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Security Update: CSSA-2001-005.0 password sniffing in kdesu
From: Caldera Support Info <sup-info () LOCUTUS4 CALDERASYSTEMS COM>
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2001 10:39:36 -0700
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Caldera Systems, Inc. Security Advisory
Subject: password sniffing in kdesu
Advisory number: CSSA-2001-005.0
Issue date: 2001 January, 23
1. Problem Description
KDE2 comes with a program called kdesu that is used to run certain
administration commands under the account of the super user (for
instance, every time the KDE control center asks you for the root
password, you actually talk to kdesu).
There is a bug in kdesu that allows any user on the system to steal
the passwords you enter at the kdesu prompt.
2. Vulnerable Versions
OpenLinux eDesktop 2.4 All packages previous to
kdebase2-2.0-6 and kdelibs2-2.0-6
Note that you are not vulnerable
if you didn't install the KDE2
There is no real workaround for this bug, and the following is _not_
a permanent solution to the problem; this is merely a temporary
solution until you have installed the update.
As the super user, create directories in /tmp that have the same
name as the socket used by kdesu:
where UID ranges over all user IDs of users on your system. Note
that the trailing 0 is the display number, so if you run several
X servers on your machine, you need to repeat the process for
display 1, 2, etc.
In order to protect just yourself, the following will do the trick:
mkdir /tmp/kdesud_`id -u`_0
The proper solution is to upgrade to the fixed packages.
4. OpenLinux eDesktop 2.4
5.1 Location of Fixed Packages
The upgrade packages can be found on Caldera's FTP site at:
The corresponding source code package can be found at:
5.3 Installing Fixed Packages
Upgrade the affected packages with the following commands:
rpm -Fhv kde*2.0-6.i386.rpm
This and other Caldera security resources are located at:
This security fix closes Caldera's internal Problem Report 8718.
Caldera Systems, Inc. is not responsible for the misuse of any of the
information we provide on this website and/or through our security
advisories. Our advisories are a service to our customers intended to
promote secure installation and use of Caldera OpenLinux.
Caldera Systems, Inc. wishes to thank Sebastian Krahmer (SuSE) and
Waldo Bastian (KDE) for their assistance.
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- Security Update: CSSA-2001-005.0 password sniffing in kdesu Caldera Support Info (Jan 24)