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Category:   Application (E-mail Server)  >   Sendmail Vendors:   Sendmail Consortium
(HP Issues Fix) Sendmail NULL Character Flaw in Common Name Field Lets Remote Users Spoof Certficiates
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1023750
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   CVE-2009-4565   (Links to External Site)
Date:  Mar 25 2010
Impact:   Modification of authentication information
Fix Available:  Yes  Vendor Confirmed:  Yes  
Version(s): prior to 8.14.4
Description:   A vulnerability was reported in Sendmail. A remote user can spoof certificates of arbitrary sites.

A remote user can create a certificate with a specially crafted Common Name field that contains a NULL character. Once the certificate is signed by a Certificate Authority, the certificate can be used to spoof a target site's certificate.

Impact:   A remote user can spoof certificates of arbitrary sites.
Solution:   HP has issued a fix for HP-UX.

The HP advisory is available at:

Vendor URL: (Links to External Site)
Cause:   Input validation error
Underlying OS:  UNIX (HP/UX)
Underlying OS Comments:  B.11.11, B.11.23, B.11.31

Message History:   This archive entry is a follow-up to the message listed below.
Dec 31 2009 Sendmail NULL Character Flaw in Common Name Field Lets Remote Users Spoof Certficiates

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  [security bulletin] HPSBUX02508 SSRT100007 rev.1 - HP-UX Running sendmail with STARTTLS Enabled, Remote Unauthorized Access

Hash: SHA1


Document ID: c02009860
Version: 1

HPSBUX02508 SSRT100007 rev.1 - HP-UX Running sendmail with STARTTLS Enabled, Remote Unauthorized Access

NOTICE: The information in this Security Bulletin should be acted upon as soon as possible.

Release Date: 2010-03-24
Last Updated: 2010-03-24

Potential Security Impact: Remote unauthorized access

Source: Hewlett-Packard Company, HP Software Security Response Team

A potential security vulnerability has been identified with HP-UX running sendmail and STARTTLS enabled. This vulnerability could allow a user to gain remote unauthorized access.

References: CVE-2009-4565

SUPPORTED SOFTWARE VERSIONS*: ONLY impacted versions are listed.
HP-UX B.11.11, B.11.23 and B.11.31 running sendmail 8.13.3 with STARTTLS enabled.


CVSS 2.0 Base Metrics
  Reference              Base Vector             Base Score
CVE-2009-4565    (AV:N/AC:L/Au:N/C:P/I:P/A:P)       7.5
             Information on CVSS is documented
            in HP Customer Notice: HPSN-2008-002


HP has provided the following upgrades to resolve the vulnerability.
The updates are available are available using ftp.

 User Name / Password
 sb02508 / Secure12

HP-UX Release / Sendmail version / Action / SHA-1 Signature

B.11.11 / 8.13.3 / Upgrade to B. or subsequent / 96DC01ACF66A5E03CC6BD1D65457DC1849F3B1C6

B.11.23 / 8.13.3 / Upgrade to B. or subsequent /  9519112CE694D4114908A546CE36ADA53A5334A3

B.11.31 / 8.13.3 / Upgrade to C. or subsequent / 2F46340CDBA7573A4589EDD90F9D83442CD114CE

Note: Installations of HP-UX B.11.11 running sendmail 8.11.1 should upgrade to sendmail 8.13.3 or subsequent. This Sendmail 8.13.3 Special Release Upgrade is available for download from

Note: To identify a system in a vulnerable configuration:
1. Log on to the HP-UX system
2. Run .telnet localhost 25.
3. Enter .ehlo xyz.
4. Search the output for .250-STARTTLS.
5. If .250-STARTTLS. is found, the system is in a vulnerable configuration

It is recommended that the update be applied even if the system is not currently in a vulnerable configuration. Applying the update will eliminate the possibility of introducing the vulnerability by a configuration change.

B.11.11 - install SMAIL B. or subsequent
B.11.23 - install SMAIL B. or subsequent
B.11.31 - install SENDMAIL C. or subsequent


HP-UX Software Assistant: HP-UX Software Assistant is an enhanced application that replaces HP-UX Security Patch Check. It analyzes all Security Bulletins issued by HP and lists recommended actions that may apply to a specific HP-UX system. It can also download patches and create a depot automatically. For more information see:

The following text is for use by the HP-UX Software Assistant.


HP-UX B.11.11
action: install B. or subsequent

HP-UX B.11.23
action: install B. or subsequent

HP-UX B.11.31
action: install C. or subsequent


Version: 1 (rev.1) - 24 March 2010 Initial release

Third Party Security Patches: Third party security patches that are to be installed on systems running HP software products should be applied in accordance with the customer's patch management policy.

Support: For further information, contact normal HP Services support channel.

Report: To report a potential security vulnerability with any HP supported product, send Email to:
It is strongly recommended that security related information being communicated to HP be encrypted using PGP, especially exploit information.
To get the security-alert PGP key, please send an e-mail message as follows:
  Subject: get key
Subscribe: To initiate a subscription to receive future HP Security Bulletins via Email:
On the web page: ITRC security bulletins and patch sign-up
Under Step1: your ITRC security bulletins and patches
    -check ALL categories for which alerts are required and continue.
Under Step2: your ITRC operating systems
    -verify your operating system selections are checked and save.

To update an existing subscription:
Log in on the web page: Subscriber's choice for Business: sign-in.
On the web page: Subscriber's Choice: your profile summary - use Edit Profile to update appropriate sections.

To review previously published Security Bulletins visit:

* The Software Product Category that this Security Bulletin
relates to is represented by the 5th and 6th characters
of the Bulletin number in the title:

GN = HP General SW
MA = HP Management Agents
MI = Misc. 3rd Party SW
NS = HP NonStop Servers
PI = HP Printing & Imaging
ST = HP Storage SW
TL = HP Trusted Linux
TU = HP Tru64 UNIX
VV = HP VirtualVault

System management and security procedures must be reviewed frequently to maintain system integrity. HP is continually reviewing and enhancing the security features of software products to provide customers with current secure solutions.

"HP is broadly distributing this Security Bulletin in order to bring to the attention of users of the affected HP products the important security information contained in this Bulletin. HP recommends that all users determine the applicability of this information to their individual situations and take appropriate action. HP does not warrant that this information is necessarily accurate or complete for all user situations and, consequently, HP will not be responsible for any damages resulting from user's use or disregard of the information provided in this Bulletin. To the extent permitted by law, HP disclaims all warranties, either express or implied, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement."

Copyright 2009 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.
Hewlett-Packard Company shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein. The information provided is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. To the extent permitted by law, neither HP or its affiliates, subcontractors or suppliers will be liable for incidental,special or consequential damages including downtime cost; lost profits;damages relating to the procurement of substitute products or services; or damages for loss of data, or software restoration. The information in this document is subject to change without notice. Hewlett-Packard Company and the names of Hewlett-Packard products referenced herein are trademarks of Hewlett-Packard Company in the United States and other countries. Other product and company names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.
Version: GnuPG v1.4.10 (GNU/Linux)


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