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AIX dtprintinfo buffer overflow Vulnerability



dtprintinfo included with IBM AIX is a program for opening the CDE Print Manager window. This program is normally installed as SUID root.


Exploitation of a buffer overflow in the Common Desktop Environment (CDE) dtprintinfo application allows an attacker to gain root privileges.

The buffer overflow occurs because of insufficient bounds checking in the Volume search field found under the Help menu that appears when dtprintinfo executes. An attacker can supply a string of arbitrary length into the "Entries with" field.

Passing random characters through an overflowed buffer typically results in a crash. Passing structured characters through an overflowed buffer may result in the execution of the code on the operating system.


An attacker may code the string to either crash the application and underlying OS or execute code on the underlying OS with root privileges.

iDEFENSE has proof of concept exploit code demonstrating the impact of this vulnerability.


IMB Corp.'s AIX 4.3, 4.3.1, 4.3.2 and 4.3.3 are affected.


IBM has released patch APAR IY21539 to address this issue.


A Mitre Corp. Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) number CAN-2001-0551 has been assigned to this issue.


01/05/2003   Exploit acquired by iDEFENSE
01/10/2003   Initial vendor notification
01/21/2003   iDEFENSE Clients notified
01/29/2003  Public Disclosure


Euan Briggs is credited with this discovery.

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Copyright © 2004 Verisign, Inc.

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