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getmail: Filesystem overwrite vulnerability


1.  Gentoo Linux Security Advisory

Version Information

Advisory Reference GLSA 200409-32 / getmail
Release Date September 23, 2004
Latest Revision May 22, 2006: 02
Impact high
Exploitable local
Package Vulnerable versions Unaffected versions Architecture(s)
net-mail/getmail < 4.2.0 >= 4.2.0 All supported architectures

Related bugreports: #64643


getmail contains a vulnerability that could potentially allow any local user to create or overwrite files in any directory on the system. This flaw can be escalated further and possibly lead to a complete system compromise.

2.  Impact Information


getmail is a reliable fetchmail replacement that supports Maildir, Mboxrd and external MDA delivery.


David Watson discovered a vulnerability in getmail when it is configured to run as root and deliver mail to the maildirs/mbox files of untrusted local users. A malicious local user can then exploit a race condition, or a similar symlink attack, and potentially cause getmail to create or overwrite files in any directory on the system.


An untrusted local user could potentially create or overwrite files in any directory on the system. This vulnerability may also be exploited to have arbitrary commands executed as root.

3.  Resolution Information


Do not run getmail as a privileged user; or, in version 4, use an external MDA with explicitly configured user and group privileges.


All getmail users should upgrade to the latest version:

Code Listing 3.1: Resolution

# emerge sync

# emerge -pv ">=net-mail/getmail-4.2.0"
# emerge ">=net-mail/getmail-4.2.0"

4.  References


Page updated September 23, 2004

Summary: This is a Gentoo Linux Security Advisory

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