AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution
           ESB-98.010 -- Hewlett-Packard Security Bulletin: #00074
                  Security Vulnerability in CUE under HP-UX
                               22 January 1998


Hewlett-Packard has released the following advisory concerning security
flaws in the cue program.  These vulnerabilities may allow users to gain
unauthorized privileges.

The following security bulletin is provided as a service to AUSCERT's
members.  As AUSCERT did not write this document, AUSCERT has had no
control over its content.  As such, the decision to use any or all of this
information is the responsibility of each user or organisation, and should
be done so in accordance with site policies and procedures.

NOTE: This is only the original release of the security bulletin.  It will
not be updated when the original bulletin is.  If downloading at a later
date, it is recommended that the bulletin is retrieved from the original
authors to ensure that the information is still current.

Contact information for HP is included in the Security Bulletin below.
If you have any questions or need further information, please contact them

Previous advisories and external security bulletins can be retrieved from:


If you believe that your system has been compromised, contact AUSCERT or your
representative in FIRST (Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams).

Internet Email: auscert@auscert.org.au
Telephone:      (07) 3365 4417 (International: +61 7 3365 4417)
                AUSCERT personnel answer during Queensland business hours
                which are GMT+10:00 (AEST).
                On call after hours for emergencies.
Facsimile:      (07) 3365 7031

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       HEWLETT-PACKARD SECURITY BULLETIN: #00074, 21 January 1998
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The information in the following Security Advisory should be acted upon
as soon as possible.  Hewlett-Packard will not be liable for any
consequences to any customer resulting from customer's failure to fully
implement instructions in this Security Advisory as soon as possible.

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PROBLEM: /[usr/]bin/cue (known as CUE) has published security flaws.

PLATFORM: HP9000 series 800, releases HP-UX 8.X, 9.X, 10.X, and 11.0

DAMAGE:  Users can gain unauthorized privileges.

SOLUTION: Remove, disable or otherwise render the executable unusable.


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   A. Background
      Hewlett-Packard has been shipping Character-Terminal User Environment
      (CUE) on its releases of HP-UX for Series 800 systems.  These
      multi-user systems support specific terminal types capable of running
      Terminal Session Manager (TSM), including PC's and other non-HP
      character based terminals.  Of these, CUE is compatible only with
      the following terminals:
        HP700/92   HP700/94   HP2392   HP2394   VT320   VT100   WYSE60

      CUE was intended to provide functionality in for terminal based
      sessions similar to that of CDE for X windows based session.
      CDE currently provides a richer functionality.

      A security vulnerability has been made public which allows non-root
      users to manipulate any file.

   B. Fixing the problem
      Since the release of HP-UX 10.30 (a developers release), the HP-UX
      CUE system is officially obsolete, and has been deprecated in HP-UX
      release 11.0.  There will be no patches released to solve this issue.

      Hewlett-Packard Company strongly recommends that system
      administrators disable or remove cue from their systems, due to the
      nature of this problem.  No upgrades from existing releases
      currently in use are necessary.

   C. Recommended solution

      The product has shipped in recent releases of HP-UX as a setuid
      program.  The default location for this product is /usr/bin/ and
      can be disabled with:

           chmod 000 /usr/bin/cue    or   rm /usr/bin/cue

      For releases of HP-UX 10.X which support Software Distributor (SD)
      issue the swmodify command as follows:

           /usr/sbin/swmodify -x files="/usr/bin/cue" OS-Core.CMDS-MIN

      In release HP-UX 9.X and earlier, the default location is /bin/cue.
      Both cue and cuegetty are in /bin.

      Cleanup of miscellaneous files associated with the product should
      also be performed at this time.  Specifically system administrators
      should examine:
          /[usr/s]bin/cuegetty               (remove entirely),
          /etc/inittab      (remove references to cue and cuegetty),
          .login            (remove references to cue),
          /usr/lbin/cuesession               (remove entirely),
          /usr/newconfig/etc/cue.inittab     (remove entirely),
          /usr/[old/]newconfig/etc/cue.dm          (remove entirely),
          /etc/cue.dm                        (remove entirely),
          /usr/lib/nls/msg/C/cue.cat         (remove entirely),
            (cue.cat is the message catalog for localizations).

      This is the official recommendation from Hewlett-Packard Company.

   D. Current product status

      Hewlett-Packard Company's recommendation is due to the rescoping of
      product direction, coupled with the discontinued access to necessary
      third party code.  As a result no changes to its functionality will
      be made now, nor at any time in the future.  In the HP-UX release
      10.30 release notes, developers were informed of pending product

      Hewlett-Packard recommends that all customers concerned with the
      security of their HP-UX systems remove CUE (or verify that it is
      not installed).

      Again, no patches will be available for any releases of HP-UX.

      If further assistance is desired please contact your HP Support

   D. To subscribe to automatically receive future NEW HP Security
      Bulletins from the HP Electronic Support Center via electronic mail,
      do the following:

      Use your browser to get to the HP Electronic Support Center page at:

      (for US, Canada, Asia-Pacific, & Latin-America)

      http://europe-support.external.hp.com   (for Europe)

      Click on the Technical Knowledge Database, register as a user
      (remember to save the User ID assigned to you, and your password),
      and it will connect to a HP Search Technical Knowledge DB page.
      Near the bottom is a link to our Security Bulletin archive.
      Once in the archive there is another link to our current
      security patch matrix.  Updated daily, this matrix is categorized
      by platform/OS release, and by bulletin topic.

   F. To report new security vulnerabilities, send email to


      Please encrypt any exploit information using the security-alert
      PGP key, available from your local key server, or by sending a
      message with a -subject- (not body) of 'get key' (no quotes) to

     Permission is granted for copying and circulating this Bulletin to
     Hewlett-Packard (HP) customers (or the Internet community) for the
     purpose of alerting them to problems, if and only if, the Bulletin is
     not edited or changed in any way, is attributed to HP, and provided
     such reproduction and/or distribution is performed for non-commercial

     Any other use of this information is prohibited. HP is not liable
     for any misuse of this information by any third party.
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