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Category:   Application (Generic)  >   NetWare Vendors:   Novell
NetWare 'nicm.sys' Driver Lets Local Users Gain Kernel Level Privileges
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1019172
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   CVE-2007-5762   (Links to External Site)
Date:  Jan 9 2008
Impact:   Execution of arbitrary code via local system, Root access via local system
Fix Available:  Yes  Vendor Confirmed:  Yes  
Version(s): 4.91 SP4 and prior service packs
Description:   A vulnerability was reported in NetWare. A local user can obtain kernel level privileges on the target system.

A local user can write to the '\\.\nicm' device and issue IOCTLs to execute arbitrary code.

The device is loaded by the 'nicm.sys' driver.

Only the Windows-based client is affected.

The vendor was notified on October 30, 2007.

Stephen Fewer of Harmony Security reported this vulnerability via iDefense.

Impact:   A local user can obtain kernel level privileges on the target system.
Solution:   The vendor has issued a fix.

The Novell advisory is available at:

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

Message History:   None.

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  iDefense Security Advisory 01.09.08: Novell NetWare Client nicm.sys

iDefense Security Advisory 01.09.08
Jan 09, 2008


The Novell Client software provides a workstation with access to Novell
NetWare networks as well as Novell Open Enterprise Server (OES)
services. Novell Clients can access the full range of Novell services
such as authentication via Novell eDirectory, network browsing and
service resolution, and secure and reliable file system access. More
information about the Novel Client can be found on the vendor's web
site at the following URL.


Local exploitation of an input validation error vulnerability within
Novell Inc.'s NetWare Client allows attackers to execute arbitrary code
within the kernel.

When the Novell NetWare Client is installed on a Windows-based operating
system, the driver nicm.sys will be loaded at system startup. This
driver allows any user to open the device "\\.\nicm" and issue IOCTLs
with a buffering mode of METHOD_NEITHER.

Due to insufficient input validation, user mode software can pass kernel
addresses as arguments to the driver. By using specially constructed
input, a malicious user can use functionality within the driver to
patch kernel addresses and execute arbitrary code in kernel mode.


Exploitation of this vulnerability allows a local attacker to execute
arbitrary code within the kernel. To exploit the vulnerability, the
attacker must be able execute a specially crafted executable on the
targeted computer.


iDefense has confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in nicm.sys,
file version, as included with Novell's NetWare Client 4.91
SP4. Other versions may also be vulnerable.


iDefense is currently unaware of any workaround for this issue.


Novell Inc. has addressed this vulnerability by releasing a patch for
the NetWare Client SP3. For more information visit the following URL.


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the
name CVE-2007-5762 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in
the CVE list (, which standardizes names for
security problems.


10/30/2007  Initial vendor notification
11/13/2007  Initial vendor response
01/09/2008  Coordinated public disclosure


This vulnerability was reported to iDefense by Stephen Fewer of Harmony
Security (

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Disclaimer: The information in the advisory is believed to be accurate
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 There are no warranties with regard to this information. Neither the
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