Buffer overflows found in libpcap and tcpdump

Published: 2019-10-03
Last Updated: 2019-10-04 05:27:49 UTC
by Jim Clausing (Version: 1)
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It is always a bit worrisome when vulnerabilities are found in our favorite tools, but our tools are software like any other software and can have bugs, too. One of the feeds I have in my RSS reader is NIST National Vulnerability Database (NVD) feed. Earlier today, I noticed a bunch of CVEs show up there for libpcap and tcpdump. I hadn't noticed any major announcements of new versions or any automatic updates of those tools on any of my linux boxes, so I decided to head straight to the source, www.tcpdump.org. It turns out, there were new versions of both libpcap (new version is 1.9.1) and tcpdump (version 4.9.3) released on Monday. And, there under latest releases, it notes that this release "addresses a large number of vulnerabilities." It should also be noted, this is the first release in over 2 years. Quite of few of the vulnerabilities have CVEs dating from 2018. In all, this update addresses 33 CVEs. Hopefully, the major linux distros will roll out updates over the next few days or weeks. I haven't seen any indication that folks have tried to craft traffic to exploit any of these vulnerabilities, but that is always a concern when a tool like tcpdump or wireshark or the like has buffer overflows in their protocol parsers/decoders/dissectors. So, if you use tcpdump and/or any libpcap-based tools in your toolbox for network monitoring or network forensics, be on the lookout for updates from your linux distro or tool vendor or just go ahead and build your own copy from source.

Jim Clausing, GIAC GSE #26
jclausing --at-- isc [dot] sans (dot) edu

Keywords: libpcap tcpdump
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