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More X.Org Security Vulnerabilities Published, Date Back To X11R5

X.Org

Published on 13 May 2014 11:20 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in X.Org
17 Comments

There's been several high profile open-source security bugs uncovered recently from the well known OpenSSL heartbleed bug to an issue with the Linux kernel. Unfortunately, there's more to report today, but this time in the space of X.Org with multiple security issues that have been present going back to X11R5, which was released in 1991.

Ilja van Sprundel, the security researcher at IOActive who uncovered lots of X.Org security issues last year and criticzed the Linux desktop security in many parts of the open-source desktop stack, is the one who uncovered these latest security vulnerabilities. It was back in December that this same researcher said the X.Org Server security is a disaster and it's even worse than it looks.

Alan Coopersmith on the behalf of X.Org Security Response Team acknowledged this new round of issues in a X.Org Security Advisory sent out a few minutes ago. "Most of these issues stem from libXfont trusting the font server to send valid protocol data, and not verifying that the values will not overflow or cause other damage. This code is commonly called from the X server when an X Font Server is active in the font path, so may be running in a setuid-root process depending on the X server in use. Exploits of this path could be used by a local, authenticated user to attempt to raise privileges; or by a remote attacker who can control the font server to attempt to execute code with the privileges of the X server."

As with most of these vulnerabilities, these issues affect all versions of the X font library going back many years... To X11R5 that was released in 1991. Today's security problems are reported as CVE-2014-0209: integer overflow of allocations in font metadata file parsing, CVE-2014-0210: unvalidated length fields when parsing xfs protocol replies, and CVE-2014-0211: integer overflows calculating memory needs for xfs replies. For those using libXfont, patches are available to fix these issues via Git.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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