MIT Kerberos 5: Multiple vulnerabilities — GLSA 200803-31

Multiple vulnerabilities have been found in MIT Kerberos 5, which could allow a remote unauthenticated user to execute arbitrary code with root privileges.

Affected Packages

app-crypt/mit-krb5 on all architectures
Affected versions < 1.6.3-r1
Unaffected versions >= 1.6.3-r1


MIT Kerberos 5 is a suite of applications that implement the Kerberos network protocol. kadmind is the MIT Kerberos 5 administration daemon, KDC is the Key Distribution Center.


  • Two vulnerabilities were found in the Kerberos 4 support in KDC: A global variable is not set for some incoming message types, leading to a NULL pointer dereference or a double free() (CVE-2008-0062) and unused portions of a buffer are not properly cleared when generating an error message, which results in stack content being contained in a reply (CVE-2008-0063).
  • Jeff Altman (Secure Endpoints) discovered a buffer overflow in the RPC library server code, used in the kadmin server, caused when too many file descriptors are opened (CVE-2008-0947).
  • Venustech AD-LAB discovered multiple vulnerabilities in the GSSAPI library: usage of a freed variable in the gss_indicate_mechs() function (CVE-2007-5901) and a double free() vulnerability in the gss_krb5int_make_seal_token_v3() function (CVE-2007-5971).


The first two vulnerabilities can be exploited by a remote unauthenticated attacker to execute arbitrary code on the host running krb5kdc, compromise the Kerberos key database or cause a Denial of Service. These bugs can only be triggered when Kerberos 4 support is enabled.

The RPC related vulnerability can be exploited by a remote unauthenticated attacker to crash kadmind, and theoretically execute arbitrary code with root privileges or cause database corruption. This bug can only be triggered in configurations that allow large numbers of open file descriptors in a process.

The GSSAPI vulnerabilities could be exploited by a remote attacker to cause Denial of Service conditions or possibly execute arbitrary code.


Kerberos 4 support can be disabled via disabling the "krb4" USE flag and recompiling the ebuild, or setting "v4_mode=none" in the [kdcdefaults] section of /etc/krb5/kdc.conf. This will only work around the KDC related vulnerabilities.


All MIT Kerberos 5 users should upgrade to the latest version:

 # emerge --sync
 # emerge --ask --oneshot --verbose ">=app-crypt/mit-krb5-1.6.3-r1"


Release Date
March 24, 2008

Latest Revision
March 24, 2008: 01



Bugzilla entries