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Vigil@nce: UW IMAP, buffer overflow of dmail/tmail

November 2008 by Vigil@nce

In some cases, an attacker can create an overflow in dmail/tmail commands of UW IMAP in order to execute code.

- Gravity: 1/4
- Consequences: privileged access/rights
- Provenance: user shell
- Means of attack: no proof of concept, no attack
- Ability of attacker: expert (4/4)
- Confidence: confirmed by the editor (5/5)
- Diffusion of the vulnerable configuration: medium (2/3)
- Creation date: 03/11/2008


- Unix - plateform


The UW IMAP suite offers the dmail and tmail programs to transmit emails to user’s mailbox, or to a chosen directory. For example: dmail user+directory tmail user+directory

However, if the directory name is too long, a buffer overflow occurs. To exploit this vulnerability, the dmail/tmail program has to be installed suid or sgid.

An attacker can thus obtain privileges of the user (suid) or of the group (sgid).


- Identifiers: bsa-081103, VIGILANCE-VUL-8216
- Url:

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