AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution
            ESB-98.179 -- SGI Security Advisory 19981101-01-A
                  Vulnerability in ToolTalk RPC Service
                            20 November 1998


Silicon Graphics Inc. has released the following advisory concerning a
vulnerability in the ToolTalk RPC Service which may allow a remote attacker
to run arbitrary code as the superuser on hosts supporting the ToolTalk

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                Silicon Graphics Inc. Security Advisory

        Title:  Vulnerability in ToolTalk RPC Service
        Title:  NAI-29, CERT CA-98.11
        Number: 19981101-01-A
        Date:   November 19, 1998

Silicon Graphics provides this information freely to the SGI user community
for its consideration, interpretation, implementation and use.   Silicon
Graphics recommends that this information be acted upon as soon as possible.

Silicon Graphics provides the information in this Security Advisory on
an "AS-IS" basis only, and disclaims all warranties with respect thereto,
express, implied or otherwise, including, without limitation, any warranty
of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.  In no event shall
SGI be liable for any loss of profits, loss of business, loss of data or
for any indirect, special, exemplary, incidental or consequential damages
of any kind arising from your use of, failure to use or improper use of
any of the instructions or information in this Security Advisory.

- - -----------------------
- - --- Issue Statement ---
- - -----------------------

Silicon Graphics Inc. acknowledges the publicly reported security
advisories NAI-29 and CERT CA-98.11* which discuss a vulnerability in
the ToolTalk rpc.ttdbserverd daemon.

      * http://www.cert.org/advisories/CA-98.11.tooltalk.html

For the protection of all our customers, SGI does not disclose, discuss
or confirm vulnerabilities until a full investigation has occurred and
any necessary patch(es) or release streams are available for all vulnerable
and currently supported Unicos and IRIX operating systems.

Until Silicon Graphics has more definitive information to provide, customers
are encouraged to assume all security vulnerabilities as exploitable and take
appropriate steps according to local site security policies and requirements.

Steps to disable the rpc.ttdbserverd daemon are found in the Temporary
Solution section below. However, other third-party programs utilizing this
service may be impacted in varying degrees if the rpc.ttdbserverd daemon
is disabled.

Silicon Graphics Inc. has been and will continue to investigate this issue
but no further information is available for public release at this time.

As further information becomes available, additional advisories will be
issued via the normal SGI security information distribution methods
including the wiretap mailing list.

- - ----------------------------
- - ----- Temporary Solution ---
- - ----------------------------

The steps below can be used to disable the ttdbserverd(8) daemon.

      **** WARNING ****

      Disabling ttdbserverd(8) daemon will impact and/or disable
      applications that use the RPC-based ToolTalk database server.
      One such third-party application is the TriTeal CDE product.

     1) Become the root user on the system.

              % /bin/su -

     2) Verify ttdbserverd(8) daemon is enabled.

              # rpcinfo -p | grep 100083
              100083    1   tcp   1028  ttdbserverd

     3) Edit the file /etc/inetd.conf (for IRIX 5.3 and lower,
        edit /usr/etc/inetd.conf).  Place a "#" as the first
        character of the line to comment out and deactivate
        the ttdbserverd daemon.

              # vi  /etc/inetd.conf

        {Find the following line}

              ttdbserverd/1   stream  rpc/tcp wait root 
              ?/usr/etc/rpc.ttdbserverd rpc.ttdbserverd

        {Place a "#" as the first character of the ttdbserverd line}

              #ttdbserverd/1   stream  rpc/tcp wait root 
              ?/usr/etc/rpc.ttdbserverd rpc.ttdbserverd

     4) Force inetd to re-read the configuration file.

              # /etc/killall -HUP inetd

     5) Kill any existing ttdbserverd(8) process.

              # /etc/killall ttdbserverd

      6) Return to previous level.

              # exit

- - -----------------------------------------
- - --- SGI Security Information/Contacts ---
- - -----------------------------------------

If there are questions about this document, email can be sent to


Silicon Graphics provides security information and patches for
use by the entire SGI community.  This information is freely
available to any person needing the information and is available
via anonymous FTP and the Web.

The primary SGI anonymous FTP site for security information and patches
is sgigate.sgi.com (  Security information and patches
are located under the directories ~ftp/security and ~ftp/patches,
respectively. The Silicon Graphics Security Headquarters Web page is
accessible at the URL http://www.sgi.com/Support/security/security.html.

For issues with the patches on the FTP sites, email can be sent to

For assistance obtaining or working with security patches, please
contact your SGI support provider.


Silicon Graphics provides a free security mailing list service
called wiretap and encourages interested parties to self-subscribe
to receive (via email) all SGI Security Advisories when they are
released. Subscribing to the mailing list can be done via the Web
(http://www.sgi.com/Support/security/wiretap.html) or by sending email
to SGI as outlined below.

% mail wiretap-request@sgi.com
subscribe wiretap <YourEmailAddress>

In the example above, <YourEmailAddress> is the email address that you
wish the mailing list information sent to.  The word end must be on a
separate line to indicate the end of the body of the message. The
control-d (^d) is used to indicate to the mail program that you are
finished composing the mail message.


Silicon Graphics provides a comprehensive customer World Wide Web site.
This site is located at http://www.sgi.com/Support/security/security.html .


For reporting *NEW* SGI security issues, email can be sent to
security-alert@sgi.com or contact your SGI support provider.  A
support contract is not required for submitting a security report.

  This information is provided freely to all interested parties and may
  be redistributed provided that it is not altered in any way, Silicon
  Graphics is appropriately credited and the document retains and
  includes its valid PGP signature.

Version: 2.6.2


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