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Lotus Domino Web Server vulnerable to denial of service via incomplete POST request

Vulnerability Note VU#355169

Original Release Date: 2003-02-21 | Last Revised: 2003-03-26


Lotus Domino Web Server is an application that provides access to Lotus Notes databases via HTTP requests. A vulnerability exists that could permit a remote attacker to cause a denial-of-service situation for HTTP requests.


Lotus Domino Web Server contains a vulnerability in the nhttp.exe application that could permit a remote attacker to cause a denial-of-service situation when generating incomplete HTTP POST requests. This vulnerability was reportedly discovered using a Windows 2000 (SP3) machine running Domino Release 6.0.

Further information is available in NGSSoftware advisory NISR17022003b and in IBM Technote 1104528 (SPR# KSPR5HTQHS). This vulnerability is addressed in Domino Releases 6.0.1 and 5.0.12.


A remote attacker may cause a denial-of-service situation for HTTP requests.


Upgrade to Domino Release 6.0.1 or 5.0.12.

There are no known workarounds for this vulnerability.

Vendor Information


Lotus Software Affected

Notified:  January 15, 2003 Updated: March 17, 2003



Vendor Statement

NGSS Advisory Title: Lotus Domino Denial of Service Attacks
NGSS reference: NISR17022003d


Status 5.x: Fixed in 5.0.12
Status 6.0: Fixed in 6.0.1

Document #:  1104528
CERT Reference: VU#355169

Vendor Information

The vendor has not provided us with any further information regarding this vulnerability.



Lotus Domino Denial of Service Attacks; reported by NGSS

Certain incomplete or overly long POST requests can cause the HTTP server task to fail. This vulnerability can be exploited by a malicious user to bring down the Web server task. The server does not crash, but the HTTP task needs to be restarted.
This issue was reported to Lotus Software Quality Engineering and has been addressed in Domino 5.0.12 and Domino 6.0.1.

Customers running 5.0x servers should upgrade to 5.0.12 or later to resolve the problem. Customers running 6.0 servers should upgrade to 6.0.1 or later to resolve the problem.

Excerpt from the Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino Release 5.0.12 and 6.0.1 Fix List
(available from
      SPR# KSPR5HTQHS - Fixed a potential Denial of Service Attack.
Related URLs:

NGSS Advisory # NISR17022003d:

CERT VU# 355169:

If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.

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Thanks to Mark Litchfield of NGS Software for reporting this vulnerability.

This document was written by Jason A Rafail.

Other Information

CVE IDs: None
CERT Advisory: CA-2003-11
Severity Metric: 3.71
Date Public: 2003-02-17
Date First Published: 2003-02-21
Date Last Updated: 2003-03-26 17:16 UTC
Document Revision: 17

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