Vulnerability in Sendmail

Overview:

A serious vulnerability in Sendmail, the Internet's most popular mail server software, may allow an attacker infect a mail server running Sendmail with a worm or virus or take control of the machine. The security flaw does not directly affect desktop personal computers, but it does put the Internet's e-mail infrastructure at risk and adds to the work-load of network administrators all over the world. The F-Prot AVES managed e-mail security service can protect businesses and organizations against attacks based on the vulnerability.

Technical details:

The Sendmail flaw can be exploited by sending a carefully crafted e-mail. Currently no known tools exist to create such messages, but the consensus among security professionals is that it is only a matter of time before such tools become widely available within the hacker and virus writer communities.

Due to the fact that these attacks can be entirely contained within a single e-mail message, most traditional centralized security solutions such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems provide little or no protection against them.

This poses a serious problem for network administrators and IT security departments of large organizations or Internet Service Providers, because the internal networks they manage may contain a very large number of vulnerable installations of the Sendmail software.

The F-Prot AVES managed e-mail security service is designed to be a proactive, low-maintenance solution to problems like these.

The SafetyNet component of the F-Prot AVES managed e-mail security service has correctly detected and disabled attacks based on similar techniques since the launch of the service in May 2002. Protecting our current customers against this particular risk was simply a matter of verifying that our generic security measures do indeed detect and block these attacks.

Patches for this security vulnerability are available from http://www.sendmail.com .

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