FreeBSD Security Advisory FreeBSD-SA-01:

FreeBSD Security Advisories security-advisories at
Mon Apr 23 20:17:52 PDT 2001


FreeBSD-SA-01:34                                           Security Advisory
                                                                FreeBSD, Inc.

Topic:          hylafax contains local compromise

Category:       ports
Module:         hylafax
Announced:      2001-04-23
Credits:        Marcin Dawcewicz <miv at IIDEA.PL>
Affects:        Ports collection prior to the correction date.
Corrected:      2001-04-17
Vendor status:  Updated version released
FreeBSD only:   NO

I.   Background

HylaFAX is a facsimile system for UNIX systems.

II.  Problem Description

The hylafax port, versions prior to hylafax-4.1.b2_2, contains a
format string bug in the hfaxd program.  A local user may execute
the hfaxd program with command-line arguments containing format string
characters, potentially gaining root privileges on the local system.

The hylafax 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 5000 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.
The ports collection that shipped with FreeBSD 4.3 is not vulnerable
since this problem was corrected prior to the release.

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

Local users may gain root privileges on the local system.

If you have not chosen to install the hylafax port/package, then your
system is not vulnerable to this problem.

IV.  Workaround

Deinstall the hylafax port/package if you have installed it.

V.   Solution

One of the following:

1) Upgrade your entire ports collection and rebuild the hylafax 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.

Packages are not automatically generated for the alpha architecture at
this time due to lack of build resources.

3) download a new port skeleton for the hylafax 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: FreeBSD: The Power To Serve


This is the moderated mailing list freebsd-announce.
The list contains announcements of new FreeBSD capabilities,
important events and project milestones.
See also the FreeBSD Web pages at

To Unsubscribe: send mail to majordomo at
with "unsubscribe freebsd-announce" in the body of the message

More information about the freebsd-announce mailing list