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Category:   Application (Generic)  >   CVS Vendors:   GNU [multiple authors]
(Fedora Issues Fix for RH Linux) CVS 'History' Command Discloses to Remote Authenticated Users Whether Files Exist or Not
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1011574
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   CVE-2004-0778   (Links to External Site)
Date:  Oct 7 2004
Impact:   Disclosure of system information, Disclosure of user information
Fix Available:  Yes  Vendor Confirmed:  Yes  
Version(s): prior to 1.11.17 and 1.12.9
Description:   iDEFENSE reported an information disclosure vulnerability in CVS. A remote authenticated user can determine if certain specified files and directories exist.

It is reported that there is an undocumented switch in the 'history' command in 'src/history.c'. A remote authenticated user can supply an arbitrary filename to the '-X' command switch (used to specify the history file) and then analyze the resulting error messages to determine if the named file exists on the target system and if the CVS process has access to the file.

The vendor was reportedly notified on July 22, 2004. [Editor's note: This notification date is after the date of the vendor fix (June 9, 2004).

The original advisory is available at:

Impact:   A remote authenticated user can determine if files or directories exist on the target system. The user can also determine if the CVS daemon has access to the files or directories.
Solution:   Fedora has released a fix.

Red Hat Linux 7.3:



Red Hat Linux 9:



The verification checksums are:

d309756c60dcf33235581f2174db39fe103bac27 7.3/updates/SRPMS/cvs-1.11.1p1-16.legacy.2.src.rpm
9620756fc080096881f062b6272306a1ba57fb40 7.3/updates/i386/cvs-1.11.1p1-16.legacy.2.i386.rpm
ffa2ea4c2689dbbd304364a14517a0e9f1747be2 9/updates/SRPMS/cvs-1.11.2-24.legacy.src.rpm
9f3eac397a31464cc39bad75877e6f5a11c7c31d 9/updates/i386/cvs-1.11.2-24.legacy.i386.rpm

Vendor URL: (Links to External Site)
Cause:   Access control error, State error
Underlying OS:  Linux (Red Hat Linux)
Underlying OS Comments:  7.3, 9

Message History:   This archive entry is a follow-up to the message listed below.
Aug 16 2004 CVS 'History' Command Discloses to Remote Authenticated Users Whether Files Exist or Not

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  [Full-Disclosure] [FLSA-2004:1735] Updated cvs packages fix security vulnerabilities

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               Fedora Legacy Update Advisory

Synopsis:          Updated cvs resolves security vulnerabilities
Advisory ID:       FLSA:1735
Issue date:        2004-10-07
Product:           Red Hat Linux
Keywords:          Security
Cross references:
CVE Names:         CAN-2004-0414, CAN-2004-0416, CAN-2004-0417,
                   CAN-2004-0418, CAN-2004-0778

1. Topic:

Updated cvs packages that fix a security vulnerabilities are now

CVS is a version control system frequently used to manage source code

2. Relevant releases/architectures:

Red Hat Linux 7.3 - i386
Red Hat Linux 9 - i386

3. Problem description:

While investigating a previously fixed vulnerability, Derek Price
discovered a flaw relating to malformed "Entry" lines which lead to a
missing NULL terminator. The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures
project ( has assigned the name CAN-2004-0414 to this issue.

Stefan Esser and Sebastian Krahmer conducted an audit of CVS and fixed a
number of issues that may have had security consequences.

Among the issues deemed likely to be exploitable were:

- a double-free relating to the error_prog_name string (CAN-2004-0416)
- an argument integer overflow (CAN-2004-0417)
- out-of-bounds writes in serv_notify (CAN-2004-0418).

An attacker who has access to a CVS server may be able to execute arbitrary
code under the UID on which the CVS server is executing.

Users of CVS are advised to upgrade to this updated package, which contains
backported patches correcting these issues.

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 yum and apt.  Many
people find this an easier way to apply updates.  To use yum issue:

yum update

or to use apt:

apt-get update; apt-get upgrade

This will start an interactive process that will result in the appropriate
RPMs being upgraded on your system.  This assumes that you have yum or
apt-get configured for obtaining Fedora Legacy content. Please visit for directions on how to configure yum
and apt-get.

5. Bug IDs fixed: - 1735 - cvs package fixes security issues

6. RPMs required:

Red Hat Linux 7.3:



Red Hat Linux 9:



7. Verification:

SHA1 sum                                 Package Name

d309756c60dcf33235581f2174db39fe103bac27  7.3/updates/SRPMS/cvs-1.11.1p1-16=
9620756fc080096881f062b6272306a1ba57fb40  7.3/updates/i386/cvs-1.11.1p1-16.=
ffa2ea4c2689dbbd304364a14517a0e9f1747be2  9/updates/SRPMS/cvs-1.11.2-24.leg=
9f3eac397a31464cc39bad75877e6f5a11c7c31d  9/updates/i386/cvs-1.11.2-24.lega=

These packages are GPG signed by Fedora Legacy for security.  Our key is
available from http://www.fedoralegacy org/about/security.php

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 sha1sum with the following command:

    sha1sum <filename>

8. References:
74      =20

9. Contact:

The Fedora Legacy security contact is <>. More
project details at


Content-Type: application/pgp-signature; name="signature.asc"
Content-Description: Digital signature
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Version: GnuPG v1.2.4 (GNU/Linux)



Full-Disclosure - We believe in it.


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