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Posted Nov 22, 2001

CERT Advisory CA-99-16 - Buffer Overflow in solaris sadmind. The sadmind program is installed by default in Solaris 2.5, 2.6, and 7.

tags | overflow, add administrator
systems | solaris
SHA-256 | 91e3ccb53dada317e1d9eb7fb117db045ea4dab85eb4219206c1ebfaece31491


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CERT Advisory CA-99-16 Buffer Overflow in Sun Solstice AdminSuite Daemon

Original release date: December 14, 1999
Last revised: --
Source: CERT/CC

A complete revision history is at the end of this file.

Systems Affected

* Systems that have sadmind installed

I. Description

The sadmind program is installed by default in Solaris 2.5, 2.6, and
7. In Solaris 2.3 and 2.4, sadmind may be installed if the Sun
Solstice Adminsuite packages are installed. The sadmind program is
installed in /usr/sbin. It can be used to coordinate distributed
system administration operations remotely. The sadmind daemon is
started automatically by the inetd daemon whenever a request to
perform a system administration operation is received.

All versions of sadmind are vulnerable to a buffer overflow that can
overwrite the stack pointer within a running sadmind process. Since
sadmind is installed as root, it is possible to execute arbitrary
code with root privileges on a remote machine.

This vulnerability has been discussed in public security forums and is
actively being exploited by intruders.

II. Impact

A remote user may be able to execute arbitrary code with root
privileges on systems running vulnerable versions of sadmind.

III. Solution

Disable sadmind

Remove (or comment) the following line in /etc/inetd.conf:

100232/10 tli rpc/udp wait root /usr/sbin/sadmind sadmind

Even though it will not defend against the attack discussed in this
advisory, it is a good practice to set the security option used to
authenticate requests to a STRONG level, for example:

100232/10 tli rpc/udp wait root /usr/sbin/sadmind sadmind -S 2

If you must use sadmind to perform system administration tasks, we
urge you to use this setting.

Appendix A contains information provided by vendors for this advisory.
We will update the appendix as we receive or develop more information.
If you do not see your vendor's name in Appendix A, the CERT/CC did
not hear from that vendor. Please contact your vendor directly.

Appendix A. Vendor Information

Sun Microsystems

Sun Microsystems is currently working on patches to address the issue
discussed in this advisory and recommends disabling sadmind.

The CERT Coordination Center thanks Sun Microsystems for its help in
providing information for this advisory.

This document is available from:

CERT/CC Contact Information

Email: cert@cert.org
Phone: +1 412-268-7090 (24-hour hotline)
Fax: +1 412-268-6989
Postal address:
CERT Coordination Center
Software Engineering Institute
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh PA 15213-3890

CERT personnel answer the hotline 08:00-20:00 EST(GMT-5) / EDT(GMT-4)
Monday through Friday; they are on call for emergencies during other
hours, on U.S. holidays, and on weekends.

Using encryption

We strongly urge you to encrypt sensitive information sent by email.
Our public PGP key is available from


If you prefer to use DES, please call the CERT hotline for more

Getting security information

CERT publications and other security information are available from
our web site


To be added to our mailing list for advisories and bulletins, send
email to cert-advisory-request@cert.org and include SUBSCRIBE
your-email-address in the subject of your message.

Copyright 1999 Carnegie Mellon University.
Conditions for use, disclaimers, and sponsorship information can be
found in


* "CERT" and "CERT Coordination Center" are registered in the U.S.
Patent and Trademark Office.

Any material furnished by Carnegie Mellon University and the Software
Engineering Institute is furnished on an "as is" basis. Carnegie
Mellon University makes no warranties of any kind, either expressed or
implied as to any matter including, but not limited to, warranty of
fitness for a particular purpose or merchantability, exclusivity or
results obtained from use of the material. Carnegie Mellon University
does not make any warranty of any kind with respect to freedom from
patent, trademark, or copyright infringement.

Revision History
December 14, 1999: Initial release

Version: PGP for Personal Privacy 5.0
Charset: noconv


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