[Dovecot-news] Security hole #2: Off-by-one buffer overflow with mmap_disable=yes

Timo Sirainen tss at iki.fi
Sun Nov 19 00:17:36 UTC 2006

Version: 1.0test53 .. 1.0.rc14 (ie. all 1.0alpha, 1.0beta and 1.0rc
versions so far).

0.99.x versions are safe (they don't even have mmap_disable setting).

Problem: When mmap_disable=yes setting is used, dovecot.index.cache file
is read to memory using "file cache" code. It contains a "mapped pages"
bitmask buffer. In some conditions when updating the buffer it allocates
one byte too little.

Exploitability: I think it's going to be pretty difficult to cause
anything else than a crash, but I wouldn't say impossible. Only logged
in IMAP/POP3 users can exploit this.

In theory you might be able to exploit this for other users as well by
sending them a lot of specially crafted emails, but this requires
knowing what dovecot.index.cache file contains. Normally its contents
can't be predicted, although perhaps with POP3 users it gets empty often
enough that the exploit could be tried. Then again, the exploit requires
having at least 4MB cache file, which won't happen with POP3 users
before the mailbox has about 170k mails (if I counted right).

With IMAP the cache file is used more, so it's easier to fill the 4MB
with for example a lot of To-headers.

Workaround: Use INDEX=MEMORY so the cache files aren't used at all.

Fix: 1.0.rc15 fixes this. You can also use this patch:

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