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Category:   Application (Generic)  >   IBM iNotes and Domino Vendors:   IBM
IBM Lotus Notes RSS Widget Input Validation Flaw May Let Remote Users Gain Privileges
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1022861
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   CVE-2009-3114   (Links to External Site)
Updated:  Sep 21 2009
Original Entry Date:  Sep 9 2009
Impact:   Execution of arbitrary code via network, User access via network
Fix Available:  Yes  Vendor Confirmed:  Yes  
Version(s): 8.5
Description:   A vulnerability was reported in IBM Lotus Notes. A remote user may be able to obtain privileges on the target system.

The RSS Widget does not properly filter HTML code from RSS feeds. A remote user can create a specially crafted RSS feed that, when loaded by the target user, will execute arbitrary scripting code in the Local Computer zone.

The vendor was notified on April 7, 2009.

IBM has assigned SPR# RGAU7RDJ9K to this vulnerability.

Marc Ruef at scip AG reported this vulnerability.

Impact:   A remote user can execute arbitrary scripting code in the Local Computer zone on the target user's system.
Solution:   The vendor has issued a hotfix available via IBM customer support.

The fix will also be included in version 8.5.1.

The vendor's advisory is available at:

Vendor URL: (Links to External Site)
Cause:   Input validation error

Message History:   None.

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  [scip_Advisory 4021] IBM Lotus Notes 8.5 RSS Widget Privilege Escalation

IBM Lotus Notes 8.5 RSS Widget Privilege Escalation

scip AG Vulnerability ID 4021 (09/08/2009)


Lotus Notes is a client-server, collaborative application developed and
sold by IBM Software Group.

More information is available on the official product web site at the
following URL:


Marc Ruef at scip AG found a design vulnerability in the current Release

The product provides some widgets which can be added and enabled by the
user. One of those widgets provide a simple RSS reader.

This reader downloads the RSS file, extracts the items and saves them
locally as HTML files.

The interpretation and display of the RSS items is handled by the
Internet Explorer regarding the applied security zone.


No exploitation is required. A malicious RSS feed may contain script
data or embedded objects.


The RSS items are handled like web documents which introduces the
possibility of running script code or to embed multimedia objects (e.g.
Flash or movies).

Because locally saved files run in the Local Zone of the Internet
Explorer some privilege escalation is possible.


It may be possible to identify malicious RSS feeds if they contain
script code or embedded objects.


IBM has been informed immediately. They are able to address this
vulnerability with a hotfix.


The vendor verified the existence of the issue and addressed it as soon
as possible with a hotfix. Unfortunately most of the communication
bypassed us and were forced to ask for the current status several times.
Our last request of the current status at 08/24/2009 were unanswered.


scip AG - Security Consulting Information Process (german)

scip AG - Vulnerability Database (german) Document Database (german)


2009/04/07 Identification of the vulnerability.
2009/04/23 Notification of IBM via the customer.
2009/04/23 Technical knowhow exchange between scip AG/IBM.
2009/06/05 Asking for current status by scip AG. (no answer)
2009/07/09 Asking for current status by scip AG.
2009/07/09 Reply with current status and assigned PMR.
2009/08/24 Asking for current status by scip AG. (no answer)
2009/09/08 Public disclosure of the advisory.


The vulnerabilities were discovered by Marc Ruef.

Marc Ruef, scip AG, Zuerich, Switzerland


Copyright (c) 2002-2009 scip AG, Switzerland.

Permission is granted for the re-distribution of this alert. It may not
be edited in any way without permission of scip AG.

The information in the advisory is believed to be accurate at the time
of publishing based on currently available information. There are no
warranties with regard to this information. Neither the author nor the
publisher accepts any liability for any direct, indirect or
consequential loss or damage from use of or reliance on this advisory.


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