[erlang-bugs] SNMP get-request failure

Stefan Zegenhagen <>
Mon Apr 7 10:13:16 CEST 2014

Dear all,

we have discovered at least one SNMP manager that composes get-requests
like this:


Please note that the get-request does not contain 'NULL', 'NULL' as
variabletype and value, but contains a valid type/value pair. To my
knowledge, this is not forbidden.

When the OID is not accessible (e.g. MAX-ACCESS is not-accessible or
accessible-for-notify), the following response-PDU is generated:


Please not again that the variabletype is still the one from the
original requests, e.g. the PDU processing in snmpa_agent:process_pdu/5
fails to update #varbind.variabletype when detecting errors.

This response PDU fails to encode because of the ordering of the clauses
in snmp_pdus:enc_value/2 which checks for basic BER types first, before
considering known error atoms as values.

The same problem does not exist when the instrumentation function for
that object returns {noValue, Error} because the 'noValue' atom is
copied to #varbind.variabletype in that case.

A fix should probably:
      * reorder the clauses in snmp_pdus:enc_value/2,
      * overwrite #varbind.variabletype with 'NULL' or 'noValue' when
        detecting errors,
      * or do both of the above solutions.

Kind regards,

Dr. Stefan Zegenhagen

arcutronix GmbH
Garbsener Landstr. 10
30419 Hannover

Tel:   +49 511 277-2734
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