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Re: DJB's students release 44 *nix software vulnerability advisories
From: Dave Holland <dh3 () sanger ac uk>
Date: Tue, 21 Dec 2004 20:50:36 +0000

On Mon, Dec 20, 2004 at 05:14:22PM -0600, Jonathan T Rockway wrote:
Two points.

Me too, two.

Regarding local versus remote, look at it this way:  You have a 100%
secure system.

There's no such thing.

Then you install NASM.  Now a user FROM THE NETWORK can
send you some tainted assembly code for you to assemble and he can
compromise your account.

As has already been pointed out, a user from the network could send me a
shell script containing "rm -rf ~". I'd be mad not to inspect a random
unsolicited shell script before I ran it. I'd be mad not to inspect a
similarly unsolicited NASM file before I assembled it; ditto input to
csv2xml, abcm2ps, or many of the other "vulnerable" programs.

This is not to belittle the effort that went into finding these bugs.
Just to say that labelling them all as "remotely exploitable" is rather
overstating the case.

** Dave Holland ** Systems Support -- Special Projects Team **
** 01223 494965 ** Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK **

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