Security experts are warning that many system and network administrators may have overlooked multiple vulnerabilities in several implementations of line printer systems software.
Researchers at the Computer Emergency Response Team (Cert) Co-ordination Centre said the problems relate to buffer overflow issues that allow remote users to gain root access to servers.
According to Cert, the vulnerabilities, which surround software packages known as internet security scanners, exist in the line printer daemon (LPD) which enables various clients to share printers over a network.
The vulnerabilities could allow intruders to gain root privileges and launch denial of service attacks through IBM AIX, FreeBSD, netBSD and openBSD line printers and Hewlett Packard's (HP's) HP-UX line printers.
"We are issuing this document primarily to encourage systems and network administrators to check their systems for exposure to each of these vulnerabilities, even if they have addressed some LPD vulnerabilities recently," Cert said in a statement.
In its warning Cert said that, even though some of the problems have previously been disclosed, "we believe administrators may have overlooked one or more of these vulnerabilities".
Cert specifically mentioned BSD LPD buffer overflows in displayq, IBM's AIX LPD buffer overflow in kill_print, send_status and chk_fhost, and HP's HP-UX LPD buffer overflow.
Patches are available for some of the vulnerabilities and a more detailed explanation can be found on Cert's advisory page at www.cert.org.
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