[Announce] GnuPG does not detect injection of unsigned data

Werner Koch wk at gnupg.org
Thu Mar 9 19:53:40 CET 2006

           GnuPG does not detect injection of unsigned data
                 (released 2006-03-09, CVE-2006-0049)


In the aftermath of the false positive signature verfication bug
(announced 2006-02-15) more thorough testing of the fix has been done
and another vulnerability has been detected.

This new problem affects the use of *gpg* for verification of
signatures which are _not_ detached signatures.  The problem also
affects verification of signatures embedded in encrypted messages;
i.e. standard use of gpg for mails.

To solve this problem, an update of the current stable version has
been released (see below).

Please do not respond to this message.  The mailing list gnupg-devel
is the best place to discuss this problem (please subscribe first so
you don't need moderator approval [1]).


Signature verification of non-detached signatures may give a positive
result but when extracting the signed data, this data may be prepended
or appended with extra data not covered by the signature.  Thus it is
possible for an attacker to take any signed message and inject extra
arbitrary data.

Detached signatures (a separate signature file) are not affected.

All versions of gnupg prior to are affected.

Scripts and applications using gpg to verify the integrity of data are
affected. This includes applications using the GPGME library[2].

The GnuPG version 1.9.x is not affected unless the currently
deprecated gpg part has been enabled.


Update GnuPG as soon as possible to version  There are no
fixes for older versions available.

If you can't get an update from your vendor, please follow the
instructions found at http://www.gnupg.org/download/ or read on:

GnuPG may be downloaded from one of the GnuPG mirror sites or
direct from ftp://ftp.gnupg.org/gcrypt/ .  The list of mirrors can be
found at http://www.gnupg.org/mirrors.html .  Note, that GnuPG is not
available at ftp.gnu.org.

On the mirrors you should find the following files in the *gnupg*

  gnupg- (2.8M)

      GnuPG source compressed using BZIP2 and OpenPGP signature.

  gnupg- (4.0M)

      GnuPG source compressed using GZIP and OpenPGP signature.

  gnupg- (101k)

      A patch file to upgrade a GnuPG source. 

Select one of them. To shorten the download time, you probably want to
get the BZIP2 compressed file.  Please try another mirror if
exceptional your mirror is not yet up to date.

In the *binary* directory, you should find these files:

  gnupg-w32cli- (1.4M)

      GnuPG compiled for Microsoft Windows and OpenPGP signature.
      Note that this is a command line version and now comes with a
      graphical installer tool.  The source files are the same as
      given above.  Note, that a new version of the Gpg4Win
      package[3], including a fixed version of GnuPG has also been
      released today.

In order to check that the version of GnuPG which you are going to
install is an original and unmodified one, you can do it in one of
the following ways:

 * If you already have a trusted version of GnuPG installed, you can
   simply check the supplied signature.  Due to the fact that detached
   signatures are used, the problem described here does not affect
   this verification.  For example to check the signature of the file
   gnupg- you would use this command:

     gpg --verify gnupg-

   This checks whether the signature file matches the source file.
   You should see a message indicating that the signature is good and
   made by that signing key.  Make sure that you have the right key,
   either by checking the fingerprint of that key with other sources
   or by checking that the key has been signed by a trustworthy other
   key.  Note, that you can retrieve the signing key using "finger wk
   'at' g10code.com" or "finger dd9jn 'at' gnu.org" or using the
   keyservers.  From time to time I prolong the expiration date; thus
   you might need a fresh copy of that key.

   Never use a GnuPG version you just downloaded to check the
   integrity of the source - use an existing GnuPG installation!
   Watch out for a "Good signature" messages.

 * If you are not able to use an old version of GnuPG, you have to
   verify the SHA-1 checksum.  Assuming you downloaded the file
   gnupg-, you would run the sha1sum command like this:

     sha1sum gnupg-

   and check that the output matches the first line from the
   following list:

f5559ddb004e0638f6bd9efe2bac00134c5065ba  gnupg-
959540c1c6158e09d668ceee055bf366dc26d0bd  gnupg-
880b3e937f232b1ca366bda37c4a959aacbd84f3  gnupg-
95dd7fd4c49423b86704acfc396ce5a53c8b19e7  gnupg-w32cli-


OpenPGP messages are made up of packets.  The signed data is a packet,
the actual signature is a packet and there are several control packets
as well.  For example:

   O + D + S 

This describes a standard signed message made made up of a control
packet (O for one-pass signature packet), the actual signed data (D)
and the actual signature packet (S).  gpg checks that the signature S
is valid over the data D.  This is actually easy if not OpenPGP and
GnuPG would have a long tradition of changing the fromats.  PGP 2
versions used a different way of composing these packets:

   S + D

and early versions of gpg, released before RFC2440, even created

   D + S

i.e. without the one-pass packet.  Still this would all be easy to
process properly but in an ill-advised attempt to make things easier,
gpg allowed the processing of multiple signatures per file, like

   O1 + D1 + S1 + O2 + D2 + S2

where two standard signatures are concatenated.  Now when combining
this with the other variants of signatures, things get really messy
and it is not always possible to assocciate the signature (S) with the
signed data (D).  gpg checked that this all works but unfortunately
these checks are not sufficient enough.  The attack is to change a
standard message to inject faked data (F).  A simple case is this:

   F + O + D + S 

gpg now happily skips F for verification and does a proper signature
verification of D and if this succeeds, prints a positive result.
However when asked to output the actual signed data it will output the
concatenation of F + D and thus create the impression that both are
covered by the signature.  Depending on how gpg is invoked (in a
pipeline or using --output) it may even output just F and not at all
D.  There are several variants of the attack in where to put the faked

The only correct solution to this problem is to get rid of the feature
to check concatenated signatures - this allows for strict checking of
valid packet composition.  This is what has been done in and
in the forthcoming 1.4.3rc2.  These versions accept signatures only if
they are composed of

  O + D + S
  S + D
Cleartext signatures are of course also supported, they are similiar
to the O+D+S case.

The actual checking for valid signature packet composition is done at
g10/mainproc.c, at the top of check_sig_and_print().


Tavis Ormandy again poked on gpg and found this vulnerability. 

The new version has been released yesterday and should by now be
available on all mirrors.

[1] http://lists.gnupg.org/mailman/listinfo/gnupg-devel
[2] http://www.gnupg.org/related_software/gpgme
[3] http://www.gpg4win.org

Werner Koch                                      <wk at gnupg.org>
The GnuPG Experts                                http://g10code.com
Free Software Foundation Europe                  http://fsfeurope.org
Join the Fellowship and protect your Freedom!    http://www.fsfe.org
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