AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution
           ESB-98.063 -- Hewlett-Packard Security Bulletin: #00078
                 Security Vulnerability in Openmail on HP-UX
                                30 April 1998


Hewlett-Packard has released the following advisory concerning an OpenMail
server misconfiguration that can give users the ability to run arbitrary
shell commands.  This applies to all currently supported OpenMail versions
(B.05.01 (GR4) and B.05.10 (GR5), as well as the earlier B.04.01 (GR3)

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 ADVISORY: #00078, 29 April 1998
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The information in the following Security Advisory should be acted upon
as soon as possible.  Hewlett-Packard Company 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: Insecure configuration of any version of OpenMail.

PLATFORM: Any HP 9000 series 700/800 systems running OpenMail.

DAMAGE: Users can run arbitrary shell commands.

SOLUTION: Reconfigure OpenMail per the OpenMail Technical Guide.


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A. Background

   Hewlett-Packard has learned of an OpenMail server misconfiguration that
   can give users the ability to run arbitrary shell commands.  This
   applies to all currently supported OpenMail versions (B.05.01 (GR4)
   and B.05.10 (GR5), as well as the earlier B.04.01 (GR3) revision.

B. Fixing the problem

   Ref: [OpenMail Technical Guide, pages 3-366, and 3-369]

   Hewlett-Packard notes that this issue has already been adequately
   addressed in OpenMail.  There is a general parameter setting
   (UAL_PRINT_SERVER_ONLY) in the general.cfg file, that, if set to TRUE,
   forces all server printing to go through OpenMail's print server.
   The  general customization file general.cfg is located in
   /var/opt/openmail/sys, as is the print server's configuration file
   print.cfg.  On the client all that is necessary is to then change the
   'Printer Server Command' to point to one of the configured printers.

   OpenMail's print server uses a configuration file to configure available
   printers, and validates each print request against its configured
   printers. Any print requests that do not match the required syntax will
   not be executed.

   More information about OpenMail's print server and how to configure it
   can be found in the OpenMail Technical Guide (pages 3-366 to 3-369 for
   the GR5 edition)

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

   User 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)

   Login with your user ID and password, or register for one (remember to
   save the User ID assigned to you, and your password).  Once you are on
   the Main Menu, Click on the Technical Knowledge Database, and it will
   connect to a HP Search Technical Knowledge DB page.  Near the bottom is
   a hyperlink 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.

D. 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 Advisory 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 purposes.

   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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