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CERT* Vendor-Initiated Bulletin VB-97.16
December 17, 1997

Topic:  CrackLib
Source: Alec Muffett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

To aid in the wide distribution of essential security information, the
CERT Coordination Center is forwarding the following information from
Alec Muffett.  He urges you to act on this information as soon as
possible. If you have any questions or need further information,
please contact Alec directly or your vendor.

Copies of cracklib26_small.tgz and cracklib26_small.diff have also
been archived at

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



Topic:  CrackLib
Source: Alec Muffett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

- - --------------------------------

Problem: Vulnerability in CrackLib v2.5

I. Description

     CrackLib is a freely-available software library that provides
     systems and application programmers with some control to dissuade
     users from utilising easily-guessable passwords as authentication

     A weakness in a published version of CrackLib (v2.5, dated 1993)
     may be open to exploitation on Unix systems utilising CrackLib in
     setuid-root software, leading to compromise of system privileges.

II. Impact

     A bug in CrackLib v2.5 *may* be exploitable to obtain root
     privileges when logged on machines where CrackLib is installed as
     part of a SUID program, such as "/bin/passwd".

     This problem will also impact systems where CrackLib is part of
     the PAM (pluggable authentication module) installation; where you
     are using a commercial operating system that utilises CrackLib
     (typically this applies to some Linux and FreeBSD distributions)
     you are advised to contact your vendor for a patch.

III. Solution

      A upgraded/fixed version of CrackLib - v2.6 - is available from
      the following website, together with patches for the v2.5 software:

	  MD5-signatures                    filenames
	  --------------                    ---------
	  7181205d70afcf75bb2240678b6be855  cracklib26_small.tgz
	  247ad535f3e84bf586f7c31197ad1774  cracklib26_small.tgz.asc
	  3933d0b56695f38535a5be3b57ccb60f  cracklib26_small.diff
	  ec0e3714bc95ab2f2352a4438de17e7c  cracklib26_small.diff.asc

     ...and contact information is also available from that website.


Version: 2.6ui


========================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
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* Registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

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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