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Emacs, XEmacs: Format string vulnerabilities in movemail


1.  Gentoo Linux Security Advisory

Version Information

Advisory Reference GLSA 200502-20 / Emacs
Release Date February 15, 2005
Latest Revision July 23, 2006: 02
Impact normal
Exploitable remote
Package Vulnerable versions Unaffected versions Architecture(s)
app-editors/emacs < 21.4 >= 21.4, < 19 All supported architectures
app-editors/xemacs < 21.4.15-r3 >= 21.4.15-r3 All supported architectures

Related bugreports: #79686


The movemail utility shipped with Emacs and XEmacs contains several format string vulnerabilities, potentially leading to the execution of arbitrary code.

2.  Impact Information


GNU Emacs and XEmacs are highly extensible and customizable text editors. movemail is an Emacs utility that can fetch mail on remote mail servers.


Max Vozeler discovered that the movemail utility contains several format string errors.


An attacker could set up a malicious POP server and entice a user to connect to it using movemail, resulting in the execution of arbitrary code with the rights of the victim user.

3.  Resolution Information


There is no known workaround at this time.


All Emacs users should upgrade to the latest version:

Code Listing 3.1: Resolution

# emerge --sync
# emerge --ask --oneshot --verbose ">=app-editors/emacs-21.4"

All XEmacs users should upgrade to the latest version:

Code Listing 3.2: Resolution

# emerge --sync
# emerge --ask --oneshot --verbose ">=app-editors/xemacs-21.4.15-r3"

4.  References


Page updated February 15, 2005

Summary: This is a Gentoo Linux Security Advisory

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