Vulnerability Note VU#772817

Lotus Domino Web Server vulnerable to buffer overflow via non-existent "h_SetReturnURL" parameter with an overly long "Host Header" field

Original Release date: 19 Feb 2003 | Last revised: 26 Mar 2003


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 execute arbitrary code on the server.


Lotus Domino Web Server contains a vulnerability in the nhttp.exe application that could permit a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on the server with SYSTEM privileges.

The problem occurs when the web server responds with a "302 Moved Temporarily" redirection error. The "Location:" header contained in this response is composed in part from the Host: header contained in the request. By carefully manipulating the length of the Host: header before and after URL encoding, the attacker can cause the resulting Location: header to contain information in adjacent memory on the web server. This vulnerability was reportedly discovered using a Windows 2000 (SP3) machine running Domino release 6.0.

Further information is available in NGSSoftware advisory NISR17022003a and in IBM Technote 1104529 (SPR# KSPR5HTLW6). This vulnerability is addressed in Domino Release 6.0.1. Domino Release 5 is not affected.


A remote attacker could execute arbitrary code on the server with SYSTEM privileges.


Upgrade to Domino Release 6.0.1.

Filter HTTP Requests with Large Headers

    Sites that are able to deploy a monitoring system between the Internet and their web server may be able to detect and block packets with large amounts of header data.

Systems Affected (Learn More)

VendorStatusDate NotifiedDate Updated
Lotus Software Affected15 Jan 200317 Mar 2003
If you are a vendor and your product is affected, let us know.

CVSS Metrics (Learn More)

Group Score Vector
Base N/A N/A
Temporal N/A N/A
Environmental N/A N/A



Thanks to Mark Litchfield of NGSSoftware for reporting this vulnerability.

This document was written by Jason A Rafail.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: Unknown
  • CERT Advisory: CA-2003-11
  • Date Public: 17 Feb 2003
  • Date First Published: 19 Feb 2003
  • Date Last Updated: 26 Mar 2003
  • Severity Metric: 53.44
  • Document Revision: 14


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