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Security Bulletin: IBM Lotus iNotes ActiveX Attachment_Times Buffer Overflow Vulnerability (CVE-2012-2175)

Flash (Alert)


A security vulnerability exists in an ActiveX control shipped by IBM Lotus iNotes 8.5.x. This vulnerability could allow remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on installations of Lotus iNotes when the control is invoked as ActiveX by Microsoft Internet Explorer.



CVE ID: CVE-2012-2175

DESCRIPTION: It is possible for an attacker to compromise the DWA85W ActiveX control used within Lotus iNotes to remotely execute arbitrary code by instantiating this control from Microsoft Internet Explorer. For a remote attacker to exploit this vulnerability, the following must be accomplished:

1. The user must have Lotus iNotes installed on the machine. Important Note: Continuous use of Lotus iNotes is not required; the vulnerability may be exploited against the ActiveX control regardless of the use of the product.

2. Attacker needs to create malicious code that would exploit the ActiveX control. This code could be part of a Web page.

3. User must be persuaded to follow a Web site link that contains the malicious code via the Microsoft Internet Explorer Web browser.

4. If the malicious Web site is running within Internet Explorer's Internet Zone, the user must typically authorize the ActiveX pop-up dialog before it could be used.

As of May 31, 2012, IBM has not received any reports of customer issues related to this security vulnerability.

Using the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) v2, the security ratings for these issues are:

CVSS Base Score: 9.3
CVSS Temporal Score: See for the current score.
CVSS Environmental Score*: Undefined
CVSS String: (AV:N/AC:M/Au:N/C:C/I:C/A:C)


All Lotus iNotes platforms



This issue is being tracked by Quality Engineering as SPR# PTHN8QUSVP. A fix for the issue will be introduced in the following releases:

  • Lotus iNotes 8.5.3 Fix Pack 2
  • Interim Fix 1 for Lotus iNotes 8.5.3 Fix Pack 1 (available on Fix Central; direct download link & install instructions provided below)

    Fix Central ID
    File name & download link

    Install Instructions: includes files Forms85.nsf and Place the files in their respective directories, as shown below:

      <Domino data directory>\iNotes\Forms85.nsf

      <Domino data directory>\domino\html\


    Disable the use of the vulnerable ActiveX control within Internet Explorer.

    Note: This solution contains information about modifying the Microsoft operating system registry. Before making any modifications with the Microsoft Registry Editor, it is strongly recommended that you make a backup of the existing registry. For more information about how to back up the registry refer to Microsoft Knowledge Base article 256986.

    The vulnerable ActiveX control can be disabled in Internet Explorer by manually setting the kill bit. Complete the following steps to set the kill bit on the machine where Lotus iNotes is installed.

    1. Start the Microsoft Windows Registry Editor (regedit).

    2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\ActiveXCompatibility

    3. Add a new Key:

    4. Select that Key and create a new DWORD value named:
    Compatibility Flags

    5. Set the Compatibility Flags value to:

    6. Exit the Registry Editor.

    7. Restart Internet Explorer.


    None known. Apply the workaround.


  • Complete CVSS Guide
  • On-line Calculator V2
  • CVE-2012-2175
  • IBM X-Force Database

    Change History:

    05/31/12 Initial Publication

    *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 links in the Reference section of this Flash.

    According to the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST), the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) is an "industry open standard designed to convey vulnerability severity and help to determine urgency and priority of response." IBM PROVIDES THE CVSS SCORES "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. CUSTOMERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF ANY ACTUAL OR POTENTIAL SECURITY VULNERABILITY.
  • Document information

    More support for: IBM iNotes

    Software version: 8.5, 8.5.1, 8.5.2, 8.5.3

    Operating system(s): Linux, OS X, Windows

    Reference #: 1596862

    Modified date: 31 May 2012