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iPlanet Server hole affects online banking

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A serious buffer overflow vulnerability in iPlanet Web Server Enterprise Edition discovered by researchers from @Stake enables an attacker to intercept parts of another user's session by retrieving data from memory allocation pools.

Such data could include session identifiers, cookies, form submissions, login names and passwords.

"If persistent authentication credentials are used, in the form of a 'remember my password' or 'auto-login' feature, these credentials could be used at any point in the future to access the user's account," a recent @Stake advisory warns.

"We have found that iPlanet servers are commonly used in banking and finance applications. It is the third most popular Web server on the Internet and its focus is high security Web servers and the Solaris platform," @Stake's Weld Pond told The Register.

He said that Web sites for e*trade, Verisign, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Wells Fargo, and MasterCard all use iPlanet Server.

"There is no way for users to detect this activity and there is no way for the Web server operator to detect it. This makes it a very serious problem," he added.

iPlanet Web Server replaces Netscape Enterprise Server; but Netscape versions 3.6x don't share the vulnerability, though the entire iPlanet 4.x line does.

The vulnerability has been patched, iPlanet says. Several NSAPIs (Netscape Server APIs) are available for different platforms and have been posted here; but the company warns users that they "may incur a performance penalty," and so recommends upgrading with SP7 instead.

@Stake had already provided a fix for its clients, which can be reviewed in the advisory cited above, while waiting for iPlanet to deal with the situation.

Now that iPlanet is finally on top of it, all that remains is for systems administrators to act faster on this information than would-be malicious intruders.

Yeah, right.... ®

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