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Category:   Application (Web Server/CGI)  >   Adobe ColdFusion Vendors:   Macromedia
Macromedia ColdFusion XML Parsing Lets Remote Users Consume CPU Resources With SOAP Requests
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1008429
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   GENERIC-MAP-NOMATCH   (Links to External Site)
Date:  Dec 10 2003
Impact:   Denial of service via network
Fix Available:  Yes  Vendor Confirmed:  Yes  
Version(s): ColdFusion MX 6.0, 6.1
Description:   A vulnerability was reported in Macromedia's ColdFusion MX. A remote user can submit an XML SOAP request to cause the target service to consume excessive CPU resources.

Sanctum reported that if the SOAP request includes specially crafted XML attributes, the target XML parser may consume all available CPU resources for an extended period of time (from several seconds to minutes).

The vendor was reportedly notified on August 28, 2003.

Impact:   A remote user can cause the target system to consume excessive CPU resources for a temporary period of time.
Solution:   Macromedia has issued a fix described in Security Bulletin (MPSB03-07), available at:

Cause:   Input validation error
Underlying OS:  Linux (Any), UNIX (HP/UX), UNIX (Solaris - SunOS), Windows (NT), Windows (2000), Windows (XP)

Message History:   None.

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  Multiple Vendor SOAP server (XML parser) attribute blowup DoS

//==========================>> Security Advisory 

-----[ Multiple Vendor SOAP server (XML parser) attribute blowup DoS

--[ Author: Amit Klein, Sanctum inc.

--[ Vendors alerted: August 28th, 2003

--[ Release Date: December 9th, 2003

--[ Products:

IBM WebSphere 5.0.0, 5.0.1, 5.0.2,

Microsoft ASP.NET Web Services (.NET framework 1.0, .NET framework 1.1)

Macromedia ColdFusion MX 6.0, 6.1

Macromedia JRun 4

... And probably other products which use XML parsers

--[ Severity: High

--[ CVE: N/A

--[ Description

An attacker can craft a malicious SOAP request, which uses XML 
attributes in a way that
inflicts a denial of service condition on the target machine (SOAP server).
The result of this attack is that the XML parser consumes all the CPU 
for a long period of time (from seconds to minutes, depending on the 
size of the payload).
In our experiments, we were able to send attacks (of few hunderd KBs) 
that caused the target
machines to consume 100% CPU for several minutes.

--[ Solution

IBM WebSphere - Download and apply IBM patch PQ81278 from the following URL:

Microsoft ASP.NET Web Services - Microsoft is aware of the issue, and 
has documented
recommended practices for what customers should consider when exposing 
Web service endpoints
in Knowledge Base Article 832878 

Macromedia - please follow the instructions of MPSB03-07, in the 
following URL:


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