Exim is a message transfer agent developed for use on Unix systems. More
information is available at:
Local exploitation of a buffer overflow vulnerability in Exim 4.41 may
allow execution of arbitrary commands with elevated privileges.
The problem specifically exists in the host_aton function. The function
fails to check the number of elements it stores in a fixed size array.
The elements come from a user-controlled string and are passed into the
program from a command line option.
Exploitation of this vulnerability will give an attacker access to the
mailer uid. The exim mailer is setuid root, but drops privileges before
the vulnerable code is reached. Having the mailer uid may allow access
to sensitive information in e-mail messages or possibly further
Exim versions 4.40 and 4.41 have been confirmed vulnerable. The source
code for version 4.42 suggests that it is also vulnerable. It is
suspected that previous versions are vulnerable.
iDEFENSE is currently unaware of any effective workarounds for this
The vulnerability has been fixed in Exim release 4.44.
The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the
names CAN-2005-0021 to these issues. This is a candidate for inclusion
in the CVE list (http://cve.mitre.org), which standardizes names for
12/23/2004 Initial vendor notification
12/29/2004 Initial vendor response
01/07/2005 Public disclosure
The discoverer of this vulnerability wishes to remain anonymous.
Get paid for vulnerability research
Copyright © 2004 Verisign, Inc.
Permission is granted for the redistribution of this alert
electronically. It may not be edited in any way without the express
written consent of iDEFENSE. If you wish to reprint the whole or any
part of this alert in any other medium other than electronically, please
email firstname.lastname@example.org for permission.
Disclaimer: The information in the advisory is believed to be accurate
at the time of publishing based on currently available information. Use
of the information constitutes acceptance for use in an AS IS condition.
There are no warranties with regard to this information. Neither the
author nor the publisher accepts any liability for any direct, indirect,
or consequential loss or damage arising from use of, or reliance on,