Bug 798279 (CVE-2012-1257) - CVE-2012-1257 pidgin: libpurple no way to restrict "private" messages from being sent over session dbus
Summary: CVE-2012-1257 pidgin: libpurple no way to restrict "private" messages from be...
Alias: CVE-2012-1257
Product: Security Response
Classification: Other
Component: vulnerability
Version: unspecified
Hardware: All
OS: Linux
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: Red Hat Product Security
QA Contact:
Depends On:
Blocks: 798311
TreeView+ depends on / blocked
Reported: 2012-02-28 14:16 UTC by Jan Lieskovsky
Modified: 2021-02-24 13:04 UTC (History)
9 users (show)

Fixed In Version:
Doc Type: Bug Fix
Doc Text:
Clone Of:
Last Closed: 2013-02-22 09:42:27 UTC

Attachments (Terms of Use)

Description Jan Lieskovsky 2012-02-28 14:16:41 UTC
It was discovered that libpurple, a library intended to be the core of an instant messaging program developed as part of the Pidgin project and used by IM clients as Pidgin and Finch, when built with DBus support sends notification for all received IM messages to a user's session dbus.  This can possibly be an issue in cases when Pidgin off-the-record (OTR) plugin is used and is configured to not log OTR conversation.  When received messages are sent over the session dbus, they may get logged by other applications receiving those messages.  Exposure is limited to other applications running with the same user privileges.

Upstream bug report:
[1] http://developer.pidgin.im/ticket/14830

[2] http://census-labs.com/news/2012/02/25/libpurple-otr-info-leak/
    (Census laboratories advisory describing the deficiency)
[3] http://census-labs.com/media/pidgin-otr-snooping.py.txt
    (a Python language reproducer)
[4] https://bugs.gentoo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=406007
    (Gentoo BTS entry)

Comment 1 Tomas Hoger 2012-03-02 08:34:04 UTC
full-disclosure discussion:

Comment 2 Stefan Cornelius 2013-02-22 09:42:27 UTC
OTR is supposed to provide a secure method of IM communication over the network. The security of the network communication is not impacted by this flaw.

This flaw may lead to the leak of potentially private messages on the local side. However, a prerequisite for this to happen is that the user's account is already compromised; at this point an attacker can probably abuse other methods to achieve the same (and possibly worse) things. Thus, this is closer to a security enhancement than an actual security vulnerability.


The Red Hat Security Response Team has rated this issue as having low security impact. This issue is not currently planned to be addressed in future updates. For additional information, refer to the Issue Severity Classification: https://access.redhat.com/security/updates/classification/.

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