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GNU Emacs, XEmacs: Multiple vulnerabilities


1.  Gentoo Linux Security Advisory

Version Information

Advisory Reference GLSA 200902-06 / emacs edit-utils
Release Date February 23, 2009
Latest Revision February 23, 2009: 01
Impact normal
Exploitable remote
Package Vulnerable versions Unaffected versions Architecture(s)
app-editors/emacs < 22.2-r3 >= 22.2-r3, revision >= 21.4-r17, < 19 All supported architectures
app-xemacs/edit-utils < 2.39 >= 2.39 All supported architectures

Related bugreports: #221197, #236498


Two vulnerabilities were found in GNU Emacs, possibly leading to user-assisted execution of arbitrary code. One also affects edit-utils in XEmacs.

2.  Impact Information


GNU Emacs and XEmacs are highly extensible and customizable text editors. edit-utils are miscellaneous extensions to XEmacs.


Morten Welinder reports about GNU Emacs and edit-utils in XEmacs: By shipping a .flc accompanying a source file (.c for example) and setting font-lock-support-mode to fast-lock-mode in the source file through local variables, any Lisp code in the .flc file is executed without warning (CVE-2008-2142).

Romain Francoise reported a security risk in a feature of GNU Emacs related to interacting with Python. The vulnerability arises because Python, by default, prepends the current directory to the module search path, allowing for arbitrary code execution when launched from a specially crafted directory (CVE-2008-3949).


Remote attackers could entice a user to open a specially crafted file in GNU Emacs, possibly leading to the execution of arbitrary Emacs Lisp code or arbitrary Python code with the privileges of the user running GNU Emacs or XEmacs.

3.  Resolution Information


There is no known workaround at this time.


All GNU Emacs users should upgrade to the latest version:

Code Listing 3.1: Resolution

# emerge --sync
# emerge --ask --oneshot --verbose ">=app-editors/emacs-22.2-r3"

All edit-utils users should upgrade to the latest version:

Code Listing 3.2: Resolution

# emerge --sync
# emerge --ask --oneshot --verbose ">=app-xemacs/edit-utils-2.39"

4.  References


Page updated February 23, 2009

Summary: This is a Gentoo Linux Security Advisory

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