SUSE-SA:2002:037: heartbeat

High Nessus Plugin ID 13758


The remote host is missing a vendor-supplied security patch


The remote host is missing the patch for the advisory SUSE-SA:2002:037 (heartbeat).

Heartbeat is a monitoring service that is used to implement failover in high-availablity environments. It can be configured to monitor other systems via serial connections, or via UDP/IP.

Several format string bugs have been discovered in the heartbeat package. One of these format string bugs is in the normal path of execution, all the remaining ones can only be triggered if heartbeat is running in debug mode. Since heartbeat is running with root privilege, this problem can possibly be exploited by remote attackers, provided they are able to send packets to the UDP port heartbeat is listening on (port 694 by default).

Vulnerable versions of heartbeat are included in SUSE LINUX 8.0 and SUSE LINUX 8.1.

As a workaround, make sure that your firewall blocks all traffic to the heartbeat UDP port.

The proper fix is to upgrade to the packages provided by SUSE.
In addition to fixing the format string bug, this update also changes heartbeat to perform processing of network packets as user 'nobody' instead of root. The update package for SUSE LINUX 8.1 also fixes a boot time problem with heartbeat.

SUSE wishes to thank Nathan Wallwork for reporting the bug, and Alan Robertson for his assistance in dealing with this problem. For more information on this vulnerability, please refer to

Please download the update package for your distribution and verify its integrity by the methods listed in section 3) of this announcement.
Then, install the package using the command 'rpm -Fhv file.rpm' to apply the update.


Plugin Details

Severity: High

ID: 13758

File Name: suse_SA_2002_037.nasl

Version: $Revision: 1.7 $

Agent: unix

Published: 2004/07/25

Dependencies: 12634

Risk Information

Risk Factor: High

Vulnerability Information

Required KB Items: Host/SuSE/rpm-list