Public Vulnerability Reports

IBM AIX dig dns_name_fromtext Integer Underflow Vulnerability



dig is a utility that is commonly used for DNS diagnostics. Under AIX 5.2, the dig program is installed by default and is set-uid root. More information can be found at the URL shown.


Local exploitation of an integer underflow vulnerability in the dig program of IBM Corp.'s AIX operating system allows attackers to execute arbitrary code with root privileges.

The problem specifically exists within dns_name_fromtext function within the libdns.a library. This function is called when processing the '-y' command line parameter to the dig program. By supplying a specially crafted TSIG key parameter, an attacker is able to cause an integer underflow, resulting in potentially exploitable heap corruption.


Exploitation allows an attacker to execute arbitrary code with root privileges. Local access is required to execute the dig program.

It should be noted that this particular issue is documented within the bind release notes as bug #1211 and #1350. However, this particular vulnerability is specific to AIX 5.2 since it installs the dig program set-uid root.


iDefense has confirmed the existence of this vulnerability within AIX version 5.2. Previous versions are suspected to be vulnerable. AIX 5.3 is not vulnerable since the dig command is no longer installed set-uid root.


Removing the set-uid bit from the dig program will prevent exploitation.


IBM Corp. has addressed this vulnerability by releasing interim fixes. More information can be found via the Bulletins tab of IBM's Subscription Service for UNIX and Linux servers. You can reach this service by clicking the URL shown below.


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the name CVE-2007-4622 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (, which standardizes names for security problems.


08/30/2007 Initial vendor notification
09/14/2007 Initial vendor response
10/30/2007 Coordinated public disclosure


The discoverer of this vulnerability wishes to remain anonymous.

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Copyright © 2007 Verisign, Inc.

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