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aspell: Buffer overflow in word-list-compress


1.  Gentoo Linux Security Advisory

Version Information

Advisory Reference GLSA 200406-14 / aspell
Release Date June 17, 2004
Latest Revision May 22, 2006: 03
Impact normal
Exploitable local
Package Vulnerable versions Unaffected versions Architecture(s)
app-text/aspell <= 0.50.5-r3 >= 0.50.5-r4 All supported architectures

Related bugreports: #53389


A bug in the aspell utility word-list-compress can allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code.

2.  Impact Information


aspell is a popular spell-checker. Dictionaries are available for many languages.


aspell includes a utility for handling wordlists called word-list-compress. This utility fails to do proper bounds checking when processing words longer than 256 bytes.


If an attacker could entice a user to handle a wordlist containing very long word lengths it could result in the execution of arbitrary code with the permissions of the user running the program.

3.  Resolution Information


There is no known workaround at this time. All users are encouraged to upgrade to the latest available version.


All users should upgrade to the latest available version of aspell.

Code Listing 3.1: Resolution

# emerge sync

# emerge -pv ">=app-text/aspell-0.50.5-r4"
# emerge ">=app-text/aspell-0.50.5-r4"

4.  References


Page updated June 17, 2004

Summary: This is a Gentoo Linux Security Advisory

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