Bug 163958 - getgrnam() crashes with "Out of memory" if /etc/group contains long lines
getgrnam() crashes with "Out of memory" if /etc/group contains long lines
Product: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3
Classification: Red Hat
Component: perl (Show other bugs)
i386 Linux
medium Severity medium
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Assigned To: Jason Vas Dias
David Lawrence
: Security
Depends On:
Blocks: 172327 172336
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Reported: 2005-07-22 09:33 EDT by Pasi Sjöholm
Modified: 2007-11-30 17:07 EST (History)
1 user (show)

See Also:
Fixed In Version: perl-5.8.0
Doc Type: Bug Fix
Doc Text:
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Clone Of:
Last Closed: 2005-11-02 17:39:37 EST
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Regression: ---
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RHEL 7.3 requirements from Atomic Host:
Cloudforms Team: ---

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Description Pasi Sjöholm 2005-07-22 09:33:23 EDT
From Bugzilla Helper:
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.7.10) Gecko/20050720 Firefox/1.0.6

Description of problem:
This bug has been fixed in Debian and in newest Perl. I'm just wondering does this concern RHEL 3 too, because we are rather close having "too much" users in one group and I would rather see this bug fixed before that we are going to have problems.

* Fix test of reenterant function return values which was causing
  perl to malloc itself to death if ERANGE was encountered before
  ENOENT (such as a long line in /etc/group; closes: #227621).

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

How reproducible:
Didn't try

Additional info:
Comment 1 Jason Vas Dias 2005-11-02 16:23:52 EST
This is PERL bug 37056, fixed with patch 25084 in bleadperl (5.9.x):
   (  http://rt.perl.org/rt3/Ticket/Display.html?id=37056 )
Subject: getgrent fails if a line in /etc/groups gets too long
Date: Fri, 02 Sep 2005 15:53:08 +0200
To: perlbug@perl.org
From: Michiel Blotwijk <michiel@blotwijk.com>

This is a bug report for perl from michiel@altiplano.be,
generated with the help of perlbug 1.35 running under perl v5.8.5.

[Please enter your report here]

The function getgrent throws an error if a line in /etc/groups gets
too long (> 3000 characters). This error can be reproduced as follows:

1/ Manually add a large number of users to a group in /etc/group. It doesn't
really matter if these are real users or not, as long as the line exceeds
3000 characters.

2/ perl -e 'use User::grent; while (my $gr = getgrent() ) { print
$gr->name."\n"; }'

This will return an "Out of memory!" message.

This thread seems to be related:

Originally reported at Debian:


As said in the Debian bug report:

From: "Steinar H. Gunderson" <sgunderson@bigfoot.com>
To: Peter Palúch <peterp@frix.fri.utc.sk>
Cc: control@bugs.debian.org, 227621@bugs.debian.org,
Subject: Re: perl: getgrnam() crashes with "Out of memory" if /etc/group
contains long lines
Date: Fri, 10 Jun 2005 15:03:02 +0200

It's about the same bug in perl as it was in glibc. reentr.pl line 698 reads:

  $call = qq[((PL_REENTRANT_RETINT = $call)$test ? $true :
(((PL_REENTRANT_RETINT == ERANGE) || (errno == ERANGE)) ? 
($seenm{$func}{$seenr{$func}})Perl_reentrant_retry("$func"$rv) : 0))];
The problem here is "errno == ERANGE". If, at any time, there's a line longer
than the initial buffer, getgrent() (or any in the same family) will get
ERANGE back (and errno will be set to ERANGE). However, this is never reset.
Thus, when getgrent_r() hits EOF, it returns ENOENT, _but errno is still
ERANGE_. Perl figures the buffer was too small, doubles it and tries again,
but still gets ENOENT, of course (and errno is still ERANGE). This goes on
forever and ever until you run out of memory (which happens quite fast).

The solution is simply to remove "errno == ERANGE" AFAICS; getgrent_r() does
not define what happens to errno, and the return message will always be
ERANGE if the buffer is too small.

I'm a bit tempted to tag this "security"; if a user can (say) change his or
her own GECOS field to make it long enough, Perl programs using getpwent()
will crash, for instance. I can't find any direct way to exploit it (chfn
limits the length of the fields, for instance), but I'm still slightly
concerned over the possibilities of a DoS; Cc-ing debian-security.

/* Steinar */

I agree this bug has security implications .

This problem affects all {get,set}* nss perl wrapper functions, not only
getgrent .

This problem affects all previous releases of PERL in all current Red Hat

The patch is very straightforward - replace all occurences of 
in reentr.inc and reentr.pl. 

This bug is now being fixed in these perl versions:

Rawhide / FC-5   : perl-5.8.7-0.7.fc5
          FC-4   : perl-5.8.6-16
          RHEL-4 : perl-5.8.5-17.RHEL4
          RHEL-3 : perl-5.8.0-90.2
Comment 2 Jason Vas Dias 2005-11-02 17:39:37 EST
Actually, this is NOT a bug with RHEL-3 - it appears to have been introduced
with perl >= 5.8.2 . RHEL-3's perl is baselined off perl-5.8.0, and does not
have this bug - it probably has reentrancy problems, because there is no

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