[Swan] [Swan-announce] libreswan 3.13 released to resolve CVE-2015-3204: malicious payload causes libreswan IKE daemon restart

The Libreswan Project team at libreswan.org
Mon Jun 1 17:17:00 EEST 2015

Hash: SHA512

CVE-2015-3204 malicious payload causing IKE daemon restart

URL: http://www.cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=2015-3204

This alert (and any possible updates) is available at the following URLs:

The Libreswan Project was notified by Javantea <jvoss at altsci.com> of two
vulnerabilities found by fuzzing IKEv1 payloads. The malicious IKE packet
causes an unexpected state in the IKE daemon resulting in passert() calls
terminating and restarting the IKE daemon. No remote code execution is

Vulnerable versions: libreswan 3.9 up to version 3.12
Not vulnerable     : libreswan 3.13 and newer

If you cannot upgrade to 3.13, please see the above link for a patch for
this issue.

Vulnerability information
- --------------------------

Javantea used a custom IKE fuzzer to test libreswan and found two issues
resulting in the libreswan IKE daemon to hit a passert() and restart.

By setting unassigned bits of the IPSEC DOI value, an error message
string would be printed with string names as bit numbers. Printing 32 of
these would cause the internal buffer "bitnamesbuf" to be too small. This
buffer is truncated properly in the non-vulnerable versions. A generic
jam_str() function was added to these protections, but it would passert()
if not given at least a buffer length of 1 (to add a NULL to terminate
the string). However, the filled in string would have no more space for
the additional 1 character to be added. The passert() would cause the IKE
daemon to restart.

By setting the next payload value to ISAKMP_NEXT_SAK (used by old Cisco
VPN servers to signal NAT-Traversal payloads), the libreswan daemon would
attempt to interpret this payload as a NAT-D payload. However, it did not
properly do so, causing a passert() which would restart the IKE daemon.

- -------------

This denial of service can be launched by anyone using a single IKE packet.
No authentication credentials are required. No remote code execution is
possible through this vulnerability. Libreswan automatically restarts when
it crashes.

- -----------

There is no workaround. Either upgrade or use the supplied patch in the
above listed resource URL.

- --------

This vulnerability was found by Javantea <jvoss at altsci.com>.

About libreswan (https://libreswan.org/)
- -----------------------------------------

Libreswan is a free implementation of the Internet Protocol Security
(IPsec) suite and Internet Key Exchange (IKE) protocols. It is a
descendant (fork) of openswan 2.6.38.

IPsec uses strong cryptography to provide both authentication and
encryption services. These services allow you to build secure tunnels
through untrusted networks. Everything passing through the untrusted
network is encrypted by the IPsec gateway machine, and decrypted by
the gateway at the other end of the tunnel. The resulting tunnel is a
virtual private network (VPN).

Version: GnuPG v1


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