Debian Security Advisory

DSA-163-1 mhonarc -- cross site scripting

Date Reported:
09 Sep 2002
Affected Packages:
Security database references:
In the Bugtraq database (at SecurityFocus): BugTraq ID 4546.
In Mitre's CVE dictionary: CVE-2002-0738.
More information:

Jason Molenda and Hiromitsu Takagi found ways to exploit cross site scripting bugs in mhonarc, a mail to HTML converter. When processing maliciously crafted mails of type text/html mhonarc does not deactivate all scripting parts properly. This is fixed in upstream version 2.5.3.

If you are worried about security, it is recommended that you disable support of text/html messages in your mail archives. There is no guarantee that the library is robust enough to eliminate all possible exploits that can occur with HTML data.

To exclude HTML data, you can use the MIMEEXCS resource. For example:


The type "text/x-html" is probably not used any more, but is good to include it, just-in-case.

If you are concerned that this could block out the entire contents of some messages, then you could do the following instead:

    text/html; m2h_text_plain::filter;
    text/x-html; m2h_text_plain::filter;

This treats the HTML as text/plain.

The above problems have been fixed in version 2.5.2-1.1 for the current stable distribution (woody), in version 2.4.4-1.1 for the old stable distribution (potato) and in version 2.5.11-1 for the unstable distribution (sid).

We recommend that you upgrade your mhonarc packages.

Fixed in:

Debian GNU/Linux 2.2 (potato)

Architecture-independent component:

Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 (woody)

Architecture-independent component:

MD5 checksums of the listed files are available in the original advisory.