------------------------

e3a6fc1f4a5330433d1e7f3c0f56b050 9/en/os/SRPMS/slocate-2.7-2.src.rpm
37c73b3b4cc7bc8791f48abfac99c63e 9/en/os/i386/slocate-2.7-2.i386.rpm

These packages are GPG signed by Red Hat for security.  Our key is
available from

You can verify each package with the following command:
    rpm --checksig -v <filename>

If you only wish to verify that each package has not been corrupted or
tampered with, examine only the md5sum with the following command:
    md5sum <filename>

8. References:

9. Contact:

The Red Hat security contact is <>.  More contact
details at

Copyright 2003 Red Hat, Inc.
Version: GnuPG v1.0.7 (GNU/Linux)


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