Tried, Tested and Proven

Security Advisory 06 – 060 – SurgeMail is prone to a
format string vulnerability

Vulnerability discovery and development:

Portcullis Security Testing Services discovered this vulnerability.
Further research was then carried out.

Credit for Discovery:

Nico Leidecker – Portcullis Computer Security Ltd.

Affected Systems:

Version 3.7b8 Linux and maybe previous versions and on other platforms.


SurgeMail offers the ability to charge the recipients a fee for receiving emails from certain addresses. As soon as such an email comes in, a notification email containing the amount payable is composed and sent to the user requesting payment. A user with the privileges allowing them to change these amounts is then able to exploit a format string vulnerability, caused by the abdiction of an explicit format string while using the amount value as parameter in such a function. Furthermore, the amount value can consist of arbitrary characters.


An attacker could cause a Denial of Service or execute arbitrary code in the context of the server.


The proof of concept exploit code is available.

Vendor Status:

Vendor notified. The vulnerability has been fixed.


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