Updated rxvt packages are available which fix a number of vulnerabilities in the handling of escape sequences. [Updated 12 March 2003] Added packages for Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES and Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS
Rxvt is a color VT102 terminal emulator for the X Window System. A number of issues have been found in the escape sequence handling of Rxvt. These could be potentially exploited if an attacker can cause carefully crafted escape sequences to be displayed on an rxvt terminal being used by their victim. One of the features which most terminal emulators support is the ability for the shell to set the title of the window using an escape sequence. Certain xterm variants, including rxvt, also provide an escape sequence for reporting the current window title. This essentially takes the current title and places it directly on the command line. Since it is not possible to embed a carriage return into the window title itself, the attacker would have to convince the victim to press the Enter key for the title to be processed as a command, although the attacker can perform a number of actions to increase the likelihood of this happening. A certain escape sequence when displayed in rxvt will create an arbitrary file. It is possible to add malicious items to the dynamic menus through an escape sequence. Users of Rxvt are advised to upgrade to these errata packages which contain a patch to disable the title reporting functionality and patches to correct the other issues. Red Hat would like to thank H D Moore for bringing these issues to our attention.