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Bug 110422 - Using aspell as a denial-of-service/crash from a normal user account
Using aspell as a denial-of-service/crash from a normal user account
Product: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3
Classification: Red Hat
Component: aspell (Show other bugs)
i386 Linux
medium Severity medium
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Assigned To: Eido Inoue
Ben Levenson
Depends On:
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2003-11-19 09:53 EST by Robert Osborne
Modified: 2007-11-30 17:06 EST (History)
0 users

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Fixed In Version:
Doc Type: Bug Fix
Doc Text:
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Clone Of:
Last Closed: 2004-02-19 11:58:10 EST
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RHEL 7.3 requirements from Atomic Host:
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Description Robert Osborne 2003-11-19 09:53:31 EST
Description of problem:
aspell- goes into a bad memory/processor leak when invoked
in SGML mode

Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):

How reproducible:
invoke aspell with either -H or --mode=sgml

Steps to Reproduce:
$ echo 'Kill me' > text.txt
aspell -H -c text.txt
watch a top and see the system grind to a halt
Actual results:
I've had to hit the power button after several of these ran
simultaneously.  I couldn't log in from the console or use
CTRL-ALT-DEL from the virtual terminal!

Expected results:

Additional info:
Comment 1 Eido Inoue 2003-12-03 11:58:53 EST
I verified that aspell does go into a loop and consumes lots of
memory, but aspell is a non-suid userland program. If in theory (*) it
can DoS, then any userland program can also do the same, and this is
something to be examined by the kernel/libc teams.

* I was able to recover from a few of these running. It was very
difficult and took a lot of time, but I could. Eventually the apps
should terminate after they've exhausted memory.
Comment 2 Eido Inoue 2004-02-19 11:58:10 EST
closing as i weas able to recover. if you aren't able to recover, the
DoS blame doesn't lie with the userspace app.

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