Vulnerability Note VU#952171

Hewlett Packard OpenView and Tivoli NetView do not adequately validate SNMP trap arguments

Original Release date: 21 Jun 2001 | Last revised: 06 Sep 2001


Hewlett Packard's (HP) OpenView and Tivoli NetView are system management software packages. There is a vulnerability a component of these packages, ovactiond, that allows intruders to execute arbitrary commands as user bin. This may subsequently lead to a root compromise.


HP OpenView and Tivoli NetView are set of tools to manage large networks. Part of OpenView and NetView is a daemon called ovactiond, which is the SNMP trap and event handler. It is possible for an intruder to execute arbitrary commands by sending a malicious message to a vulnerable version of ovactiond. These commands run with the privileges of the ovactiond process, typically bin on Unix systems, and SYSTEM on Windows NT/2000. Often it is possible to use this access to gain root access on Unix systems. An exploit is publicly available. Note that Tivoli NetView is not vulnerable via the default configuration, however, it is likely that customized configurations are vulnerable HP is vulnerable by the default configuration.

For more information, see HP Security Bulletin HPSBUX0106-154 and

It has been confirmed with HP that the patch referenced on Security Focus for OpenView Version 5.01 is only for Version 6.1.


An intruder can execute arbitrary commands with the privileges of the ovactiond process, typically bin on Unix systems, and SYSTEM on Window NT/2000 systems.


Apply patches from your vendor as appropriate. HP has released HP Security Bulletin HPSBUX0106-154. Tivoli has information posted on

Systems Affected (Learn More)

VendorStatusDate NotifiedDate Updated
Compaq Computer CorporationAffected21 Jun 200115 Aug 2001
Hewlett PackardAffected15 Jun 200124 Aug 2001
IBMAffected21 Jun 200115 Aug 2001
MicrosoftAffected15 Jun 200115 Aug 2001
SunAffected15 Jun 200115 Aug 2001
TivoliAffected27 Jun 200115 Aug 2001
AppleNot Affected21 Jun 200115 Aug 2001
Computer AssociatesNot Affected07 Aug 200115 Aug 2001
FreeBSDNot Affected21 Jun 200115 Aug 2001
FujitsuNot Affected21 Jun 200115 Aug 2001
BSDIUnknown21 Jun 200115 Aug 2001
CalderaUnknown21 Jun 200115 Aug 2001
DebianUnknown21 Jun 200115 Aug 2001
DgUnknown21 Jun 200115 Aug 2001
NECUnknown21 Jun 200115 Aug 2001
If you are a vendor and your product is affected, let us know.View More »

CVSS Metrics (Learn More)

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



Our thanks to Milo G. van der Zee, who reported this problem to us and to Hewlett-Packard for the information contained in their advisory.

This document was written by Jason Rafail.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: CAN-2001-0552
  • CERT Advisory: CA-2001-24
  • Date Public: 08 Jun 2001
  • Date First Published: 21 Jun 2001
  • Date Last Updated: 06 Sep 2001
  • Severity Metric: 44.89
  • Document Revision: 18


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