Buffer Overflow in Sun Solstice AdminSuite Daemon sadmind

Original release date: December 14, 1999
Last revised: March 02, 2000
Updated vendor information for Sun
Source: CERT/CC

A complete revision history is at the end of this file.

Systems Affected

  • Systems that have sadmind installed

I. Description

The sadmind program is installed by default in Solaris 2.5, 2.5.1, 2.6, and 7. In Solaris 2.3 and 2.4, sadmind may be installed if the Sun Solstice Adminsuite packages are installed. The sadmind program is installed in /usr/sbin. It can be used to coordinate distributed system administration operations remotely. The sadmind daemon is started automatically by the inetd daemon whenever a request to perform a system administration operation is received.

All versions of sadmind are vulnerable to a buffer overflow that can overwrite the stack pointer within a running sadmind process. Since sadmind is installed as root, it is possible to execute arbitrary code with root privileges on a remote machine.

This vulnerability has been discussed in public security forums and is actively being exploited by intruders.

II. Impact

A remote user may be able to execute arbitrary code with root privileges on systems running vulnerable versions of sadmind.

III. Solution

Apply Sun's recommended patches for sadmind

Please see Appendix A for more information.

Disable sadmind

Remove (or comment) the following line in /etc/inetd.conf:

100232/10 tli rpc/udp wait root /usr/sbin/sadmind sadmind

Even though it will not defend against the attack discussed in this advisory, it is a good practice to set the security option used to authenticate requests to a STRONG level, for example:

100232/10 tli rpc/udp wait root /usr/sbin/sadmind sadmind -S 2

If you must use sadmind to perform system administration tasks, we urge you to use this setting.

Appendix A contains information provided by vendors for this advisory. We will update the appendix as we receive or develop more information. If you do not see your vendor's name in Appendix A, the CERT/CC did not hear from that vendor. Please contact your vendor directly.

Appendix A. Vendor Information

Sun Microsystems

Sun has published Sun Security Bulletin #00191 to address this issue:


The CERT Coordination Center thanks Sun Microsystems for its help in providing information for this advisory.

Copyright 1999 Carnegie Mellon University.

Revision History
Mar 02, 2000:   Changed pointers to Sun Bulletin #00191 to public pages
Jan 12, 1999:   Added updates from Sun, including Sun Security Bulletin #00191
Dec 16, 1999:   Added updates from Sun, including patch versions
Dec 14, 1999:   Initial release