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Lotus Domino Server susceptible to a pre-authentication buffer overflow during Notes authentication

Vulnerability Note VU#433489

Original Release Date: 2003-03-13 | Last Revised: 2003-04-23


Lotus Domino is vulnerable to a pre-authentication buffer overflow attack during Notes authentication.


A buffer overflow vulnerability may be exploited during Notes authentication to a Lotus Domino server. Versions prior to 5.0.12 and 6.0 are affected. According to the Rapid7 Advisory:

Lotus Notes and Domino servers support a proprietary protocol called NotesRPC, commonly known as the Notes protocol. This protocol is usually bound to TCP port 1352, but can also use NetBIOS, Netware
SPX, Banyan Vines, and modem dialup for transport.

When a Notes client connects to a Notes server, it authenticates with the server to establish a session. This authentication consists of a series of exchanges in which the client and server present each other with challenges to verify each other's identity.

It is possible for an unauthenticated client to manipulate the data during this exchange to trigger a buffer overflow on the Notes server. This allows an attacker to overwrite large sections of the heap with arbitrary data. While our testing only covered TCP/IP, we believe it is possible for this overflow to be triggered via other protocols, including dialup. It is theoretically possible for an attacker to supply the data in such a way as to compromise the Notes server's security.


This vulnerability may be used by an unauthenticated attacker to cause a denial of service or potentially execute arbitrary code.


Lotus has published a support document for this issue. Upgrade to version 5.0.12 or 6.0 Gold or 6.0.1.

Vendor Information


Lotus Software Affected

Notified:  March 06, 2003 Updated: March 13, 2003



Vendor Statement

We have not received a statement from the vendor.

Vendor Information

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


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Thanks to Rapid7, Inc. Security Advisories and Lotus for reporting this vulnerability.

This document was written by Jason A Rafail.

Other Information

CVE IDs: None
Severity Metric: 15.82
Date Public: 2003-03-06
Date First Published: 2003-03-13
Date Last Updated: 2003-04-23 14:42 UTC
Document Revision: 17

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