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.

Plugin Details

Severity: High

ID: 80413

File Name: ubuntu_USN-2455-1.nasl

Version: $Revision: 1.6 $

Type: local

Agent: unix

Published: 2015/01/08

Modified: 2016/05/24

Dependencies: 12634

Risk Information

Risk Factor: High


Base Score: 7.5

Temporal Score: 6.1

Vector: CVSS2#AV:N/AC:L/Au:N/C:P/I:P/A:P

Temporal Vector: CVSS2#E:U/RL:ND/RC:UR

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 Available: false

Exploit Ease: No known exploits are available

Patch Publication Date: 2015/01/07

Reference Information

CVE: CVE-2014-7844

BID: 71701

OSVDB: 115954

USN: 2455-1