University of Minnesota Gopherd GSisText Buffer Overflow Vulnerability



Date Discovered

July 11, 2003


It has been reported that there is a buffer overflow condition present in gopherd that may be exploited remotely to execute arbitrary code. The affected component is said to be used for determining view-types for gopher objects.

Technologies Affected

  • University of Minnesota gopherd 2.0.3
  • University of Minnesota gopherd 2.0.4
  • University of Minnesota gopherd 2.3.0
  • University of Minnesota gopherd 2.3.1
  • University of Minnesota gopherd 3.0.0 .0
  • University of Minnesota gopherd 3.0.1
  • University of Minnesota gopherd 3.0.2
  • University of Minnesota gopherd 3.0.3
  • University of Minnesota gopherd 3.0.4
  • University of Minnesota gopherd 3.0.5


Deploy network intrusion detection systems to monitor network traffic for malicious activity.
Deploying intrusion detection systems may aid in detecting common types of attacks.

To limit the consequences of successful exploits, run the server in a closed or restricted environment.
By default, gopherd will restrict the process to a chroot jail. Taking advantage of this may reduce the impact of successful exploitation.

Implement multiple redundant layers of security.
Kernel security enhancements such as stack protection and randomly mapped memory pages may limit exposure to stack-based overflow exploits.

The maintainer has responded to advise users to migrate to PyGopherd, as UMN gohperd has been removed from distribution and is no longer supported. Debian has released an advisory (DSA-387-1) and fixes to address this issue.


Reported by Vade 79 <>.

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