New Vulnerability in Sendmail Revealed, Patch Available

By Larry Seltzer  |  Posted 2003-03-29 Print this article Print

Version 8.12.9 fixes one major, several minor problems. Released earlier than planned due to premature revelation of buffer overflow.

The Sendmail Consortium has released version 8.12.9 of the Sendmail Mail Transfer Agent (SMTP server) after a serious vulnerability having to do with the parsing of addresses was prematurely revealed by a third party.

As explained on the Sendmail site, the address parsing problem was a buffer overflow with potentially serious consequences. The advisory does not specifically recommend that administrators install the patches, but the use of the term critical security flaw is suggestive.

Larry Seltzer has been writing software for and English about computers ever since—,much to his own amazement—,he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983.

He was one of the authors of NPL and NPL-R, fourth-generation languages for microcomputers by the now-defunct DeskTop Software Corporation. (Larry is sad to find absolutely no hits on any of these +products on Google.) His work at Desktop Software included programming the UCSD p-System, a virtual machine-based operating system with portable binaries that pre-dated Java by more than 10 years.

For several years, he wrote corporate software for Mathematica Policy Research (they're still in business!) and Chase Econometrics (not so lucky) before being forcibly thrown into the consulting market. He bummed around the Philadelphia consulting and contract-programming scenes for a year or two before taking a job at NSTL (National Software Testing Labs) developing product tests and managing contract testing for the computer industry, governments and publication.

In 1991 Larry moved to Massachusetts to become Technical Director of PC Week Labs (now eWeek Labs). He moved within Ziff Davis to New York in 1994 to run testing at Windows Sources. In 1995, he became Technical Director for Internet product testing at PC Magazine and stayed there till 1998.

Since then, he has been writing for numerous other publications, including Fortune Small Business, Windows 2000 Magazine (now Windows and .NET Magazine), ZDNet and Sam Whitmore's Media Survey.

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