xorl %eax, %eax

CVE-2009-0362: fail2ban Incorrect Regular Expression

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Fail2ban is a nice program which I’ve personally used and I know people working on large networks that also use it. It’s a nice way to extend your firewall. You can ban users based on log files. Anyway, this bug affects 0.8.3 release of this great project and it was reported by Chris Butler of Debian on 4 February 2009. File /etc/fail2ban/filter.d/wuftpd.conf has the following regular expression filter:

failregex = wu-ftpd(?:\[\d+\])?:\s+\(pam_unix\)\s+authentication failure.* rhost=<HOST>$

What Chris Butler noticed is that when rhost is set to something that looks like an IP. His example was:


Then, fail2ban will parse <HOST> entry as instead of resolving the actual IP of the above hostname. Using this a malicious user can ban other users by having a hostname starting with the IP address of the user he wants to ban, this DoS was initially fixed by C. Butler using the entire string as <HOST> like this:

- failregex = wu-ftpd(?:\[\d+\])?:\s+\(pam_unix\)\s+authentication failure.* rhost=<HOST>$
+ failregex = wu-ftpd\[\d+\]:\s+failed login from .* \[<HOST>\]$

Later, Yaroslav Halchenko submitted a patch that fixes the regular expression that parses the IP addresses at server/filter.py to this:

 class DNSUtils:

-    IP_CRE = re.compile("(?:\d{1,3}\.){3}\d{1,3}")
+    IP_CRE = re.compile("(?:\d{1,3}\.){3}\d{1,3} *$")

Written by xorl

April 22, 2009 at 13:37

Posted in vulnerabilities

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