ZDI-06-036: Novell Netmail User Authentication Buffer Overflow Vulnerability

Type securityvulns
Reporter Securityvulns
Modified 2006-11-05T00:00:00


ZDI-06-036: Novell Netmail User Authentication Buffer Overflow Vulnerability http://www.zerodayinitiative.com/advisories/ZDI-06-036.html October 31, 2006

-- CVE ID: CVE-2006-5478

-- Affected Vendor: Novell

-- Affected Products: Netmail 3.5.2 Novell eDirectory 8.8.1

-- TippingPoint(TM) IPS Customer Protection: TippingPoint IPS customers have been protected against this vulnerability since October 31, 2006 by Digital Vaccine protection filter ID 4693. For further product information on the TippingPoint IPS:


-- Vulnerability Details: This vulnerability allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on vulnerable installations of Novell Netmail. Exploitation does not require authentication.

The specific flaw exists within the user authentication component of Novell Netmail. The routine responsible for authenticating Netmail users lacks adequate bounds checking when processing a username containing one or more period (.) characters. The affected code is reused by several Netmail services including SMTP, POP, IMAP, HTTP and the proprietary NMAP. Each of these services is vulnerable to an exploitable stack-based buffer overflow.

-- Vendor Response: Novell has issued an update to correct this vulnerability. More details can be found at:


-- Disclosure Timeline: 2006.09.08 - Vulnerability reported to vendor 2006.10.31 - Digital Vaccine released to TippingPoint customers 2006.10.31 - Public release of advisory

-- Credit: This vulnerability was discovered by an anonymous researcher.

-- About the Zero Day Initiative (ZDI): Established by TippingPoint, a division of 3Com, The Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) represents a best-of-breed model for rewarding security researchers for responsibly disclosing discovered vulnerabilities.

Researchers interested in getting paid for their security research through the ZDI can find more information and sign-up at:


The ZDI is unique in how the acquired vulnerability information is used. 3Com does not re-sell the vulnerability details or any exploit code. Instead, upon notifying the affected product vendor, 3Com provides its customers with zero day protection through its intrusion prevention technology. Explicit details regarding the specifics of the vulnerability are not exposed to any parties until an official vendor patch is publicly available. Furthermore, with the altruistic aim of helping to secure a broader user base, 3Com provides this vulnerability information confidentially to security vendors (including competitors) who have a vulnerability protection or mitigation product.