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Security researchers at Google discovered seven vulnerabilities, including three that enable remote code execution, in the widely used Dnsmasq server, an open source domain name system and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol package.
The Dnsmasq server software is bundled with Android, as well as many versions of Linux, and it has been ported to other Unix-like OSes. Dnsmasq includes servers for DNS and DHCP, and it's widely used in entry-level network routers, as well as other internet-of-things (IoT) devices.
"Dnsmasq provides functionality for serving DNS, DHCP, router advertisements and network boot," the Google research team wrote in the blog post announcing the vulnerabilities and the availability of patches for the flaws. "This software is commonly installed in systems as varied as desktop Linux distributions (like Ubuntu), home routers, and IoT devices. Dnsmasq is widely used both on the open internet and internally in private networks."
The research team -- which includes Fermin Serna, staff software engineer; Matt Linton, senior security engineer; and Kevin Stadmeyer, technical program manager -- published detailed instructions for their proof-of-concept exploits of the Dnsmasq server code. The three remote code execution vulnerabilities included CVE-2017-14491, "a DNS-based vulnerability that affects both directly exposed and internal network setups," and CVE-2017-14493, "a trivial-to-exploit DHCP-based, stack-based buffer overflow vulnerability," according to the Google researchers. The other RCE vulnerability was CVE-2017-14492, allowing attackers to use a heap-based overflow flaw in DHCP.
The other vulnerabilities included CVE-2017-14494, a data-leak flaw in the Dnsmasq DHCP code; CVE-2017-14495, an out-of-memory and denial-of-service bug in DNS; and CVE-2017-14496 and CVE-2017-13704, DoS bugs in DNS.
The Google team worked with Simon Kelley, the U.K. open source developer responsible for Dnsmasq, to patch and mitigate the issues. Dnsmasq server version 2.78, published on Oct. 2, fixes the vulnerabilities.
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