Research In Motion closed several critical bugs in how MDS Connection Service and the Messaging Agent process PNG and TIFF image files on the BlackBerry Enterprise Server
Research in Motion fixed a
critical flaw in how images are processed on the BlackBerry
, and said the vulnerability ranked at the top of the severity
scale in terms of exploitability.
The company issued a patch Aug.
11 to address the flaws in the back-end software used by organizations to
manage all the BlackBerry devices deployed within the enterprise. The
vulnerabilities were in several versions of BES for Exchange, Lotus Domino and
Novell GroupWise. The patches are available for the latest versions of each email
platform. Administrators on older versions of Exchange, Lotus Domino and
GroupWise would have to upgrade the mail server first.
"It's important to
underline that these are not vulnerabilities in the BlackBerry smartphones
themselves," Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at Sophos,
wrote in the Naked
blog. Just like previous BlackBerry vulnerabilities, the potential
attack is against the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, which is used by
businesses, Cluley said.
For administrators who can't
immediately install the update for whatever reason, RIM suggested temporary
measures that would prevent the BlackBerry Enterprise Server from processing
inline images and rich content. Administrators should modify the IT policy
rules in BES for inline content requests and for disabling rich content emails.
Attackers could exploit the
bugs by sending malicious image files to the targeted user's BlackBerry
smartphone. The vulnerabilities were found in how the BlackBerry MDS Connection
Service and the BlackBerry Messaging Agent handled PNG and TIFF image files,
according to RIM.
An attacker could exploit
the BlackBerry MDS Connection Service by creating a specially crafted Web page
with malformed images and sending emails and instant messages to the users to
persuade them to go to the site. The bug in the BlackBerry Messaging Agent is
even more sinister as it could embed malicious PNG and TIFF messages inside the
email message and send it to the user's BlackBerry device. The presence of the
malicious image on the device is enough to launch the attack; users don't even
need to open the email or click on a link or image to be compromised, RIM said.
"These updates replace
the installed image.dll file that the affected components use with an image.dll
file that is not affected by the vulnerabilities," RIM said in its
An attacker would be able to
remotely access and execute code on the Blackberry Enterprise Server upon a
successful exploit, according to RIM. Depending on the privileges associated
with the service account and how the network is configured, the attacker may be
able to hop to other systems on the network and steal information after
compromising the BlackBerry server, Cluley said. The malicious code may also
cause systems to crash and interrupt important communications and disrupt the
To prevent attackers from
moving around the network, RIM recommended that network administrators install the
BES in a "segmented network configuration," or on a computer located
on a separate network from all other systems, according to the advisory.
These vulnerabilities have
been assigned a CVSS (Common Vulnerability Scoring System) of 10, or high
severity. The bugs have the following CVE identifiers: CVE-2010-1205,
CVE-2010-3087, CVE-2010-2595, CVE-2011-0192 and CVE-2011-1167