There is a buffer overrun vulnerability in the iPlanet Web server that gives a remote attacker the ability to run arbitrary code on vulnerable machines.
The new vulnerability comes less than a month after the discovery of a major flaw in the Apache Web server, the most popular server on the Internet.
The iPlanet flaw is in the softwares search function, which is disabled by default. But, if the function is enabled, an attacker who sends an overly long value for the "NS-rel-doc-name" parameter could overwrite a return address on the memory stack.
The attacker would then have control over that process execution, and any code he supplies will run in the security context of the account running the Web server, according to a bulletin published Tuesday by Next Generation Security Software Ltd. On machines running Windows NT or 2000, such code would run with the privileges of the local system account.
Versions 4.1 and 6.0 of iPlanet are vulnerable, NGSS said. Sun Microsystems Inc., which owns iPlanet, has included fixes for the problem in service packs, available at sun.com.
Last month, security researchers at several firms discovered a flaw in the way that Apaches HTTP server handles certain "chunked encoding" requests. Exploitation of the vulnerability could give an attacker complete control of the Web server.
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