SEC-CONSULT Security Advisory < 20090305-2 >
title: IBM Director CIM Server Local Privilege Escalation Vulnerability
program: IBM Director for Windows
vulnerable version: <= 5.20.3 Service Update 2
found: Sept. 2008
by: Bernhard Mueller / SEC Consult Vulnerability Lab
IBM Director is an application that can track and view system configurations of remote computers. It is available for Linux, AIX, and Windows servers.
The CIM server which comes with IBM Director suite for Microsoft Windows contains a local privilege escalation vulnerability because the application fails to properly validate incoming indication requests. By exploiting this vulnerability an attacker can run arbitrary code with the privileges of the CIM server process (LOCAL SYSTEM in the Windows version).
The CIM server listens for so-called indication requests which it passes to local consumers. These consumers are implemented within dynamic link libraries or shared objects that reside on the system.
Because the consumer named is not checked for Windows path metacharacters ("\"), it is possible to traverse the filesystem and specify any library on the system. CIM server will load the specified DLL and call its initialization function, PegasusCreateProvider(const char *).
For example, the following request will load C:\mydll.dll:
M-POST /CIMListener/\..\..\..\..\mydll HTTP/1.1 CIMOperation: MethodCall CIMExport: MethodRequest CIMExportMethod: ExportIndication [some xml]
The vulnerability can be exploited by a local user or an attacker who is able to upload a file to the target system.
The vendor has adressed this vulnerability in ervice update 2 for IBM Director agent 5.20.3. Download link:
vendor notified: 2008-11-03
patch available: 2009-03-09
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