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Security update for gpg


(Last modified: 02DEC2003)

solutions Security update for gpg SuSE Linux Maintenance Web (1e68d2df30cb7c2363583ce10e998207)

Applies to

Product(s): SuSE Linux Desktop 1.0

Package: gpg
Release: 20031202
Obsoletes: none


This update should be installed on all systems.

Problem description

This security update fixes two independent errors in gpg.
  1. A format string error in code that is responsible for key retrieval from hkp keyservers on the internet may be exploited by a keyserver admin or an attacker doing a man-in-the-middle attack to crash gpg or to potentially execute arbitrary code as the user running gpg when retrieving keys from the keyserver.
  2. Keys that have been created using an undocumented feature in gpg to generate ElGamal signed keys are vulnerable to a bug that can compromise the key within seconds. Please note that such keys can only be generated if the user actively ignores a warning message and if these special options have been used for generating the key pair.
The potential impact of vulnerability 2) should not be overestimated. Only users who explicitly intended to generate such a keypair are vulnerable to this weakness. Their number is estimated to less than 850 worldwide.
The update should mainly be installed because of vulnerability 1). gpg automatically retrieves keys from a keyserver in the SUSE Linux Desktop product and is therefore more vulnerable to such an attack by default.


Please install the updates provided at the location noted below.

Installation notes

This update is provided as an RPM package that can easily be installed onto a running system by using this command:
rpm -Fvh gpg.rpm

links to download packages

Download Source Packages

Download the source code of the patches for maintained products.


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