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Category:   Application (E-mail Server)  >   XMail Vendors:
XMail Buffer Overflow in AddressFromAtPtr() May Let Local Users Gain Elevated Privileges
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1015055
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   CVE-2005-2943   (Links to External Site)
Updated:  Jan 22 2008
Original Entry Date:  Oct 13 2005
Impact:   Execution of arbitrary code via local system, Root access via local system, User access via local system
Fix Available:  Yes  Vendor Confirmed:  Yes  
Version(s): 1.21
Description:   iDEFENSE reported a vulnerability in XMail. A local user can gain elevated privileges on the target system.

The software does not properly validate user-supplied input. A local user can invoke XMail with the '-t' command line option and supply a specially crafted 'To:' value to trigger a stack overflow in the AddressFromAtPtr() function. A specially crafted hostname value for the 'To:' recipient can cause arbitrary code to be executed.

The code will run with the privileges of XMail, which varies on different distributions and may include root user privileges or mail group privileges.

The vendor was notified on October 12, 2005.

The original advisory is available at:

Impact:   A local user can execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the XMail application.
Solution:   The vendor has issued a fixed version (1.22), available at:

Vendor URL: (Links to External Site)
Cause:   Boundary error
Underlying OS:  Linux (Any), UNIX (Any), Windows (Any)

Message History:   None.

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  iDEFENSE Security Advisory 10.13.05: Multiple Vendor XMail 'sendmail'

Multiple Vendor XMail 'sendmail' Recipient Buffer Overflow Vulnerability

iDEFENSE Security Advisory 10.13.05
October 13, 2005


XMail is an Internet and intranet mail server. XMail sources compile
under GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, OSX, Solaris and NT/2K/XP.

More information can be found at the vendor website:


Local exploitation of a buffer overflow vulnerability in XMail, as
distributed with multiple vendors' operating systems, allows local
attackers to execute arbitrary code with elevated privileges.

The vulnerability exists because of insufficent bounds checking on
user-supplied data. Specifically, the AddressFromAtPtr function fails to
check bounds on arguments passed from other functions, and as a result
an exploitable stack overflow condition occurs when specifying the "-t"
command line option. The "-t" command line option allows users to
specify the recipient value in the text of the message on a line
beginning with "To:". XMail passes the user-supplied value without
bounds checking to AdressFromAtPtr and attempts to store the hostname
portion of the e-mail address in a 256-byte buffer. Crafted e-mail
addresses can overflow the buffer and overwrite stack process control
data, resulting in local code execution with elevated privileges.


Successful exploitation will result in code execution with elevated
privileges. XMail is distributed in RPM, DEB and source format. The RPM
distribution installs the sendmail binary with setuid root privileges.
Exploitation of XMail installed from RPM will yield root. Other
distribution formats install the sendmail binary as setgid mail.
Exploitation resulting in group mail privileges will allow an attacker
to read all unencrypted mail stored locally in the system mail folders.


iDEFENSE Labs has confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in XMail


As a workaround solution, local mail delivery can be restricted and a
standard mail user-agent may be used to talk to the XMail SMTP server.


The vendor has released XMail 1.22 to address this issue which is
available for download at:


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the
name CAN-2005-2943 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in
the CVE list (, which standardizes names for
security problems.


10/12/2005  Initial vendor notification
10/12/2005  Initial vendor response
10/13/2005  Coordinated public disclosure


The discoverer of this vulnerability wishes to remain anonymous.

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Copyright (c) 2005 iDEFENSE, Inc.

Permission is granted for the redistribution of this alert
electronically. It may not be edited in any way without the express
written consent of iDEFENSE. If you wish to reprint the whole or any
part of this alert in any other medium other than electronically, please
email for permission.

Disclaimer: The information in the advisory is believed to be accurate
at the time of publishing based on currently available information. Use
of the information constitutes acceptance for use in an AS IS condition.
There are no warranties with regard to this information. Neither the
author nor the publisher accepts any liability for any direct, indirect,
or consequential loss or damage arising from use of, or reliance on,
this information.

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