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poppassd_pam: Unauthorized password changing


1.  Gentoo Linux Security Advisory

Version Information

Advisory Reference GLSA 200501-22 / poppassd_pam
Release Date January 11, 2005
Latest Revision January 11, 2005: 01
Impact high
Exploitable remote
Package Vulnerable versions Unaffected versions Architecture(s)
net-mail/poppassd_ceti <= 1.0 >= 1.8.4 All supported architectures
net-mail/poppassd_pam <= 1.0 All supported architectures

Related bugreports: #75820


poppassd_pam allows anyone to change any user's password without authenticating the user first.

2.  Impact Information


poppassd_pam is a PAM-enabled server for changing system passwords that can be used to change POP server passwords.


Gentoo Linux developer Marcus Hanwell discovered that poppassd_pam did not check that the old password was valid before changing passwords. Our investigation revealed that poppassd_pam did not call pam_authenticate before calling pam_chauthtok.


A remote attacker could change the system password of any user, including root. This leads to a complete compromise of the POP accounts, and may also lead to a complete root compromise of the affected server, if it also provides shell access authenticated using system passwords.

3.  Resolution Information


There is no known workaround at this time.


All poppassd_pam users should migrate to the new package called poppassd_ceti:

Code Listing 3.1: Resolution

# emerge --sync
# emerge --ask --oneshot --verbose ">=net-mail/poppassd_ceti-1.8.4"

Note: Portage will automatically replace the poppassd_pam package by the poppassd_ceti package.

4.  References


Page updated January 11, 2005

Summary: This is a Gentoo Linux Security Advisory

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