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UW-IMAP Netmailbox Name Parsing Buffer Overflow Vulnerability

iDEFENSE Security Advisory 10.04.05
October 4, 2005


UW-IMAP is a popular free IMAP service for Linux and UNIX systems and 
is distributed with various Linux distributions. More information can 
be found at the vendor website:


Remote exploitation of a buffer overflow vulnerability in the University
of Washington's IMAP Server (UW-IMAP) allows attackers to execute 
arbitrary code.

The vulnerability specifically exists due to insufficient bounds
checking on user-supplied values. The mail_valid_net_parse_work() 
function in src/c-client/mail.c is responsible for obtaining and 
validating the specified mailbox name from user-supplied data. An error 
in the parsing of supplied mailbox names will continue to copy memory 
after a " character has been parsed until another " character is found 
as shown here:

long mail_valid_net_parse_work (char *name,NETMBX *mb,char *service)
  int i,j;
#define MAILTMPLEN 1024        /* size of a temporary buffer */
  char c,*s,*t,*v,tmp[MAILTMPLEN],arg[MAILTMPLEN];
  if (t - v) {            /* any switches or port specification? */
1]  strncpy (t = tmp,v,j);    /* copy it */
    tmp[j] = '

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