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Secunia Research: Vim "helptags" Command Format String Vulnerability

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                     Secunia Research 27/07/2007

        - Vim "helptags" Command Format String Vulnerability -

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Table of Contents

Affected Software....................................................1
Severity.............................................................2
Vendor's Description of Software.....................................3
Description of Vulnerability.........................................4
Solution.............................................................5
Time Table...........................................................6
Credits..............................................................7
References...........................................................8
About Secunia........................................................9
Verification........................................................10

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1) Affected Software

* Vim 6.4
* Vim 7.1

NOTE: Other versions may also be affected.

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2) Severity 

Rating: Less Critical
Impact: System access
Where:  From remote

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3) Vendor's Description of Software 

"Vim is a highly configurable text editor built to enable efficient text
editing. It is an improved version of the vi editor distributed with
most UNIX systems."

Product Link:
http://www.vim.org/

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4) Description of Vulnerability

Secunia Research has discovered a vulnerability in Vim, which can be
exploited by malicious people to compromise a vulnerable system.

A format string error in the "helptags_one()" function in 
src/ex_cmds.c when running the "helptags" command can be exploited to
execute arbitrary code via specially crafted help files.

Successful exploitation requires that the user is tricked into running
"helptags" on malicious data.

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5) Solution 

Apply the vendor's official patch:
ftp://ftp.vim.org/pub/vim/patches/7.1/7.1.039

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6) Time Table 

17/07/2007 - Vendor notified (Red Hat, vendor-sec list, and Vim).
17/07/2007 - Vendor response.
27/07/2007 - Public disclosure.

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7) Credits 

Discovered by Ulf Harnhammar, Secunia Research.

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8) References

The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned 
CVE-2007-2953 for the vulnerability.

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9) About Secunia

Secunia offers vulnerability management solutions to corporate
customers with verified and reliable vulnerability intelligence
relevant to their specific system configuration:

http://corporate.secunia.com/

Secunia also provides a publicly accessible and comprehensive advisory
database as a service to the security community and private 
individuals, who are interested in or concerned about IT-security.

http://secunia.com/

Secunia believes that it is important to support the community and to
do active vulnerability research in order to aid improving the 
security and reliability of software in general:

http://corporate.secunia.com/secunia_research/33/

Secunia regularly hires new skilled team members. Check the URL below 
to see currently vacant positions:

http://secunia.com/secunia_vacancies/

Secunia offers a FREE mailing list called Secunia Security Advisories:

http://secunia.com/secunia_security_advisories/ 

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10) Verification 

Please verify this advisory by visiting the Secunia website:
http://secunia.com/secunia_research/2007-66/

Complete list of vulnerability reports published by Secunia Research:
http://secunia.com/secunia_research/

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