Ubuntu 10.04 LTS / 12.04 LTS / 14.04 LTS / 14.10 : bsd-mailx vulnerability (USN-2455-1)

high Nessus Plugin ID 80413


The remote Ubuntu host is missing a security-related patch.


It was discovered that bsd-mailx contained a feature that allowed syntactically valid email addresses to be treated as shell commands. A remote attacker could possibly use this issue with a valid email address to execute arbitrary commands.

This functionality has now been disabled by default, and can be re-enabled with the 'expandaddr' configuration option. This update alone does not remove all possibilities of command execution. In environments where scripts use mailx to process arbitrary email addresses, it is recommended to modify them to use a '--' separator before the address to properly handle those that begin with '-'.

Note that Tenable Network Security has extracted the preceding description block directly from the Ubuntu security advisory. Tenable has attempted to automatically clean and format it as much as possible without introducing additional issues.


Update the affected bsd-mailx package.

See Also


Plugin Details

Severity: High

ID: 80413

File Name: ubuntu_USN-2455-1.nasl

Version: 1.13

Type: local

Agent: unix

Published: 1/8/2015

Updated: 1/19/2021

Supported Sensors: Frictionless Assessment Agent, Frictionless Assessment AWS, Frictionless Assessment Azure, Nessus Agent

Risk Information


Risk Factor: Medium

Score: 5.9


Risk Factor: High

Base Score: 7.2

Temporal Score: 5.3

Vector: AV:L/AC:L/Au:N/C:C/I:C/A:C

Temporal Vector: E:U/RL:OF/RC:C


Risk Factor: High

Base Score: 7.8

Temporal Score: 6.8

Vector: CVSS:3.0/AV:L/AC:L/PR:L/UI:N/S:U/C:H/I:H/A:H

Temporal Vector: E:U/RL:O/RC:C

Vulnerability Information

CPE: p-cpe:/a:canonical:ubuntu_linux:bsd-mailx, cpe:/o:canonical:ubuntu_linux:10.04:-:lts, cpe:/o:canonical:ubuntu_linux:12.04:-:lts, cpe:/o:canonical:ubuntu_linux:14.04, cpe:/o:canonical:ubuntu_linux:14.10

Required KB Items: Host/cpu, Host/Ubuntu, Host/Ubuntu/release, Host/Debian/dpkg-l

Exploit Ease: No known exploits are available

Patch Publication Date: 1/7/2015

Vulnerability Publication Date: 1/14/2020

Reference Information

CVE: CVE-2014-7844

BID: 71701

USN: 2455-1