TippingPoint Zero Day Initiative

Novell ZENworks Configuration Management Preboot Service Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

ZDI-10-090: June 1st, 2010

CVSS Score

Affected Vendors

Affected Products

TippingPoint™ IPS Customer Protection

TippingPoint IPS customers are protected against this vulnerability by Digital Vaccine protection filter ID 9755. For further product information on the TippingPoint IPS:

Vulnerability Details

This vulnerability allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on vulnerable installations of Novell ZENworks. Authentication is not required to exploit this vulnerability.

The specific flaw exists within the Preboot Service (novell-pbserv.exe). This service listens for incoming connections on TCP port 998. The service uses a simple binary protocol where the first DWORD is an opcode followed by the specific opcode's data, typically in length/value pairs. These length values are not checked against the destination buffers size allowing for stack-based overflows to occur. This can lead to arbitrary code execution in the context of the SYSTEM user.

Vendor Response

Novell has issued an update to correct this vulnerability. More details can be found at:

Disclosure Timeline

    2010-02-09 - Vulnerability reported to vendor
    2010-06-01 - Coordinated public release of advisory


This vulnerability was discovered by:
    Stephen Fewer of Harmony Security (www.harmonysecurity.com)