[ISN] Linux struck by major security hole

From: InfoSec News (isn@private)
Date: Tue Jan 24 2006 - 22:35:00 PST


By Matthew Broersma
23 January 2006

Linux vendors have warned of a serious security flaw affecting the KDE
desktop environment, one of the two main graphical user interfaces
used on Linux and Unix operating systems.

The bug, the worst to hit KDE in nearly a year, affects kjs, a
Javascript interpreter used by the Konqueror Web browser and other
parts of KDE, KDE developers said in an advisory. An incorrect bounds
check in the interpreter allows a heap based buffer overflow when
decoding maliciously crafted URI sequences encoded with UTF-8.

An attacker could supply Javascript code that will crash programs
using kjs, such as Konqueror, and execute malicious code, potentially
gaining complete control of the system, developers said. Versions
3.2.0 to 3.5.0 of kjs are affected.

Security vendor Secunia, which maintains a vulnerabilities database,
said the flaw was "highly critical".

KDE released a source code patch at the end of last week, and Linux
vendors have followed on with binary patches. Fixes are available
directly from Ubuntu, Red Hat, Debian, Suse, Red Hat's Fedora project,
Gentoo and others.

Last April, KDE patched a serious imaging-related flaw in the handling
of PCX images, which affected Konqueror and other KDE imaging
applications. A month later, however, the project had to release a
second patch for the same problem, saying that the original patch
still allowed some attacks.

KDE is one of the two main desktop environments for Linux and Unix,
along with Gnome.

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