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CERT* Vendor-Initiated Bulletin VB-97.07
August 28, 1997

Topic: IRIX webdist.cgi, handler and wrap programs
Source: Silicon Graphics Inc.
Related CERT documents: CERT Advisory CA-97.12.webdist

To aid in the wide distribution of essential security information, the CERT
Coordination Center is forwarding the following information from Silicon
Graphics Inc. (SGI). SGI urges you to act on this information as soon as
possible. SGI contact information is included in the forwarded text below;
please contact them if you have any questions or need further information.

=======================FORWARDED TEXT STARTS HERE============================


                Silicon Graphics Inc. Security Advisory

        Title:   IRIX webdist.cgi, handler and wrap programs
        Title:   CERT Advisory CA-97.12, AUSCERT Advisory AA-97.14
        Number:  19970501-02-PX
        Date:    August 26, 1997

Silicon Graphics provides this information freely to the SGI user community
for its consideration, interpretation, implementation and use.   Silicon
Graphics recommends that this information be acted upon as soon as possible.

Silicon Graphics provides the information in this Security Advisory on
an "AS-IS" basis only, and disclaims all warranties with respect thereto,
express, implied or otherwise, including, without limitation, any warranty
of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.  In no event shall
Silicon Graphics be liable for any loss of profits, loss of business, loss
of data or for any indirect, special, exemplary, incidental or consequential
damages of any kind arising from your use of, failure to use or improper
use of any of the instructions or information in this Security Advisory.

- - -----------------------
- - --- Issue Specifics ---
- - -----------------------

Several programs provided with the Outbox Environment subsystem have
been found to be insecure.  These are the cgi-bin programs webdist.cgi,
handler and wrap available for IRIX 5.x and 6.x.  Each of these programs
can be manipulated to execute arbitrary commands with potentially
elevated privileges.

Silicon Graphics Inc. has investigated the issue and recommends the
following steps for neutralizing the exposure.  It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
that these measures be implemented on ALL vulnerable SGI systems.  This
issue will be corrected in future releases of IRIX.

- - --------------
- - --- Impact ---
- - --------------

In general, the Outbox subsystem is install by default on all SGI systems
starting with IRIX 6.2.  However, IRIX 5.x and pre-IRIX 6.2 systems may
have the Outbox subsystem as part of the Desktop software package.

For these particular vulnerabilities, a local account is not required.
Furthermore, each of these vulnerabilities can be exploited remotely.

Utilizing these vulnerabilities, arbitrary commands can be executed
with httpd daemon privileges.  Depending on configuration of the
http server, privileged access may be possible.

This issue has been publically disclosed and discussed in several
public forums including the BUGTRAQ mailing list in addition to
security advisories CERT CA-97.12 and AUSCERT AA-97.14

- - ----------------------
- - --- Software Check ---
- - ----------------------

To determine if the Outbox software is installed on a particular system,
the following command can be used:

   % /usr/sbin/versions outbox.sw

   I = Installed, R = Removed

      Name                 Date      Description

   I  outbox               03/23/97  Outbox Environment, 1.2
   I  outbox.sw            03/23/97  Outbox End-User Software, 1.2
   I  outbox.sw.outbox     03/23/97  Outbox Software Tools, 1.2
   I  outbox.sw.webdist    03/23/97  Web Software Distribution Tools, 1.2

In the above case, the Outbox software is installed and the
steps in either the "Temporary Solution" or "Solution" section
should be completed.

- - --------------------------
- - --- Temporary Solution ---
- - --------------------------

Although patches are available to address the vulnerabilities in
these programs, it is realized that there may be situations where
installing the patches immediately may not be possible.

Below, two possible solutions are provided to remove the
vulnerabilities.  In Solution A program permissions are changed
while in Solution B the Outbox subsystem is removed.  Either
solution can be used depending on site requirements.

Solution A - Change program permissions.

The steps below can be used to remove the vulnerabilities by removing
the permissions of the vulnerable programs.  The default installation
places these files in /var/www/cgi-bin, however, all cgi-bin directories
on a system should be checked for these programs.

     1) Become the root user on the system.

                % /bin/su -

     2) Change the permissions on the programs.

                # /bin/chmod 400 /var/www/cgi-bin/webdist.cgi
                # /bin/chmod 400 /var/www/cgi-bin/handler
                # /bin/chmod 400 /var/www/cgi-bin/wrap

                           *** NOTE ***

               By changing the permissions on these programs as above,
               these programs can not be executed by any user.

     3) Return to previous level.

                # exit

Solution B - Removal of the Outbox software.

     1) Become the root user on the system.

                % /bin/su -

     2) Remove the vulnerable outbox subsystem.

                # /usr/sbin/versions -v remove outbox

     3) Return to previous level.

                # exit

- - ----------------
- - --- Solution ---
- - ----------------

   OS Version     Vulnerable?     Patch #      Other Actions
   ----------     -----------     -------      -------------

   IRIX 3.x          no
   IRIX 4.x          no
   IRIX 5.0.x        no
   IRIX 5.1.x        no
   IRIX 5.2          no
   IRIX 5.3          yes          2315
   IRIX 6.0.x        yes          not avail    Note 1
   IRIX 6.1          yes          not avail    Note 1
   IRIX 6.2          yes          2314
   IRIX 6.3          yes          2338
   IRIX 6.4          yes          2338


     1) upgrade operating system or see "Temporary Solution" section.

Patches are available via anonymous FTP and your service/support provider.

The SGI anonymous FTP site is ( or its
mirror,   Security information and patches can be found
in the ~ftp/security and ~ftp/patches directories, respectfully.

                 ##### Patch File Checksums ####

The actual patch will be a tar file containing the following files:

Filename:                 README.patch.2315
Algorithm #1 (sum -r):    25011 11 README.patch.2315
Algorithm #2 (sum):       39892 11 README.patch.2315
MD5 checksum:             9B5B74574022FEE0259307C44A4602C0

Filename:                 patchSG0002315
Algorithm #1 (sum -r):    44474 2 patchSG0002315
Algorithm #2 (sum):       48055 2 patchSG0002315
MD5 checksum:             0C9FA667D42B3FC6895C5AD612CE4FB1

Filename:                 patchSG0002315.idb
Algorithm #1 (sum -r):    27036 3 patchSG0002315.idb
Algorithm #2 (sum):       23448 3 patchSG0002315.idb
MD5 checksum:             3DEEA538437CC5D96488269715948F31

Filename:                 patchSG0002315.outbox_sw
Algorithm #1 (sum -r):    38552 35 patchSG0002315.outbox_sw
Algorithm #2 (sum):       34937 35 patchSG0002315.outbox_sw
MD5 checksum:             0655A31A55306B4272FD00796CF69466

Filename:                 README.patch.2314
Algorithm #1 (sum -r):    10949 11 README.patch.2314
Algorithm #2 (sum):       39885 11 README.patch.2314
MD5 checksum:             E2BFB467EF18F1D5B5CDCE5FBDC3F36D

Filename:                 patchSG0002314
Algorithm #1 (sum -r):    18667 2 patchSG0002314
Algorithm #2 (sum):       51210 2 patchSG0002314
MD5 checksum:             FE7C82E22CD63CC278C011FE80F3265A

Filename:                 patchSG0002314.idb
Algorithm #1 (sum -r):    23116 3 patchSG0002314.idb
Algorithm #2 (sum):       23091 3 patchSG0002314.idb
MD5 checksum:             CB3E71D4FB3D86192E15EE59AED8A296

Filename:                 patchSG0002314.outbox_sw
Algorithm #1 (sum -r):    56643 35 patchSG0002314.outbox_sw
Algorithm #2 (sum):       28391 35 patchSG0002314.outbox_sw
MD5 checksum:             5CC76625AB89FF2862EB21111E7924F0

Filename:                 README.patch.2338
Algorithm #1 (sum -r):    39046 13 README.patch.2338
Algorithm #2 (sum):       48961 13 README.patch.2338
MD5 checksum:             D568381EF9948399D50663C2CB9175E8

Filename:                 patchSG0002338
Algorithm #1 (sum -r):    41914 3 patchSG0002338
Algorithm #2 (sum):       15225 3 patchSG0002338
MD5 checksum:             18845B0651DC6CCED5E92694915DB36D

Filename:                 patchSG0002338.idb
Algorithm #1 (sum -r):    32107 4 patchSG0002338.idb
Algorithm #2 (sum):       19674 4 patchSG0002338.idb
MD5 checksum:             351DFB48864622C3B8219CC88526F5BE

Filename:                 patchSG0002338.outbox_sw
Algorithm #1 (sum -r):    36841 107 patchSG0002338.outbox_sw
Algorithm #2 (sum):       12878 107 patchSG0002338.outbox_sw
MD5 checksum:             2269AB01C700BB39E1CCF1849FAC70AF

- - ------------------------
- - --- Acknowledgments ---
- - ------------------------

Silicon Graphics wishes to thank the CERT Coordination Center, and
AUSCERT for their assistance in this matter.

- - -----------------------------------------------------------
- - --- Silicon Graphics Inc. Security Information/Contacts ---
- - -----------------------------------------------------------

If there are questions about this document, email can be sent to
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Silicon Graphics provides security information and patches for
use by the entire SGI community.  This information is freely
available to any person needing the information and is available
via anonymous FTP and the Web.

The primary SGI anonymous FTP site for security information and patches
is (  Security information and patches
are located under the directories ~ftp/security and ~ftp/patches,
respectively. The Silicon Graphics Security Headquarters Web page is
accessible at the URL

For issues with the patches on the FTP sites, email can be sent to
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For assistance obtaining or working with security patches, please
contact your SGI support provider.


Silicon Graphics provides a free security mailing list service
called wiretap and encourages interested parties to self-subscribe
to receive (via email) all SGI Security Advisories when they are
released. Subscribing to the mailing list can be done via the Web
( or by sending email
to SGI as outlined below.

% mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
subscribe wiretap <YourEmailAddress>

In the example above, <YourEmailAddress> is the email address that you
wish the mailing list information sent to.  The word end must be on a
separate line to indicate the end of the body of the message. The
control-d (^d) is used to indicate to the mail program that you are
finished composing the mail message.


Silicon Graphics provides a comprehensive customer World Wide Web site.
This site is located at


For reporting *NEW* SGI security issues, email can be sent to
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact your SGI support provider.  A
support contract is not required for submitting a security report.

  This information is provided freely to all interested parties and may
  be redistributed provided that it is not altered in any way, Silicon
  Graphics is appropriately credited and the document retains and
  includes its valid PGP signature.

Version: 2.6.2


========================FORWARDED TEXT ENDS HERE=============================

If you believe that your system has been compromised, contact the CERT
Coordination Center or your representative in the Forum of Incident Response
and Security Teams (FIRST). See

We strongly urge you to encrypt any sensitive information you send by email.
The CERT Coordination Center can support a shared DES key and PGP. Contact
the CERT staff for more information.

Location of CERT PGP key

CERT Contact Information
- ------------------------
Email    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone    +1 412-268-7090 (24-hour hotline)
                CERT personnel answer 8:30-5:00 p.m. EST
                (GMT-5)/EDT(GMT-4), and are on call for
                emergencies during other hours.

Fax      +1 412-268-6989

Postal address
        CERT Coordination Center
        Software Engineering Institute
        Carnegie Mellon University
        Pittsburgh PA 15213-3890

CERT publications, information about FIRST representatives, and other
security-related information are available from

CERT advisories and bulletins are also posted on the USENET newsgroup

To be added to our mailing list for CERT advisories and bulletins, send your
email address to
        This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
In the subject line, type
        SUBSCRIBE  your-email-address

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The CERT Coordination Center is part of the Software Engineering
Institute (SEI). The SEI is sponsored by the U. S. Department of Defense.

This file:

Version: 2.6.2


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