Vulnerability in the PDF distiller of the BlackBerry Attachment Service for the BlackBerry Enterprise Server

Article ID: KB15766

Type:   Security Advisory

First Published: 07-10-08

Last Modified: 09-02-2010

 

Product(s) Affected:

  • BlackBerry Enterprise Server
Collapse Products
ExpandAffected Software

  • BlackBerry® Enterprise Server software version 4.1 Service Pack 3 (4.1.3) through 4.1 Service Pack 5 (4.1.5)
  • BlackBerry® Professional Software 4.1 Service Pack 4 (4.1.4)
ExpandAre BlackBerry smartphones and the BlackBerry Device Software affected?
No.
CollapseIssue Severity

This vulnerability has a Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) score of 9.0.

CollapseOverview

This advisory describes a security issue that the BlackBerry Attachment Service component of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server is susceptible to. The issue relates to a known vulnerability in the PDF distiller component of the BlackBerry Attachment Service that affects how the BlackBerry Attachment Service processes PDF files.

ExpandRecommendation
Complete the resolution actions documented in this advisory.
CollapseProblem

A security vulnerability exists in the PDF distiller of some released versions of the BlackBerry Attachment Service. This vulnerability could enable a malicious individual to send an email message containing a specially crafted PDF file, which when opened for viewing on a BlackBerry smartphone, could cause memory corruption and possibly lead to arbitrary code execution on the computer that the BlackBerry Attachment Service runs on.

CollapseResolution

Upgrade to BlackBerry Enterprise Server software version 4.1 Service Pack 6 (4.1.6).

Research In Motion (RIM) has also issued an interim security software update that resolves this vulnerability in earlier affected versions of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server and BlackBerry Professional Software.

For BlackBerry Enterprise Server

Visit http://www.blackberry.com/go/serverdownloads to obtain the interim security software update for affected release versions earlier than BlackBerry Enterprise Server software version 4.1.6.

For BlackBerry Professional Software

Visit http://na.blackberry.com/eng/support/downloads/#tab_professional to obtain the interim security software update for affected BlackBerry Professional Software versions.

CollapseWorkaround

Note: As a mobile device best practice, RIM recommends that BlackBerry smartphone users open attachments from trusted sources only.

Prevent the BlackBerry Attachment Service from processing PDF files in a BlackBerry Enterprise Server environment

You can prevent the BlackBerry Attachment Service from processing PDF files by editing the list of file format extensions that the BlackBerry Attachment Service opens, and then preventing the PDF attachment distiller from running on the BlackBerry Attachment Service.

To remove the PDF file extension from the list of supported file format extensions, complete the following actions:

  1. From the Windows® Desktop, open the BlackBerry Server Configuration tool.
  2. Click the Attachment Server tab.
  3. In the Format Extensions field, delete pdf: from the colon–delimited list of extensions.
  4. Click Apply.
  5. Click OK.

Until you prevent the PDF attachment distiller from running, the BlackBerry Attachment Service still detects a PDF file with a renamed extension (in other words, its extension is not .pdf) and attempts to process the file automatically. To prevent the PDF attachment distiller from running, complete the following actions:

  1. On the Windows Desktop, open the BlackBerry Server Configuration tool.
  2. Click the Attachment Server tab.
  3. In the Configuration Option drop-down list, select Attachment Server.
  4. In the Distiller Settings section, next to the distiller name Adobe PDF, clear the check box in the Enabled column.
  5. Click Apply.
  6. Click OK.
  7. On the Windows Desktop, in Administrative Tools, open Services.
  8. Right-click BlackBerry Attachment Service and click Stop.
  9. Right-click BlackBerry Attachment Service and click Start.
  10. Close Services.

In Microsoft® Exchange and Novell® GroupWise® environments, complete the following additional steps:

  1. On the Windows Desktop, in Administrative Tools, open Services.
  2. Right-click BlackBerry Dispatcher and click Stop.
  3. Right-click BlackBerry Dispatcher and click Start.
  4. Close Services.

Important: Restarting certain BlackBerry Enterprise Server services will delay email message delivery to BlackBerry smartphones. For more information, see KB04789.

In IBM® Lotus® Domino® environments, complete the following additional steps:

  1. Open the IBM Lotus Domino Administrator.
  2. Click the Server tab.
  3. Click the Status tab.
  4. Click Server Console.
  5. In the Domino Command field, type tell BES quit and press ENTER.
  6. In the Domino Command field, type load BES and press ENTER.
  7. Close the IBM Lotus Domino Administrator.
CollapseAdditional Information

Network Segmentation

You can install the BlackBerry Attachment Service on a remote computer and then place that computer on its own network segment to prevent the spread of potential attacks from the BlackBerry Attachment Service to another computer within your organization’s network. In a segmented network, attacks are isolated and contained on a single area of the network. Using segmented network architecture is designed to improve the security and performance of the BlackBerry Attachment Service network segment by filtering out attachment data that is not destined for other network segments. For more information about placing the BlackBerry Enterprise Solution components in a network architecture that is segmented to prevent the spread of potential malware attacks, see Placing the BlackBerry Enterprise Solution in a Segmented Network.

CVSS

CVSS is a vendor agnostic, industry open standard designed to convey the severity of vulnerabilities. CVSS scores may be used to determine the urgency for update deployment within an organization. CVSS scores range from 0.0 (no vulnerability) to 10.0 (critical). RIM uses CVSS in vulnerability assessments to present an immutable characterization of security issues. RIM assigns all security relevant issues a non-zero score.

BlackBerry Security

Visit www.blackberry.com/security for more information on BlackBerry security.

CollapseChange Log

09-02-10

Updates to article formatting. No technical content changed.

01-13-09

Update due to a system upgrade that did not affect article content.

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Visit the BlackBerry Technical Solution Center at www.blackberry.com/btsc.