iDefense Labs contacted IBM Lotus to report a potential keyview buffer overflow vulnerability in Lotus Notes. In specific situations it was found that there is the possibility to execute arbitrary code.
To successfully exploit this vulnerability, an attacker would need to send a specially crafted Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet (XLS) file attachment to users, and the users would then have to double-click the attachment and select "View".
The CVE identifier is CVE-2009-3037
Link to iDefense advisory
Link to related Symantec advisory
Resolving the problem
(Original publish date August 25, 2009. See "Change History" below.)
This issue is being tracked under SPR# PRAD7RSL2H and is resolved in Notes 8.5.1. Refer to the Upgrade Central site for details on upgrading Notes/Domino.
A patch is also currently available (see below for details) and a fix is included in the latest CCH for Notes 7.0.4 (on Fix Central).
Note that this issue was determined to impact Windows-based Notes clients; it does not impact Lotus Domino servers.
For Notes 8.5.x, 8.0x, and 7.x
Option 1: Obtain the patch by opening a service request with IBM Support.
- or -
Option 2: Disable the affected file viewer by following one of the options in the "How to disable viewers within Lotus Notes" section of this technote.
For Notes 6.x:
Disable the viewer as described in the "Options to disable viewers within Lotus Notes" section of this technote. There is no software fix available for the 6.x Notes client version.
For Notes 5.x
Disable the viewer as described in the "Options to disable viewers within Lotus Notes" section of this technote. There is no software fix available for the 5.x Notes client version.
|Options to disable viewers within Notes|
Delete the keyview.ini file in the Notes program directory.
This disables ALL viewers. When a user clicks View (for any file attachment), a dialog box will display with the message "Unable to locate the viewer configuration file."
Delete or rename the affected DLL file.
In this case the affected DLL file is xlssr.dll. When a user tries to view a Microsoft Excel file, a dialog box will display with the message "The viewer display window could not be initialized." All other file types work without returning the error message.
Comment out lines in keyview.ini that reference affected DLL file.
To comment a line, you precede it with a semi-colon (;). When a user tries to view the specific file type, a dialog box will display with the message "The viewer display window could not be initialized."
[KVWKBVE] --> this is the section of the keyview.ini
;188=xlssr.dll ---> this would be the result of the Excel dll commented out
|General cautionary note|
Users are strongly urged to use caution when opening or viewing unsolicited file attachments.
Attachments will not auto-execute upon opening or previewing the email message; the file attachment must be opened by the user using the mentioned file viewers. In some cases, further user action is also required to trigger the exploit.
|Security Rating Using Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) v2|
|CVSS Base Score: < 9.3 >
---- Impact Subscore: < 10 >
---- Exploitability Subscore: < 8.6 >
CVSS Temporal Score: < 7.3 >
CVSS Environmental Score: < Undefined* >
Overall CVSS Score: < 7.3 >
|Base Score Metrics:
|Temporal Score Metrics:
*The CVSS Environment Score is customer environment-specific and will ultimately impact the Overall CVSS Score. Customers can evaluate the impact of this vulnerability in their environments by accessing the referenced links.
|21 October 2009||Added 704 CCH info|
|14 October 2009||Updated 8.5.1 fix info|
|10 September 2009||Added CVE identifier|
|25 August 2009||First published.|