BoS: (fwd) IBM-ERS Security Vulnerability Alert: AIX V3 rmail vulnerability

BoS: (fwd) IBM-ERS Security Vulnerability Alert: AIX V3 rmail vulnerability

Post by John Gann » Wed, 17 Apr 1996 04:00:00


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                           EMERGENCY RESPONSE SERVICE
                          SECURITY VULNERABILITY ALERT

16 April 1996 16:00 GMT                          Number: ERS-SVA-E01-1996:003.1
                             VULNERABILITY  SUMMARY

VULNERABILITY:  Vulnerability in the IBM AIX "rmail" program.

PLATFORMS:      AIX Version 3 (Version 4 does not contain this vulnerability).

SOLUTION:       Take one of the actions described below.

THREAT:         A user can gain unauthorized access to another user's mail.

                              DETAILED INFORMATION

I. Description

There is a potential security exposure in the "rmail" program on Version 3
of the IBM AIX operating system.

Version 4 of AIX does not contain this vulnerability.

II. Impact

A user with knowledge of this vulnerability can exercise it to obtain
unauthorized access to another user's electronic mail.

III. Solutions

The IBM AIX Response Team recommends two solutions to this problem:

1. Log in to the workstation as "root" and issue the command:

        # /usr/bin/chmod 555 /usr/bin/rmail /bin/rmail

2. Apply the following APAR to your system once the APAR is available:

        APAR - IX57680

The first solution should be applied immediately to remove the vulnerability
to your system.  Once the APAR is available, you should also apply the second

IV. Acknowledgements

IBM-ERS would like to thank the IBM AIX Response Team for providing the
information contained in this alert.


IBM's Internet Emergency Response Service (IBM-ERS) is a subscription-based
Internet security response service that includes computer security incident
response and management, regular electronic verification of your Internet
gateway(s), and security vulnerability alerts similar to this one that are
tailored to your specific computing environment.  By acting as an extension
of your own internal security staff, IBM-ERS's team of Internet security
experts helps you quickly detect and respond to attacks and exposures across
your Internet connection(s).

As a part of IBM's Business Recovery Services organization, the IBM Internet
Emergency Response Service is a component of IBM's SecureWay(tm) line of
security products and services.  From hardware to software to consulting,
SecureWay solutions can give you the assurance and expertise you need to
protect your valuable business resources.  To find out more about the IBM
Internet Emergency Response Service, send an electronic mail message to

IBM-ERS is a Member Team of the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams
(FIRST), a global organization established to foster cooperation and response
coordination among computer security teams worldwide.

Copyright 1996 International Business Machines Corporation.

The information in this document is provided as a service to customers of
the IBM Emergency Response Service.  Neither International Business Machines
Corporation, Integrated Systems Solutions Corporation, nor any of their
employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal
liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of
any information, apparatus, product, or process contained herein, or
represents that its use would not infringe any privately owned rights.
Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by
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constitute or imply its endor*t, recommendation or favoring by IBM or
its subsidiaries.  The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not
necessarily state or reflect those of IBM or its subsdiaries, and may not be
used for advertising or product endor*t purposes.

The material in this security alert may be reproduced and distributed,
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This security alert may be reproduced and distributed, without permission,
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