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Unauthenticated access to IBM Host On-Demand administration pages
Dec 11 2006 02:39PM
Ferguson, David (Kansas City) (Dave Ferguson fishnetsecurity com)
Vulnerability found in: IBM WebSphere Host On-Demand (HOD)
Type: Unauthorized, remote access to HOD administration pages
Applies to: Version 6.0, 7.0, 8.0, and 9.0 (possibly 10.0)
Severity Level: High
Exploit Difficulty: Very Low
Initial Vendor Notification: approximately 11/3/2006
Discovered By: Dave Ferguson, FishNet Security
Secunia advisory location: http://secunia.com/advisories/22652
IBM's WebSphere Host On-Demand (HOD) provides a framework for accessing host applications and data
from a Java-enabled web browser. The HOD administration pages consist of a set of Java applets. One
applet controls user authentication. Others allow you to start and stop services, manage users,
configure telnet redirectors, set up LDAP service, and manage licenses. Information about HOD can be
found here: http://www-306.ibm.com/software/webservers/hostondemand.
FishNet Security discovered that a remote, unauthenticated user can access and interact with several
of the HOD administration applets. Essentially, a simple URL manipulation attack can bypass the
authentication and authorization process. This was found in HOD versions 6.0, 7.0, 8.0, and 9.0.
Version 10 (released in 2006) may also be vulnerable, but was not tested.
The applet that handles user authentication is normally located at the following URL:
https://server/hod/HODAdmin.html. Once this page loads and the applet is running, the URL showing in
the web browser reads something like this:
lse,BrowserLocale=en.there. The web page displays an area for the user to logon and a menu on the
left side with several links to other pages/applets. Each of these links is disabled. The links are:
- Redirector Service
- Directory Service
- OS/400 Proxy Server
To bypass the authentication process, you change the value of "pnl" in the current URL. For example,
to see the OS/400 Proxy Server page, you would change the pnl parameter from "Logon" to "os400proxy".
The page loads and the functionality of the applet appears to be normal in every way. The other links
in the menu become enabled, so changing the URL manually is no longer necessary. Two of the
pages/applets seem to have additional access control, because the applets remain blank and/or empty
and can't be used.
Pages that could be accessed in an unauthenticated state:
Services, Redirector Service, Directory Service, and OS/400 Proxy Server
Pages that could NOT be accessed:
Users/Groups and Licenses
An attacker can perpetrate a number of actions:
- stopping critical HOD services
- reconfiguring existing services (e.g., port numbers, ip addresses)
- creating and starting unnecessary services
- changing the security configuration for redirectors
- creating a user to administer the LDAP service
Any of these could have an adverse effect on business operations and/or allow a malicious person to
open more potential attack vectors.
Secunia notified IBM about this vulnerability around 11/3/2006. No response has been received.
You can reach the author of this advisory at: dave.ferguson[at]fishnetsecurity(dot)com
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