RIM Releases Security Advisory For DoS Against BES And Devices
By on January 16th, 2011

RIM has carved the way with enterprise security and holds a high amount of corporate users in the mobile market, but every now and then they encounter speed bumps that might come in the form of support issues, bugs and security vulnerabilities. While Blackberry doesn’t see near the amount of publicly disclosed weaknesses as other mobile platforms such as Android or webOS, RIM does regularly audit and push updates to BES, BIS and client device software aimed at closing and mitigating possible security risks related to their software. KB24547 is a security advisory that RIM published late in 2010, indicating the existence of a vulnerability pertaining to the PDF rendering and control engine of the attachment service in BES 5.x as well as third party applications that utilise BES core, such as Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus Notes Domino and Novell GroupWise.

The advisory details the susceptibility of BES to a possible buffer overflow leading to a Denial-of-Service on a hand-held device. For the vulnerability to be successfully exploited, an attacker would need to have a Blackberry user, with an account tied to a BES, open a modified PDF file. The PDF would be “filtered” through the attachment service and may allow an attacker to execute code on the BES hosting server or hang the machine. RIM has marked it extremely high, with a CVSS (Common Vulnerability Scoring System) score of 9.3 out of 10. It is recommended that all BES administrators obtain the Interim Security Software Update to ensure they are protected.

In addition to the BES vulnerability, RIM has released an advisory for a client-side DoS affecting hand-held Blackberry devices. While the CVSS score is a relatively low 5 out of 10, RIM recommends that all users ensure they are running the most up to date version of their device software. The vulnerability affects many devices running OS 5.0.0.x and causes the browser to hang while processing a specially crafted web page, forcing the user to reboot the device. Advisory KB24841 was issued less than a week ago and affects many devices including the Blackberry Bold 9700, the Tour 9630 and the Curve 9300.

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Author: Simon LR

Simon LR has written and can be contacted at simon@techie-buzz.com.

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