Bug 183680 (CVE-2006-0040) - CVE-2006-0040 DoS from large email
Summary: CVE-2006-0040 DoS from large email
Alias: CVE-2006-0040
Product: Security Response
Classification: Other
Component: vulnerability (Show other bugs)
(Show other bugs)
Version: unspecified
Hardware: All Linux
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: Red Hat Product Security
QA Contact:
Whiteboard: public=20060301,reported=20060118,sou...
Keywords: Security
Depends On:
Blocks: F9Target
TreeView+ depends on / blocked
Reported: 2006-03-02 19:32 UTC by Dave Malcolm
Modified: 2015-02-17 15:08 UTC (History)
6 users (show)

Fixed In Version:
Doc Type: Bug Fix
Doc Text:
Story Points: ---
Clone Of:
Last Closed: 2015-02-17 15:08:36 UTC
Type: ---
Regression: ---
Mount Type: ---
Documentation: ---
Verified Versions:
Category: ---
oVirt Team: ---
RHEL 7.3 requirements from Atomic Host:
Cloudforms Team: ---

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External Trackers
Tracker ID Priority Status Summary Last Updated
GNOME Bugzilla 337439 None None None Never

Description Dave Malcolm 2006-03-02 19:32:03 UTC
As seen here: http://lwn.net/Articles/174015/

About 7 weeks ago an automated mailing list spewed a large but valid email
containing a lot of URLS and other formatting. When this email is fed into
evolution the behaviour it causes leads evolution to expand dramatically in 
size and eat vast amounts of CPU time. If you've got a lot of patience and
memory it is eventually rendered correctly (many minutes and many gigs)

The attack in question can be triggered with a large but valid plain text
email containing no unusual features. It is possible to perform the attack with
a somewhat smaller message than the one given but the one provided should
suffice for analysis and testing.

Worse, and the reason this becomes more than irritating is that evolution
tries to be smart when it is killed or dies. On restarting it will go to
great trouble to attempt to restart in the same position it died or was shut
down - which triggers the DoS again each time evolution is opened.

This bug was reported to vendor-sec January 18th, and acknowledged January
19th as CVE-2006-0040. A request for any follow up details was posted end 
of February. No vendor has chosen to provide any more information which I 
find disappointing.

The email that triggered the original accidental discovery is available at


As the problem appears to come from gtkhtml it is likely that other gtkhtml
users may be similarly afflicted.

	Block large text emails with many URLS using a filter rule
	Ask your vendor awkward questions
	or switch mailer

Comment 1 Josh Bressers 2006-03-23 20:04:13 UTC
Have we looked at this at all?

Comment 2 Alan Cox 2006-03-24 00:26:35 UTC
No response from upstream either. I guess evolution is no longer maintained.

Can we please drop it for RHEL5 and ship something else ?

Comment 3 Josh Bressers 2006-05-12 19:31:57 UTC
For what it's worth, I filed a bug upstream which has gotten little attention:

Comment 4 Matthias Clasen 2006-07-30 16:49:05 UTC
Should this be assigned to mbarnes ?

Comment 6 Matthew Barnes 2006-11-27 20:12:08 UTC
It seems there's finally some movement on this upstream, though it's more of a
workaround in Evolution than a direct fix for GtkHtml.

See http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=33743

I'll get the patch into Rawhide for testing.

Comment 7 Matthew Barnes 2006-11-27 20:13:26 UTC
Sorry, the link was supposed to be:

Comment 8 Alan Cox 2006-11-27 20:27:20 UTC
Progress and a beginning but not a useful one. The perfect variant of this
attack can screw you totally in a good deal under 4MB of input.


Comment 11 Matthew Barnes 2007-10-04 16:23:39 UTC
Moving this to F9Target.

Comment 12 Lubomir Kundrak 2008-04-08 20:00:11 UTC
Final Freeze is in effect now. Security fixes almost certainly warrant a freeze
break, so in case you build a fix for this, mail release engineering as
described here: [2]

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-announce/2008-April/msg00007.html
[2] http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/ReleaseEngineering/FinalFreezePolicy


Comment 13 Matthew Barnes 2008-04-08 22:12:00 UTC
I think at this point the solution is to drop GtkHTML entirely and move
Evolution over to WebKit/GTK+.  I've already started working on this and am
hoping it will happen this year, at least for /viewing/ emails.  Editing is
another story.

Comment 14 Jan Lieskovsky 2009-02-16 13:33:28 UTC
Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures assigned an identifier CVE-2006-0040 to
the following vulnerability:

GNOME Evolution and earlier allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (CPU and memory consumption) via a text e-mail with a large number of URLs, possibly due to unknown problems in gtkhtml. 


Comment 21 Vincent Danen 2015-02-17 15:08:36 UTC
I imagine that somewhere in the last 5 years, between Fedora 9 and current Fedora, this has been fixed.  As it did not affect RHEL5, and will not be fixed in RHEL4, I'm closing this bug.

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