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Bug 39470 - 12 Gaim remote overflows
Summary: 12 Gaim remote overflows
Alias: None
Product: Gentoo Security
Classification: Unclassified
Component: GLSA Errors (show other bugs)
Hardware: All All
: High major (vote)
Assignee: Gentoo Security
Depends on:
Reported: 2004-01-26 10:06 UTC by Rajiv Aaron Manglani (RETIRED)
Modified: 2004-01-27 13:40 UTC (History)
1 user (show)

See Also:
Package list:
Runtime testing required: ---


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Description Rajiv Aaron Manglani (RETIRED) gentoo-dev 2004-01-26 10:06:13 UTC
not sure if this patch is legit... maybe we should wait for an official 0.76 ?

	Subject: 	Advisory 01/2004: 12 x Gaim remote overflows
	Date: 	January 26, 2004 3:44:42 AM EST

                           e-matters GmbH

                      -= Security  Advisory =-

     Advisory: 12 x Gaim remote overflows
 Release Date: 2004/01/26
Last Modified: 2004/01/26
       Author: Stefan Esser []

  Application: Gaim <= 0.75
     Severity: 12 vulnerabilities were found in the instant 
               messenger GAIM that allow remote compromise
         Risk: Critical
Vendor Status: Vendor has fixed in CVS, but feels not ready for
               release because of problems with HEAD


   Gaim is a multi-protocol instant messaging client for Linux, BSD, 
   MacOS X, and Windows. It is compatible with AIM (Oscar and TOC 
   protocols), ICQ, MSN Messenger, Yahoo, IRC, Jabber, Gadu-Gadu, 
   and Zephyr networks. It is a very popular choice among the users
   of instant messaging networks and especially in the community of
   migrated windows users. 

   While developing a custom add-on, an integer overflow in the 
   handling of AIM DirectIM packets was revealed that could lead 
   to a remote compromise of the IM client. After disclosing this
   bug to the vendor, they had to make a hurried release because
   of a change in the Yahoo connection procedure that rendered
   GAIM useless. Unfourtunately at the same time a closer look
   onto the sourcecode revealed 11 more vulnerabilities.

   The 12 identified problems range from simple standard stack
   overflows, over heap overflows to an integer overflow that can
   be abused to cause a heap overflow. Due to the nature of instant
   messaging many of these bugs require man-in-the-middle attacks
   between client and server. But the underlying protocols are
   easy to implement and MIM attacks on ordinary TCP sessions is
   a fairly simple task.

   In combination with the latest kernel vulnerabilities or the 
   habit of users to work as root/administrator these bugs can 
   result in remote root compromises.


   While auditing the Gaim source code the following 12 
   vulnerabilities were discovered:

   Overflows in YMSG protocol (yahoo messenger) handler

   01) Yahoo Octal-Encoding Decoder Overflow
   02) Yahoo Octal-Encoding Decoder Out-Of-Bounds Overflow
   03) Yahoo Web Cookie Parser Overflow
   04) Yahoo Login Page Name Parser Overflow             
   05) Yahoo Login Page Value Parser Overflow            
   06) Yahoo Packet Parser Overflow

   Overflows in oscar protocol (AIM) handler

   07) AIM/Oscar DirectIM Integer Overflow

   Overflows in utility functions
   (called in various protocols)

   08) Quoted Printable Decoder Overflow
   09) Quoted Printable Decoder Out-Of-Bounds Overflow
   10) URL Parser Function Overflow             
   11) Extract Info Field Function Overflow

   Overflows that do not fit into
   the other categories

   12) HTTP Proxy Connect Overflow

   Detailed Bug Description  

   [01 - Yahoo Octal-Encoding Decoder Overflow]
   [02 - Yahoo Octal-Encoding Decoder Out-Of-Bounds Overflow]

   When the Yahoo Messenger handler decodes an octal value for
   email notification functions 2 different kind of overflows
   can be triggered

   Affected version: 0.75 (only)
   File:             gaim/src/protocols/yahoo/yahoo.c
   Function:         yahoo_decode()

      static char *yahoo_decode(const char *text)
         char *converted;
         char *p, *n, *new;

         n = new = g_malloc(strlen (text) + 1);

         for (p = (char *)text; *p; p++, n++) {
            if (*p == '\\') {
               sscanf(p + 1, "%3o\n", (int *)n); <-------- [01]
               p += 3;  <--------------------------------- [02]
               *n = *p;

         *n = '\0';

   The way sscanf is used, it will always write 4 bytes to the 
   allocated buffer. The author did not see the possibility of 
   malformed input like "\1" (the backslash is only a backslash) it
   is possible to write 1-2 zero bytes over the buffer boundaries.
   On linux this is exploitable like any heap off by one into the
   malloc() chunks. The second vulnerability is that no matter how
   many bytes sscanf() consumes it always increases the pointer
   with assumed 4 bytes. This can result in overjumping the
   terminating zero byte and with special prepared memory after
   the string it is possible to overwrite the heap with an 
   arbitrary amount of bytes.

   These bugs are counted as 2 because for most people [02] is not
   obvious. As an example the vendor fixed only [01] first, because
   my description was not good enough. Additionally the misuse of 
   sscanf() caused an incompatibility to all big endian platforms.

   [03 - Yahoo Web Cookie Parser Overflow]

   When parsing the cookies within the HTTP reply header of a
   yahoo web connection a bufferoverflow can happen.

   Affected version: <= 0.75
   File:             gaim/src/protocols/yahoo/yahoo.c
   Function:         yahoo_web_pending()

      void yahoo_web_pending(gpointer data, gint source, ...
         GaimConnection *gc = data;
         GaimAccount *account = gaim_connection_get_account(gc);
         struct yahoo_data *yd = gc->proto_data;
         char buf[1024], buf2[256], *i = buf, *r = buf2;
         int len, o = 0;

         len = read(source, buf, sizeof(buf));
         while ((i = strstr(i, "Set-Cookie: ")) && 0 < 2) {
            i += strlen("Set-Cookie: ");
            for (;*i != ';'; r++, i++) {
               *r = *i;

   Here all cookie data contained in the first 1024 byte of a
   HTTP reply header is copied into a 256 byte buffer without
   a size check. Because source and destination buffer are
   both on the stack and stack layout will most probably
   result in the smaller buffer overflowing into the smaller
   one this bug is believed to be not exploitable with the
   normal stack layout. Note also the typo in the while()
   condition 0 < 2 which should be o < 2

   [04 - Yahoo Login Page Name Parser Overflow]
   [05 - Yahoo Login Page Value Parser Overflow]

   When parsing the Yahoo Login Webpage the YMSG protocol overflows
   stachbuffers if the webpage returns oversized values.

   Affected version: <= 0.75
   File:             gaim/src/protocols/yahoo/yahoo.c
   Function:         yahoo_login_page_hash()

      GHashTable *yahoo_login_page_hash(const char *buf,size_t len)
         GHashTable *hash = g_hash_table_new_full(g_str_hash, g_s...
         const char *c = buf;
         char *d;
         char name[64], value[64];
         while ((c < (buf + len)) && (c = strstr(c, "<input "))) {
            c = strstr(c, "name=\"") + strlen("name=\"");
            for (d = name; *c!='"'; c++, d++) <----------- [04]
               *d = *c;                       <---------/
            *d = '\0';
            d = strstr(c, "value=\"") + strlen("value=\"");
            if (strchr(c, '>') < d)
            for (c = d, d = value; *c!='"'; c++, d++) <--- [05]
               *d = *c;   <-----------------------------/
            *d = '\0';
            g_hash_table_insert(hash, g_strdup(name), g_strdup(value));
         return hash;

   The content of the yahoo login webpage is trusted although it
   could be changed with a simple man-in-the-middle attack on the
   HTTP session. name and value are filled directly from the page
   without any kind of size check. This results in two independent
   ways to overflow the stack.

   [06 - Yahoo Packet Parser Overflow]

   A Yahoo Messenger packet consist of a header and a list of keys
   with their associated values. When reading an oversized keyname
   a standard stackoverflow can be triggered. This is nost probably 
   the most dangerous discovered vulnerability because the nature 
   of the bug makes it very easy to exploit and additonally a TCP 
   man-in-the-middle attack is NOT needed. It is possible to send 
   a malicious YMSG packet to the yahoo server so that it will
   be forwarded like any normal message.

   Affected version: <= 0.75
   File:             gaim/src/protocols/yahoo/yahoo.c
   Function:         yahoo_packet_read()

      static void yahoo_packet_read(struct yahoo_packet *pkt, 
                                              guchar *data, int len)
         int pos = 0;

         while (pos + 1 < len) {
            char key[64], *value = NULL, *esc;
            int accept;
            int x;

            struct yahoo_pair *pair = g_new0(struct yahoo_pair, 1);

            x = 0;
            while (pos + 1 < len) {
               if (data[pos] == 0xc0 && data[pos + 1] == 0x80)
               key[x++] = data[pos++];  <----------------- [06]
            key[x] = 0;
            pos += 2;

   Everytime the YMSG handler receives a complete packet it will
   give it this function to split it into its keys and values.
   Because the keyname is copied without any kind of size check
   into the key variable which is a 64 byte stackbuffer it is very
   easy to exploit.
   NOTE: This bug is also exploitable on systems with non executable
   stacks, or stack overflow detections as long free() exploits are
   possible on that platform,

   [07 - AIM/Oscar DirectIM Integer Overflow]

   Integer Overflow when allocating memory for a directIM packet
   results in heap overflow. directIM is a client 2 client protocol
   and therefore does not require a mim.

   Affected version: <= 0.74
   File:             gaim/src/protocols/oscar/ft.c
   Function:         handlehdr_odc()

      static int handlehdr_odc(aim_session_t *sess, aim_...
         aim_frame_t fr;
         int ret = 0;
         aim_rxcallback_t userfunc;
         fu32_t payloadlength;
         fu16_t flags, encoding;
         char *snptr = NULL;

         fr.conn = conn;

         /* AAA - ugly */
         aim_bstream_setpos(bs, 20);
         payloadlength = aimbs_get32(bs);


         if (payloadlength) {
            char *msg;

            if (!(msg = calloc(1, payloadlength+1))) {  <--- [07]
               return -ENOMEM;

            while (payloadlength - recvd) {
               if (payloadlength - recvd >= 1024)
                  i = aim_recv(conn->fd, &msg[recvd], 1024);

   Within this code snipset payloadlength is taken directly from the
   network and passed to the calloc() function in an unsafe manner.

   A user supplied payloadlength of UINT_MAX (0xffffffff) will cause
   an integer overflow within the second parameter of calloc() and
   therefore only allocate a 0 byte buffer. Please notice that this
   bug is not an integer overflow due to the multiplication within 
   calloc() and therefore it is not catched by the recent security
   patches to calloc() on different platforms. Please also note that
   calloc(1, 0) will not return a NULL pointer but a pointer into
   the legal heap on at least all tested platforms (f.e. linux, bsd)
   On BSD systems this is configureable but it defaults to this
   behaviour. After allocating the 0 byte buffer aim_recv() is called
   repeatedly by the while loop to read and overwrite with up to 4GB
   of data.

   [08 - Quoted Printable Decoder Overflow]
   [09 - Quoted Printable Decoder Out-Of-Bounds Overflow]

   When the MIME decoder decosed a quoted printable encoded string
   for email notification 2 different kind of overflows can be

   Affected version: 0.75 (only)
   File:             gaim/src/util.c
   Function:         quotedp_decode()

      gaim_quotedp_decode(const char *str, char **ret_str, int ...
         char *p, *n, *new;

         n = new = g_malloc(strlen (str) + 1);

         for (p = (char *)str; *p; p++, n++) {
            if (*p == '=') {
               sscanf(p + 1, "%2x\n", (int *)n); <-------- [08]
               p += 2;  <--------------------------------- [09]
            else if (*p == '_')
                    *n = ' ';
                    *n = *p;

        *n = '\0';

   Because these bugs are very similar to [01] and [02] only the
   vulnerable code snipset is shown here. For an explanation read
   the yahoo_decode() vulnerability description.

   [10 - URL Parser Function Overflow]

   At various placed this utility function is used to split an
   url into its parts. Because temporary fixed size stackbuffers
   are used in an unsafe way a standard stackoverflow can be

   Affected version: <= 0.75
   File:             gaim/src/util.c
   Function:         gaim_url_parse()

      gaim_url_parse(const char *url, char **ret_host,
                      int *ret_port, char **ret_path)
         char scan_info[255];
         char port_str[5];
         int f;
         const char *turl;
         char host[256], path[256];
         int port = 0;
         /* hyphen at end includes it in control set */
         static char addr_ctrl[] = "A-Za-z0-9.-";
         static char port_ctrl[] = "0-9";
         static char page_ctrl[] = "A-Za-z0-9.~_/:*!@&%%?=+^-";

         g_snprintf(scan_info, sizeof(scan_info),
                       "%%[%s]:%%[%s]/%%[%s]", addr_ctrl, 
                       port_ctrl, page_ct

         f = sscanf(url, scan_info, host, port_str, path); <-- [10]

   Here sscanf() is again used in an unsafe manner. When this
   function is called with an oversized url, which can be triggered
   from several protocol handlers in different ways sscanf() will
   overwrite the stackbuffers host and path. The problem at this
   point is, that it is only possible to overwrite the buffers with
   a limited characterset which makes exploitation tricky.

   [11 - Extract Info Field Function Overflow]

   At various places this utility function is called to copy the
   data between 2 tokens into a fixed size stackbuffer without a
   size check.

   Affected version: <= 0.74
   File:             gaim/src/util.c
   Function:         gaim_markup_extract_info_field()

      const char *p, *q;
      char buf[1024];

      p = strstr(str, start_token);
      p += strlen(start_token) + skip;
      q = strstr(p, end_token);

      if (q != NULL && (!no_value_token ||
               (no_value_token && strncmp(p, no_value

         if (is_link)
            strcat(dest_buffer, "<br><a href=\"");
            memcpy(buf, p, q - p); <---------------------- [11]
            buf[q - p] = '\0';

   Here it is obvious that if q - p is bigger than 1024 bytes
   memcpy() will overwrite the stack which will result in a
   standard stack overflow. At the moment this routine is
   called from within the get_user_info functions of the MSN
   and YMSG protocol handlers.

   [12 - HTTP Proxy Connect Overflow]

   When Gaim is setup to use a HTTP proxy for connecting to the
   server a malicious HTTP proxy can exploit it.

   Affected version: <= 0.75
   File:             gaim/src/proxy.c
   Function:         http_canread()

      static void
      http_canread(gpointer data, gint source, GaimInputCondit...
         int nlc = 0;
         int pos = 0;
         int minor, major, status, error=0;
         struct PHB *phb = data;
         char inputline[8192], *p;


         while ((nlc != 2) && 
                (read(source, &inputline[pos++], 1) == 1)) {
            if (inputline[pos - 1] == '\n')
            else if (inputline[pos - 1] != '\r')
                    nlc = 0;
        inputline[pos] = '\0';

   Here the author never thought about the possibility that a
   proxy server could be malicious. The inputline is read into
   the 8192 byte buffer byte after byte until a double \r\n is
   found. Because there is no size check at all the buffer will
   overflow as soon the proxy sends more than 8192 bytes in a
   line. This bug is exploitable even if stack overwrite
   protections are in place because it is possible to overwrite
   the pointer phb which points to a struct that contains a
   callback function which is later called in the function.
   By overwriting the pointer and so controlling the callback
   function pointer it is possible to gain control over the
   instruction pointer before the function is left.

Proof of Concept:

   e-matters is not going to release exploit for any of the these 
   vulnerability to the public. 

CVE Information:

   The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project ( 
   has assigned the following names to these issues. 

   CAN-2004-0005: version 0.75 only, buffer overflows:

      [01 - Yahoo Octal-Encoding Decoder Overflow]
      [02 - Yahoo Octal-Encoding Decoder Out-Of-Bounds Overflow]
      [08 - Quoted Printable Decoder Overflow]
      [09 - Quoted Printable Decoder Out-Of-Bounds Overflow]

   CAN-2004-0006: 0.75 and earlier, buffer overflows:

      [03 - Yahoo Web Cookie Parser Overflow]
      [04 - Yahoo Login Page Name Parser Overflow]
      [05 - Yahoo Login Page Value Parser Overflow]
      [06 - Yahoo Packet Parser Overflow]
      [10 - URL Parser Function Overflow]
      [12 - HTTP Proxy Connect Overflow]

   CAN-2004-0007: 0.74 and earlier, buffer overflows:

      [11 - Extract Info Field Function Overflow]

   CAN-2004-0008: 0.74 and earlier, integer overflow:

      [07 - AIM/Oscar DirectIM Integer Overflow]

Disclosure Timeline:

   04. January 2004 - The Oscar filetransfer bug was sent to the 
                      Gaim vendor by email. Within an hour the bug
                      was fixed within the CVS
   10. January 2004 - Gaim vendor released version 0.75 because of
                      a Yahoo protocol change problem(?)
                      Some freetime allowed deeper analysis of the
                      new version. This revealed more bugs: 1 fixed
                      in 0.75, some new in 0.75 and some old which 
                      are still in 0.75. All these bugs were again
                      mailed to the vendor
   15. January 2004 - Vendor was contacted with a patch because
                      they had not fixed the bugs yet. Our Patch 
                      was applied in the same night
   16. January 2004 - Vendor-sec was contacted to coordinate the 
                      disclosure process. Vendor was asked by email
                      when 0.76 is about to come out and that this
                      should be as soon as possible because the
                      bugfixes were visible in their CVS with
                      explicit commit messaged. No response to this
                      mail until today
   23. January 2004 - Vendor was notified about public disclosure
                      at the 26th.
   25. January 2004 - Notification by the vendor that gaim 0.76 
                      releasedate is not planned yet.
   26. January 2004 - Public Disclosure


   Because there is no official new version out yet, you can download
   a diff against version 0.75 from

   This patch was done by the FreeBSD security team. It is different
   from the official patches in the Gaim CVS. We suggest that you
   upgrade as soon as possible, because the explicit commit message
   into the official CVS tree seems to have leaked. At least it was
   reported to us that a link to the message on the sourceforge 
   WebCVS was pasted into an IRC channel.


   pub  1024D/75E7AAD6 2002-02-26 e-matters GmbH - Securityteam
   Key fingerprint = 43DD 843C FAB9 832A E5AB  CAEB 81F2 8110 75E7 AAD6

Copyright 2004 Stefan Esser. All rights reserved.


 Stefan Esser                              
 e-matters Security               

 GPG-Key                gpg --keyserver --recv-key 0xCF6CAE69 
 Key fingerprint       B418 B290 ACC0 C8E5 8292  8B72 D6B0 7704 CF6C AE69
 Did I help you? Consider a gift:  
Comment 1 Don Seiler (RETIRED) gentoo-dev 2004-01-26 10:12:02 UTC
Thanks for the heads up.  plasmaroo found the diff file for the fix.  Now I just have to manually apply it to play nice with the other patches.
Comment 2 Tim Yamin (RETIRED) gentoo-dev 2004-01-26 11:54:07 UTC
OK; Patched and bumped in CVS. Writing GLSA.
Comment 3 Matthias 2004-01-27 11:31:48 UTC
gaim-0.75-r7 doesn't seem to fix the overflows no 1 and 2. The patch at at least changes the corresponding code
Comment 4 Tim Yamin (RETIRED) gentoo-dev 2004-01-27 13:40:03 UTC
GLSA 200401-04 sent out. It does fix #1 and #2. Look at your tree, or read the GLSA and you'll see that those issues were fixed in -r6.