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CVE-2006-5815: remote code execution in ProFTPD
Nov 27 2006 04:37PM
John Morrissey (jwm proftpd org)
On 6 November 2006, Evgeny Legerov <admin (at) gleg (dot) net [email concealed]> posted to BUGTRAQ,
announcing his commercial VulnDisco Pack for Metasploit 2.7. One of the
included exploits, vd_proftpd.pm, takes advantage of an off-by-one string
manipulation flaw in ProFTPD's sreplace() function to allow a remote
attacker to execute arbitrary code.
This vulnerabillity, identified as CVE-2006-5815, is believed to affect
all versions of ProFTPD up to and including 1.3.0, but exploitability has
only been demonstrated with version 1.3.0rc3. The demonstrated exploit
relies on write access via FTP for exploitability, but other attack vectors
may make exploitation of a read-only FTP server possible.
This vulnerability has been patched in the latest release of ProFTPD,
1.3.0a, which is available from the ProFTPD web site,
http://www.proftpd.org/. Mitigation techniques have also been developed for
use until a patched version can be installed.
10 November - security (at) proftpd (dot) org [email concealed] receives a message from a ProFTPD
user inquiring about a fix for the vulnerability announced
in GLEG's product.
10 November - ProFTPD core team attempts contact with admin (at) gleg (dot) net. [email concealed]
15 November - Second contact attempt with admin (at) gleg (dot) net. [email concealed]
16 November - Contact established, vulnerability details transferred.
20 November - Disclosure date coordinated.
27 November - Coordinated disclosure.
Given the Thanksgiving holiday, the ProFTPD core team chose to perform a
coordinated disclosure the following Monday, to allow affected users and
vendors ample opportunity to perform patching operations.
Unfortunately, erroneous information on the location and nature of this flaw
has disseminated from unofficial sources. Some vendors have already released
patches that attempt to address CVE-2006-5815 based on reports that a bug in
ProFTPD's CommandBufferSize processing is its cause. To the best of the core
team's knowledge, the CommandBufferSize bug in ProFTPD is not exploitable.
Vendors are welcomed and encouraged to contact security (at) proftpd (dot) org [email concealed] to
exchange information on announced vulnerabilities, and we endeavor to work
to the best of our abilities with those contacting the core team. Given that
we had no information about this vulnerability until several days after it
was published and a CVE issued, we attempted to address it to the best of
our abilities. Constructive criticism is welcome on how to better handle
similar situations should they arise in the future.
Some users may not be able to immediately patch their ProFTPD installations.
Until they are able to install a patched version, the following steps can
mitigate the impact of this flaw:
- Remove DisplayConnect, DisplayLogin, DisplayChdir, DisplayFirstChdir,
DisplayFileTransfer, AccessDenyMsg, and WrapDenyMsg directives from your
- Avoid using variable substitutions/magic cookies/%-style escapes in
/etc/shutmsg, when specifying a warning message with the ftpshut(8)
command, or in RewriteRule directives.
- Add a DenyFilter directive to your configuration to limit FTP command
arguments to only characters that you require. For example: 'DenyFilter
[^A-Za-z0-9_.-]' limits FTP command arguments (such as filenames) to
alphanumeric characters, the underscore, period, and dash.
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