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Category:   Application (Generic)  >   CVS Vendors:   GNU [multiple authors]
(Fedora Issues Fix for FC1) CVS Entry Line Heap Overflow Lets Remote Users Execute Arbitrary Code
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1010227
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   CVE-2004-0396   (Links to External Site)
Date:  May 19 2004
Impact:   Execution of arbitrary code via network, User access via network
Fix Available:  Yes  Vendor Confirmed:  Yes  
Version(s): prior to 1.11.15-5
Description:   A heap overflow vulnerability was reported in Concurrent Versions System (CVS) in the processing of entry lines. A remote user can execute arbitrary code on the target system.

Stefan Esser of e-matters GmbH reported that the overflow occurs when an entry line is processed to determine if the modified and unchanged flags apply. A remote user can reportedly cause the flawed function to be called several times, inserting certain characters into the entry line and overwriting memory.

The vendor was reportedly notified on May 2, 2004.

The original advisory is available at:

Impact:   A remote user can execute arbitrary code on the target system with the privileges of the CVS server.
Solution:   Fedora has released a fix, available at:

6de72febc153af0e5e8b1670372c767e SRPMS/cvs-1.11.15-5.src.rpm
0e70cb1a6940f6b2b7b71b64ada84e0a i386/cvs-1.11.15-5.i386.rpm
e7bb5244e9e067b6cc22b2f408ada206 i386/debug/cvs-debuginfo-1.11.15-5.i386.rpm
6dc5672173170e2a3b1a89a8f928364e x86_64/cvs-1.11.15-5.x86_64.rpm
e9ae30cfbc082e6e7f1a0ad8e0d0a37f x86_64/debug/cvs-debuginfo-1.11.15-5.x86_64.rpm

Vendor URL: (Links to External Site)
Cause:   Boundary error
Underlying OS:  Linux (Red Hat Fedora)
Underlying OS Comments:  FC1

Message History:   This archive entry is a follow-up to the message listed below.
May 19 2004 CVS Entry Line Heap Overflow Lets Remote Users Execute Arbitrary Code

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  [SECURITY] Fedora Core 1 Update: cvs-1.11.15-5

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Fedora Update Notification

Product     : Fedora Core 1
Name        : cvs
Version     : 1.11.15                     =20
Release     : 5                 =20
Summary     : A version control system.
Description :
CVS (Concurrent Version System) is a version control system that can
record the history of your files (usually, but not always, source
code). CVS only stores the differences between versions, instead of
every version of every file you have ever created. CVS also keeps a log
of who, when, and why changes occurred.

CVS is very helpful for managing releases and controlling the
concurrent editing of source files among multiple authors. Instead of
providing version control for a collection of files in a single
directory, CVS provides version control for a hierarchical collection
of directories consisting of revision controlled files. These
directories and files can then be combined together to form a software

Update Information:

Stefan Esser discovered a flaw in cvs where malformed "Entry" lines
could cause a heap overflow. An attacker who has access to a CVS
server could use this flaw to execute arbitrary code under the UID
which the CVS server is executing. The Common Vulnerabilities and
Exposures project ( has assigned the name CAN-2004-0396
to this issue.

This update includes a patch by Derek Price, based on a patch by
Stefan Esser, which corrects this flaw.

* Thu May 13 2004 Nalin Dahyabhai <> 1.11.15-5

- use revised version of Stefan Esser's patch provided by Derek Robert Price

* Mon May 03 2004 Nalin Dahyabhai <> 1.11.15-4

- rebuild

* Mon May 03 2004 Nalin Dahyabhai <> 1.11.15-3

- add patch from Stefan Esser to close CAN-2004-0396

This update can be downloaded from:

6de72febc153af0e5e8b1670372c767e  SRPMS/cvs-1.11.15-5.src.rpm
0e70cb1a6940f6b2b7b71b64ada84e0a  i386/cvs-1.11.15-5.i386.rpm
e7bb5244e9e067b6cc22b2f408ada206  i386/debug/cvs-debuginfo-1.11.15-5.i386.r=
6dc5672173170e2a3b1a89a8f928364e  x86_64/cvs-1.11.15-5.x86_64.rpm
e9ae30cfbc082e6e7f1a0ad8e0d0a37f  x86_64/debug/cvs-debuginfo-1.11.15-5.x86_=

This update can also be installed with the Update Agent; you can
launch the Update Agent with the 'up2date' command. =20

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