Feeds

Confusion over serious Notes, Domino vulns

If we tell you what's wrong, we'd have to kill you

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Lotus Notes and Domino are subject to an unholy trio of serious security vulnerabilities which could exploited in denial of service or privilege elevation attacks on the vulnerable system.

That's the stark warning from security outfit Rapid 7 (via a posting to BugTraq), which advises that a successful denial of service attack could result in corruption of Notes databases. Also, crackers may be able to take over vulnerable servers, Rapid 7 warns.

Rapid 7 is delaying release of details of the vulnerabilities until Wednesday; in the mean time it strongly urges admins to "upgrade immediately to R5.0.12 or R6.0.1 to protect their servers". Lotus R4, unsupported but widely used, is also vulnerable to the undocumented flaws.

But R5.0.12 is still at risk to a separate set of security vulnerabilities, discovered by NGSSoftware last month.

The only safe option seems to be to upgrade to R6.0.1, a major version upgrades for Notes 5 users. Most Lotus Notes users - more than 85 per cent, according to Rapid 7 - are still on version 5.

From Rapid 7's warning we learn only that it has discovered three vulnerabilities in the Lotus Notes and Domino server platforms, two of which also affect the Lotus Notes client. The vulnerability is generic to Notes and not particular to the platform (Linux, window, Unix etc.) a Notes database runs on.

The lack of additional information is unhelpful, because Rapid 7's advice conflicts with earlier advisories from NGSSoftware, warning of potential problems with R5.0.12.

Quite apart from the security issues that might still apply, Domino add-ons (such as Quickplace) are not supported on 5.0.12 (see Forum here and Lotus statement here).

Uggh.

So can we find a way through this mess? Only partially.

Both Chad Loder, of Rapid 7, and Mark Litchfield, of NGSSoftware agree that "their" vulns are different. Litchfield told us that Lotus is yet to issue a fix for all the R5.0.12 problems discovered by him. R5.0.12 isn't mentioned by name in Litchfield's advisories but it is vulnerable, he tells us.

According to Litchfield, the only available fix for the (separate) problems NGSSoftware documents is to upgrade to R6.0.1. In particular he refers to an incomplete post request DoS vulnerability affecting R5.0.12.

Pending definitive advice from IBM/Lotus itself, the situation is deeply confusing, particularly for R5 users. Lotus Web site states all the NGS vulnerabilities bar an ActiveX issue (which is still under investigation) are fixed in 5.0.12.

Last night we asked Lotus' security manager for clarification on its advice to users. We've yet to receive a response. ®

External Links

Rapid7 discovers critical Lotus Notes/Domino vulnerabilities, mention of this on here and here on Lotus' Web site
Rapid7's advice FAQ
... you might to think carefully about the R5.0.12 upgrade for security and
usability reasons

Related Stories

We won't tell you what this patch does, but apply it NOW
Light shed on Novell's darkest security secret
Slammer: Why security benefits from proof of concept code

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
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
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
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.