Business Objects WebIntelligence 6.5x Account Lockout and System DoS Dec 14 2005 02:04PM
mkemp4 csc com
Computer Sciences Corporation Security Advisory
December 14, 2005

CSC have discovered an issue that could impact upon the availability and security of servers operating Business Objects WebIntelligence software. If a remote malicious attacker is able to access authentication mechanisms (ordinarily through form input) they can lock out and effectively disable user accounts, including General Supervisor (admin) users leading to system unavailability.

Business Impact:
Successful exploitation of this issue could lead to system unavailability and significant loss of productivity. This attack requires limited knowledge of WebIntelligence default account details, and provided no additional changes have been made in configuration, high level (and vital) accounts can be disabled. By using automated brute force tools, a potential attacker can easily disable accounts associated with legitimate system users.

Affected Product(s):
Business Objects WebIntelligence 6.5x
(It should be noted that additional software may be affected and the vendor should be contacted for confirmation).

The vendor has proposed a number of remediation strategies, namely:

1 - Disable "the number of failed logins allowed" feature. Using this solution, a remote attacker is unable to disable legitimate accounts. It should be noted however, that with unlimited attempts at establishing password details associated with legitimate accounts, the attacker can potentially discover legitimate credentials.

2 - Use external authentication systems (Windows Authentication mode, or SSO with Site Minder, LDAP, Active Directory).

Business Objects have also published a Knowledge Base article referencing this issue with the ID of 19915. This Knowledge Base article is available via the vendor support portal at: http://www.techsupport.businessobjects.com/

This vulnerability was discovered by Michael Kemp of CSC (Computer Sciences Corporation).


This document is not to be edited or altered in any way without the express written consent of CSC. You may provide links to this document from web sites or mailing lists, and you may make copies of this document in accordance with the fair use doctrine of the U.S. copyright laws.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this document may change without notice. There are NO warranties, implied or otherwise, with regard to this information or its use. In no event shall the author/distributor (CSC) be held liable for any damages arising out of or in connection with the use or spread of this information.


About CSC
Founded in 1959, Computer Sciences Corporation is a leading global information technology (IT) services company. CSC's mission is to provide customers in industry and government with solutions crafted to meet their specific challenges and enable them to profit from the advanced use of technology.

With approximately 78,000 employees, CSC provides innovative solutions for customers around the world by applying leading technologies and CSC's own advanced capabilities. These include systems design and integration; IT and business process outsourcing; applications software development; Web and application hosting; and management consulting. Headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., CSC reported revenue of $14.5 billion for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2005. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.csc.com

Copyright (c) 2005, Computer Sciences Corporation

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