WordNet morph.c and search.c buffer overflow

wordnet-morph-search-bo (44848) The risk level is classified as HighHigh Risk


WordNet is vulnerable to a stack-based buffer overflow, caused by improper bounds checking by the morph.c and search.c files. By sending a specially-crafted command line argument, a remote attacker could overflow a buffer and execute arbitrary code on the system or cause the application to crash.


Base Score: 7.5
  Access Vector: Network
  Access Complexity: Low
  Authentication: None
  Confidentiality Impact: Partial
  Integrity Impact: Partial
  Availability Impact: Partial
Temporal Score: 5.7
  Exploitability: Unproven
  Remediation Level: Temporary-Fix
  Report Confidence: Confirmed


Gain Access


Apply the patch for WordNet, available from the oCert patch Web page. See References.


  • oCERT Advisories #2008-014: WordNet stack and heap overflows.
  • oCert Analysis, 2008-014: WordNet-3.0 Audit .
  • oCert patch Web page: wordnet.patch.
  • WordNet Web page: WordNet.
  • BID-30958: WordNet Multiple Buffer Overflow Vulnerabilities
  • CVE-2008-3908: Multiple buffer overflows in Princeton WordNet (wn) 3.0 allow context-dependent attackers to execute arbitrary code via (1) a long argument on the command line; a long (2) WNSEARCHDIR, (3) WNHOME, or (4) WNDBVERSION environment variable; or (5) a user-supplied dictionary (aka data file). NOTE: since WordNet itself does not run with special privileges, this issue only crosses privilege boundaries when WordNet is invoked as a third party component.
  • DSA-1634: wordnet -- stack and heap overflows
  • GLSA-200810-01: WordNet: Execution of arbitrary code
  • MDVSA-2008:182-1: wordnet

Platforms Affected:

  • Debian Debian Linux 4.0
  • Gentoo Linux
  • MandrakeSoft Mandrake Linux 2008.0 X86_64
  • MandrakeSoft Mandrake Linux 2008.0
  • MandrakeSoft Mandrake Linux 2008.1 X86_64
  • MandrakeSoft Mandrake Linux 2008.1
  • Princeton University WordNet 3.0


Sep 01, 2008

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