CVE-2016-1531 Exim

Background Information

On Wednesday, March 2, 2016, Exim announced a vulnerability in all versions of the Exim software.


According to Exim development:
> All installations having Exim set-uid root and using perl_startup are vulnerable to a local privilege escalation. Any user who can start an instance of Exim (this is normally any user) can gain root privileges.


The following versions of cPanel & WHM were patched to have the correct version of Exim. All previous versions of cPanel & WHM, including 11.48.x and below, are vulnerable to a set-uid attack on Exim.

  • 11.50 —
  • 11.52 —
  • 11.54 —
  • EDGE — 11.55.9999.106
  • STABLE —

How to determine if your server is up to date

The updated RPMs provided by cPanel will contain a changelog entry with the CVE number. You can check for this changelog entry with the following command:

rpm -q --changelog exim | grep CVE-2016-1531

The output should resemble below:

- Fixes CVE-2016-1531

What to do if you are not up to date.

If your server is not running one of the above versions, update immediately.

To upgrade your server, use WHM’s Upgrade to Latest Version interface (WHM >> Home >> cPanel >> Upgrade to Latest Version).

Alternatively, you can run the below commands to upgrade your server from the command line:

/scripts/check_cpanel_rpms --fix --long-list

Verify the new Exim RPM was installed:

rpm -q --changelog exim | grep CVE-2016-1531

The output should resemble below:

- Fixes CVE-2016-1531

What has changed?

Exim now provides two configuration options which limit what environment variables are available to Exim and all of its child processes. The variables are keep_environment and add_environment. For the initial release with this feature, cPanel will be setting the variables as follows in all supported cPanel & WHM systems. These values can be modified in WHM’s Advanced Configuration Editor interface if necessary, though we advise caution on adding too many variables to keep_environment.

The /etc/exim.conf file:

keep_environment = X-SOURCE : X-SOURCE-ARGS : X-SOURCE-DIR
add_environment = PATH=/usr/local/sbin::/usr/local/bin::/sbin::/bin::/usr/sbin::/usr/bin::/sbin::/bin 

If you are still experiencing issues or need additional help, please contact cPanel support.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also