FreeBSD Ports Security Advisory: FreeBSD-SA-00:78.bitchx

FreeBSD Security Advisories security-advisories at
Wed Dec 20 06:29:07 PST 2000


FreeBSD-SA-00:78                                           Security Advisory
                                                                FreeBSD, Inc.

Topic:          bitchx allows remote code execution

Category:       ports
Module:         bitchx
Announced:      2000-12-20
Credits:        nimrood <nimrood at ONEBOX.COM>
Affects:        Ports collection prior to the correction date.
Corrected:      2000-12-12
Vendor status:  Updated version released
FreeBSD only:   NO

I.   Background

bitchx is a popular IRC client.

II.  Problem Description

The bitchx port, versions prior to 1.0c17_1, contains a remote
vulnerability.  Through a stack overflow in the DNS parsing code, a
malicious remote user in control of their reverse DNS records may
crash a bitchx session, or cause arbitrary code to be executed by the
user running bitchx.

The bitchx port is not installed by default, nor is it "part of FreeBSD"
as such: it is part of the FreeBSD ports collection, which contains over
4200 third-party applications in a ready-to-install format.  The ports
collections shipped with FreeBSD 3.5.1 and 4.2 contain this problem
since it was discovered after the releases.

FreeBSD makes no claim about the security of these third-party
applications, although an effort is underway to provide a security
audit of the most security-critical ports.

III. Impact

Malicious remote users may execute arbitrary code as the user running
If you have not chosen to install the bitchx port/package, then your
system is not vulnerable to this problem.

IV.  Workaround

Deinstall the bitchx port/package, if you have installed it.

V.   Solution

One of the following:

1) Upgrade your entire ports collection and rebuild the bitchx port.

2) Deinstall the old package and install a new package dated after the
correction date, obtained from:

NOTE: It may be several days before updated packages are available.

3) download a new port skeleton for the bitchx port from:

and use it to rebuild the port.

4) Use the portcheckout utility to automate option (3) above. The
portcheckout port is available in /usr/ports/devel/portcheckout or the
package can be obtained from:

Version: GnuPG v1.0.4 (FreeBSD)
Comment: For info see


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