Samba security patch fixes critical remote code execution hole

A Samba vulnerability can be exploited by remote unauthenticated attackers to execute arbitrary code on affected systems

The developers of Samba, the open source software that enables file and print sharing between Linux, Windows and Mac OS X computers, released security patches on Tuesday to address a critical vulnerability that can be exploited by remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on systems where the Samba service is running.

The vulnerability is identified as CVE-2012-1182 and is located in Samba's code that handles the processing of remote procedure call (RPC) requests, particularly their translation into a Network Data Representation (NDR) format.

A client can send a specially crafted RPC call to a Samba server in order to exploit the vulnerability and execute unauthorized code with administrative privileges (root) on the system.

"As this does not require an authenticated connection it is the most serious vulnerability possible in a program, and users and vendors are encouraged to patch their Samba installations immediately," the Samba development team said in a security advisory.

In order to mitigate the risks associated with this vulnerability, Samba administrators can either upgrade their installations to the newly released Samba 3.6.4, Samba 3.5.14 and 3.4.16 versions, depending on which branch they use, or manually apply patches to their installations without upgrading.

The vulnerability is very serious and this is also evident from the Samba development team's decision to release patches even for versions that are no longer officially supported, said Carsten Eiram, chief security specialist at vulnerability management firm Secunia.

Secunia rated the vulnerability as moderately critical because best use practices dictate that Samba services should only be accessible over local area networks. However, Samba can also be configured to work over the Internet and for cases like that, the vulnerability should be considered highly critical, Eiram said.

Samba comes installed by default on most Linux distributions, as well as on Apple's Mac OS X Server. It is also available for BSD, Solaris and other UNIX-like operating systems.

In addition to being commonly installed on many computers, Samba is also used in many UNIX-based devices like network printers or network storage devices, Eiram said.

This makes this vulnerability an attractive target for exploit writers, both for integration in commercial and free penetration testing tools like Metasploit, as well as for use in malicious attacks. "An unauthenticated code execution vulnerability in Samba is very interesting to create a working exploit for," Eiram said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?