Feeds

iPlanet security flaws unmasked

More annoying than serious

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

A pair of vulnerabilities on widely-used Web server software from iPlanet has been uncovered.

In the more serious case Netscape Enterprise Server 3.x and iPlanet Web Server 4.x, running on the Windows operating system, can be subjected to a denial of service attack. Hackers would need only to enter a simple browser command in order to cause a vulnerable server to crash.

For the technique to work Web publishing needs to be enabled but since this is fairly common the problem is quiet serious for those that running versions of the affected software on an NT platform. An estimated 30 per cent of Netscape and iPlanet Web servers run on NT.

An advisory explaining the steps to take to fix the problem, which involves disabling the ?wp-html-rend command, can be found here.

The second vulnerability, which affects wider varieties of Netscape Enterprise Server and iPlanet Web Server, could allow an attacker to make repeated authentication attempts if a server is configured to use HTTP basic authentication.

This is not a severe weakness, because other security mechanisms (such as using client certificates) should be in place. However it may allow attackers to perform brute force password cracking on a site which has no authentication pages and, as such, represents an unexpected avenue of attack.

This bug affects Netscape Enterprise Server 2.x and 3.x as well as iPlanet Web Server 4.x and 6.x on Solaris, AIX, Digital Unix, HP-UX, IRIX, SunOS, Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Linux.

The vulnerability represents a security configuration and iPlanet has produced an advisory detailing the steps admins can take here.

Security firm ProCheckUp, which discovered both bugs, say the bugs collectively affect iPlanet Web servers commonly used in e-commerce or banking sites. But they are less serious than recent flaws uncovered in Microsoft IIS.

"These [iPlanet bugs] are not root level exploits so they are not nearly as bad as Microsoft bugs, which have resulted in the exposure of credit card details," said Richard Brain, ProCheckUp's technical director.

"At worst you could temporarily shut down a Web site with these bugs. It's more an annoyance factor than anything," he added. ®

External links

DoS risk for iPlanet (CERT note)
CERT note on brute force attack vulnerability
Advisory by ProCheckUp

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Tor attack nodes RIPPED MASKS off users for 6 MONTHS
Traffic confirmation attack bared users' privates - but to whom?
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.