Date: 21 March 2005
References: AL-2005.003 ESB-2005.0240 AL-2005.0030 AL-2005.0031 AL-2005.0032 AL-2005.0033 AL-2005.0034 AL-2005.0035 AL-2005.0036 AL-2005.0037
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AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution
ESB-2005.0228 -- KDE Security Advisory
Konqueror International Domain Name Spoofing
21 March 2005
AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary
Operating System: Linux variants
Impact: Provide Misleading Information
CVE Names: CAN-2005-0237
Original Bulletin: http://www.kde.org/info/security/advisory-20050316-2.txt
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KDE Security Advisory: Konqueror International Domain Name Spoofing
Original Release Date: 20050316
1. Systems affected:
All KDE versions in the KDE 3.2.x and KDE 3.3.x series.
Since version 3.2 KDE and it's webbrowser Konqueror have support
for International Domain Names (IDN). Unfortunately this has
made KDE vulnerable to a phishing technique known as a
IDN allows a website to use a wide range of international characters
in its domain name. Unfortunately some of these characters have a
strong resemblance to other characters, so called homographs. This
makes it possible for a website to use a domain name that is
technically different from another well known domain name, but has
no or very little visual differences.
This lack of visual difference can be abused by attackers to
trick users into visiting malicious websites that resemble
a well known and trusted website in order to obtain personal
information such as credit card details.
The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project (cve.mitre.org)
has assigned the name CAN-2005-0237 to this issue.
For KDE 3.4 KDE and the Konqueror webbrowser have adopted a
whitelist of domains for which IDN is safe to use because the
registrar for these domains has implemented anti-homographic
character policies or otherwise limited the available set of
characters to prevent spoofing.
Users can be tricked into visiting a malicious website that
resembles a well known and trusted website without getting any
visual indication that this website differs from the one the
user was expecting to visit.
Upgrade to KDE 3.4.
For older versions of KDE Source code patches have been made
available which fix these vulnerabilities. Contact your OS vendor /
binary package provider for information about how to obtain updated
A patch for KDE 3.2.x is available from
A patch for KDE 3.3.x is available from
6. Time line and credits:
07/02/2005 Issue raised by Eric Johanson on full-disclosure
03/03/2005 Patches applied to KDE CVS.
04/03/2005 Vendors notified
16/03/2005 KDE Security Advisory released.
16/03/2005 KDE Security Advisory patch updated.
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