December 2010 Archives

Tue, 21 Dec 2010 16:35:58 +0000

exim testers

I would appreciate if you could test the proposed fixes for the exim4 privilege escalation bug CVE-2010-4345. Preliminary binary and source packages for squeeze/sid and lenny are available here:
deb sid exim4+cve
deb-src sid exim4+cve
deb lenny exim4+cve
deb-src lenny exim4+cve

You can also browse the changes in SVN (lenny and sid) or build your own binaries.


  • 67_unnecessaryCopt.dpatch: Do not use exim's -C option in utility scripts. This would not work with ALT_CONFIG_PREFIX.
  • Pull changes related to fixing CVE-2010-4345 from exim 4.73 rc1. Closes: #606527
    • 1_cfile_norw_eximuid: Don't allow a configure file which is writeable by the Exim user or group.
    • 2_permcheck_configurefile: Check configure file permissions even for non-default files if still privileged.
    • 3_remove_ALT_CONFIG_ROOT_ONLY: Remove ALT_CONFIG_ROOT_ONLY build option, effectively making it always true.
    • 4_FD_CLOEXEC: Set FD_CLOEXEC on SMTP sockets after forking in the daemon, to ensure that rogue child processes cannot use them.
    • 6_nonroot_system_filter_user: If the system filter needs to be run as root, let that be explicitly configured. The default is now the Exim run-time user.
    • 7_filter_D_option: Add a (compiletime) whitelist of acceptable values for the -D option.
    • 8_updatedocumentation: Update documentation to reflect the changes.
  • 4_FD_CLOEXEC replaces 80_fdleak.dpatch, drop the latter.
  • Build with WHITELIST_D_MACROS=OUTGOING. Post patch 7_filter_D_option exim will not regain root privileges (usually necessary for local delivery) if the -D option was used. Macro identifiers listed in WHITELIST_D_MACROS are exempted from this restriction. mailscanner (4.79.11-2.2) uses -DOUTGOING.
  • Build with TRUSTED_CONFIG_LIST=/etc/exim4/trusted_configs. Post patch 3_remove_ALT_CONFIG_ROOT_ONLY exim will not re-gain root privileges (usually necessary for local delivery) if the -C option was used. This makes it impossible to start a fully functional damon with an alternate configuration file. /etc/exim4/trusted_configs (can) contain a list of filenames (one per line, full path given) to which this restriction does not apply.

NEWS entry:

Exim versions up to and including 4.72 are vulnerable to CVE-2010-4345. This is a privilege escalation issue that allows the exim user to gain root privileges by specifying an alternate configuration file using the -C option. The macro override facility (-D) might also be misused for this purpose.

In reaction to this security vulnerability upstream has made a number of user visible changes. This package includes these changes.

If exim is invoked with the -C or -D option the daemon will not regain root privileges though re-execution. This is usually necessary for local delivery, though. Therefore it is generally not possible anymore to run an exim daemon with -D or -C options.

However this version of exim has been built with TRUSTED_CONFIG_LIST=/etc/exim4/trusted_configs. TRUSTED_CONFIG_LIST defines a list of configuration files which are trusted; if a config file is owned by root and matches a pathname in the list, then it may be invoked by the Exim build-time user without Exim relinquishing root privileges.

As a hotfix to not break existing installations of mailscanner we have also set WHITELIST_D_MACROS=OUTGOING. i.e. it is still possible to start exim with -DOUTGOING while being able to do local deliveries.

If you previously were using -D switches you will need to change your setup to use a separate configuration file. The ".include" mechanism makes this easy.

The system filter is run as exim_user instead of root by default. If your setup requies root privileges when running the system filter you will need to set the system_filter_user exim main configuration option.

Update 2011-01-02: The packages for sid (4.72-3) have already been uploaded, upstream's fix 4.73rc1 is available in experimental.

Update 2011-01-06: 4.72-3 has propagated to testing. The lenny backport has also been updated.

Posted by Andreas Metzler | Permanent link | File under: debian