BOFHs beware OpenView, NetView flaw
Bug threatens network management mission control
A potentially devastating vulnerability involving components on the network management software of Hewlett-Packard and IBM's Tivoli division has come to light.
According to an alert published by CERT, systems running HP OpenView Network Node Manager (NNM) Version 6.1 and Tivoli NetView Versions 5.x and 6.x are vulnerable to a security flaw which could lead to an intruder gaining administrative control of a vulnerable machine.
If this is secured a user might change the configuration of a network or compromise other devices on a network.
Roy Hills, testing development director of security testing firm NTA Monitor, said the bug was "potentially very serious" because it might allow a hacker to control the "mission control" of a network, the network management console.
Hills said this station should be blocked by a firewall and should never be visible from the Internet, so the threat (though considerable) was one from internal attackers.
The root cause of the problem is a bug in ovactiond, an SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) trap and event handler software component used by both OpenView and NetView, which allows a hacker to execute arbitrary commands by sending a malicious message to the management server.
NTA Monitor's Hills said that such messages were sent in UDP packets, which are easier to forge than TCP packet, a factor which elevated the level of risk from the bug.
Versions of OpenView and NetView on both Unix and NT platforms might be vulnerable to attack, depending on how the software is configured. Patches to address the vulnerability have been issued by both vendors, more information on which is available here. ®
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