AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution

       ESB-2001.195 -- HP Support Information Digests HPSBUX0105-150
                  Security Patch Check Tool announcement 
                                14 May 2001


        AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary

Product:                Security Patch Check
Vendor:                 Hewlett-Packard
Operating System:       HP-UX 11.00
                        HP-UX 11.04
                        HP-UX 11.11

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Document ID:  HPSBUX0105-150
Date Loaded:  20010509
      Title:  Security Patch Check Tool announcement

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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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Hewlett-Packard is pleased to announce the release of "Security Patch
Check," a tool which will help HP-UX administrators ensure their
systems' security patches are up-to-date.

NEW TOOL: "Security Patch Check".  Please review swacl security
          considerations below (in Section III) whether or not you
          choose to use Security Patch Check tool.

PLATFORM:  Security Patch Check is supported on all hardware
           platforms running HP-UX releases 11.00, 11.04, and 11.11.

AVAILABILITY:  This product is available for free download at:


   This product is also integrated with Service Control Manager for use
   on multiple systems.

DEPENDENCIES: Perl version 5.005 or higher
              LWP libraries including URI, HTML::Parser,
              MIME::Base64, Digest::MD5, and Net::FTP

     A version of Perl with these extensions is available from


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I.    Background

      Security Patch Check is a tool which can be used to download
      the latest data about security patches and compare it to the
      software installed on a system.  The tool reports which security
      patches are missing from a system based on the security patch
      matrix which is derived from Security bulletins released by HP.
      It reports the "best" patch to install if at least one patch
      exists to address the reported vulnerability but none (it or
      a patch superseding it) is installed.

      Also, any recalled patches which are present on the system will
      be reported.  It works through a firewall, with the help of a
      web-proxy or similar network device.

II.   Common Questions

      A.  What are the security implications of Security Patch Check

        Security Patch Check summarizes a specific class of possible
      weaknesses in a system (unpatched vulnerabilities reported in
      HP security bulletins).  However, it does not explicitly add a
      vulnerability to the system.  The analysis it performs can be
      done by anyone with permission to run swlist on the system in

        You may, however, want to restrict access to swlist (such as
      remote access). To view the permissions for the SD database
      (and thus swlist), run

      # swacl -l host
      # swacl -l root

        Look for any entry beginning with "any_other". To prevent
      "any_other" from accessing the SD database, run, for example:

      # swacl -l root -D any_other

        This will take away read privileges on the database to "others"
      (those not listed in the swacl output). Default swacl permissions
      prohibit remote modification but allow remote read, which is
      often used within an administrative domain.  Restricting remote
      read will prevent remote users from identifying which security
      patches are missing from your system (note that this is
      independent of whether you use Security Patch Check yourself
      or not, or even whether they do, since the analysis can also
      be done manually, though that is more difficult).

        It is possible to restore the ability to perform swlist commands
      to specific individual users or groups.  For example, to give
      user "dave" on remote host "admin1" the ability to run "swlist"
      against the local system, execute the command:

      # swacl -l root -M user:dave@admin1:r

        Similarly, to grant such capability to all members of group
      "admin", run:

      # swacl -l root -M group:admin:r

        Refer to swacl(1M) for more details.

        Most firewall configurations will restrict swlist access across
      multiple trust domains, so this is only an issue within a given
      trust domain (by default, swagentd listens on port 2121 - see

        Refer to security_patch_check(1M) for other security issues.

      B.  After running security patch check on my system, what else do
          I need to do?

        Installing the patches that security_patch_check recommends
      addresses ONLY those vulnerabilities that are closed by patches.
      The security bulletins and advisories from HP sometimes contain
      other actions (manual steps) to close vulnerabilities.  Thus,
      each advisory from the archive of previously-released security
      advisories, which applies to the platform being analyzed, must
      be examined to determine if any manual steps are required.  This
      archive can be obtained from:


      C.  Are there any known issues with Security Patch Check?

         No.  However, a previous version of Perl available from
      devresource.hp.com was found to conflict with HP-UX core patches
      (PHCO) 22923 and 23770.  If you have this version of Perl
      installed with these patches, installation of Security Patch
      Check will warn that it cannot find some required modules and
      invocation of Security Patch Check will fail with a similar
      message.  The version of Perl currently available on the
      www.devresource.hp.com URL listed above does not have this
      problem.  You will need version 5.005_03.2001-05-01 or later.
      Your version of Perl can be found by running "swlist Perl".
      You may need to update perl if you have an older version and
      have one of these patches or their successors installed.

III.  Recommended actions

         Set swacl permissions in accordance with your site's security
      policy, taking into consideration any use of firewalls which
      block swlist/swagentd (port 2121), and who should be able to run
      swlist/swagentd and thus Security Patch Check remotely (see the
      swacl man page for details).

         Download and install Perl.  Version 5.005 or higher with all
      of the LWP libraries is required.  An HP-UX depot containing all
      of the required dependencies is available at:


         Download and install Security Patch Check.  This is available
      for free at:


         Set the environment variable ftp_proxy if you are behind a
      proxying firewall and wish to use the automatic download feature
      of Security Patch Check (see man page for details).  It is
      recommended that you run Security Patch Check on a regular
      basis (e.g., nightly) to ensure that your systems are up-to-date
      with respect to security patches.  Security Patch Check will
      report recalled patches and security patches which correspond to
      installed software but have not been applied.  After reading the
      corresponding recall notices and security bulletins, apply patches
      in accordance with your site's security and patch policies.

         Security Patch Check is only able to analyze patches.
      Some HP Security Bulletins contain manual actions which cannot be
      analyzed in an automated fashion.  An archive of all previously
      released HP security bulletins is available at:


IV.   To subscribe to automatically receive future NEW HP Security
      Bulletins from the HP IT Resource Center via electronic mail,
      do the following:

      Use your browser to get to the HP IT Resource Center page
      at:      http://itrc.hp.com

      Under the Maintenance and Support Menu (Electronic Support
      Center), click on the "more..." link.  Then -

      Use the 'Login' tab at the left side of the screen to login
      using your ID and password.  Check with your system
      administrator to see if you have an existing login or use
      the "Register" button at the left to create a login.  You
      will need to login in order to gain access to many areas of
      the ITRC. Remember to save the User ID assigned to you, and
      your password.

      Under the "Notifications" section (near the bottom of
      the page), select "Support Information Digests".

      To -subscribe- to future HP Security Bulletins or other
      Technical Digests, click the check box (in the left column)
      for the appropriate digest and then click the "Update
      Subscriptions" button at the bottom of the page.


      To -review- bulletins already released, select the link
      (in the middle column) for the appropriate digest.

      To -gain access- to the Security Patch Matrix, select
      the link for "The Security Bulletins Archive".  (near the
      bottom of the page)  Once in the archive the third link is
      to the current Security Patch Matrix. Updated daily, this
      matrix categorizes security patches by platform/OS release,
      and by bulletin topic.  Security Patch Check completely
      automates the process of reviewing the patch matrix for
      11.XX systems.

      For information on the Security Patch Check tool, see:

      The security patch matrix is also available via anonymous ftp:


      On the "Support Information Digest Main" page:
      click on the "HP Security Bulletin Archive".

V.    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 Advisory
      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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