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Exim verify=header_syntax buffer overflow


1.  Gentoo Linux Security Advisory

Version Information

Advisory Reference GLSA 200405-07 / Exim
Release Date May 14, 2004
Latest Revision May 14, 2004: 01
Impact high
Exploitable remote
Package Vulnerable versions Unaffected versions Architecture(s)
mail-mta/exim <= 4.33 >= 4.33-r1 All supported architectures

Related bugreports: #50217


When the verify=header_syntax option is set, there is a buffer overflow in Exim that allows remote execution of arbitrary code.

2.  Impact Information


Exim is an highly configurable message transfer agent (MTA) developed at the University of Cambridge.


When the option "verify = header_syntax" is used in an ACL in the configuration file, Exim is vulnerable to a buffer overflow attack that can be triggered remotely by sending malicious headers in an email message. Note that this option is not enabled in Exim's default configuration file.


This vulnerability can be exploited to trigger a denial of service attack and potentially execute arbitrary code with the rights of the user used by the Exim daemon (by default this is the "mail" user in Gentoo Linux).

3.  Resolution Information


Make sure the verify=header_syntax option is not used in your exim.conf file.


All users of Exim should upgrade to the latest stable version:

Code Listing 3.1: Resolution

# emerge sync
# emerge -pv ">=mail-mta/exim-4.33-r1"
# emerge ">=mail-mta/exim-4.33-r1"

4.  References


Page updated May 14, 2004

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