Concerns raised over Perl security flaw

Dyad Security says that a new Perl vulnerability could be used by attackers to launch malicious applications.

Dyad Securit on Wednesday posted an advisory about a potentially serious flaw in the open-source scripting language Perl but some security experts say they find the vulnerability unlikely.

Dyad's warning regards a vulnerability that could be exploited to launch a DOS (denial of service) attack. But Dyad also said that the vulnerability could be used by an attacker to access a server and then launch a malicious application.

Researchers at other security firms have tried to test the vulnerability but have only been able to confirm the DOS potential.

Thomas Kristensen, Secunia's chief technology officer, and his team tested the vulnerability on many versions of Perl and didn't find the potential for an attacker to launch malicious code. "While we don't rule out that there is a possibility that it could be exploited more, we need more details to see if it's true," he said. "It's difficult to say that we tested the right version." The original Dyad advisory doesn't specify which version of Perl contains the vulnerability. In addition, the vulnerability might only be present when certain applications use Perl in a specific way, Kristensen said.

Kristensen also pointed to a posting from HD Moore, a well-known security expert and one of the founders of security firm Digital Defense Inc., to the Full-disclosure security mailing list. Moore also tested the vulnerability, though on just one version of Perl, and wasn't able to exploit it.

There are two applications that are known to be susceptible to the DOS vulnerability and they have changed the way that they use Perl to prevent it, said Kristensen. "As far as we know, there's no update for Perl at the moment," he said. The applications are Webmin, a Web-based administration tool for configuring certain operating systems, and Usermin, a stripped-down version of Webmin.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?