Feeds

Java applets run wild inside Notes

'Full compromise' possible

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Attackers with a desire to rummage around inside the PCs of Notes users can do so merely by sending HTML emails containing a Java applet or JavaScript, IBM has admitted in a security advisory.

Full Disclosure describes the effects as potentially nasty, saying "This can be used to load arbitrary Java applets from remote sources (making it an information disclosure as well as it can be used to trigger an HTTP request once the mail is previewed/opened)"

"Combined with known Java sandbox escape vulnerabilities, it can be used to fully compromise the user reading the email," the site adds.

It's not sure just what “fully compromise” means in this context, but it is not hard to imagine the consequences of a successful attack could be unpleasant, given the Notes client links to Notes apps that in turn link to databases full of a business' important information.

Sean Richmond, a senior technology consultant at Sophos, said the ability to run Java and JavaScript in an email “could be an entry to corporate assets” and also expressed mild incredulity about the vulnerabilty. “JavaScript in email attributes is considered bad.”

Things could be worse if an applet is able to emerge from Notes into a PC's Java virtual machine, a scenario Richmond hopes won't come about because email gateways' settings should be maximally hostile to .JAR files. Of course one would also imagine an email client would be maximally hostile to HTML emails calling .JAR files.

Happily, one fix is easy: just turn off the preferences that allow Java and JavaScript to run inside Notes. Another requires tickling some .ini files.

The problem affects Notes 8.5.3 and the new Notes 9. IBM promises fixes real soon now. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
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
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.