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

Article ID: KB17118

Type:   Security Advisory

First Published: 01-12-09

Last Modified: 09-02-2010

 
Collapse Products
ExpandAffected Software
  • BlackBerry® Enterprise Server software version 4.1 Service Pack 3 (4.1.3) through 4.1 Service Pack 6 (4.1.6)
  • BlackBerry® Professional Software 4.1 Service Pack 4 (4.1.4)
ExpandAre BlackBerry smartphones and the BlackBerry Device Software affected?
No.
CollapseIssue Severity
These vulnerabilities each have a Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) score of 9.3.
CollapseOverview

This advisory describes security issues that the BlackBerry Attachment Service component of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server is susceptible to. The issues relate to the handling of malformed and possibly malicious PDF files.

ExpandRecommendation
Complete the resolution actions documented in this advisory.
ExpandReferences

Related BlackBerry Security Advisory: KB15766

This advisory does not replace KB15766, which describes an earlier, similar vulnerability. Customers affected by the issues described in this advisory should also review KB15766 to verify that they are protected from the vulnerability described in that advisory.

RIM tracked the issues as SDR 278437, SDR 278003, SDR 278012, and SDR 278031.

CollapseProblem

Multiple security vulnerabilities exist in the PDF distiller of some released versions of the BlackBerry Attachment Service. These vulnerabilities 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 hosts the BlackBerry Attachment Service.

CollapseResolution

Research In Motion (RIM) has issued an interim security software update that resolves this vulnerability in affected versions of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server and BlackBerry Professional Software. Download and install Interim Security Update 2 for the software version that you are running.

For BlackBerry Enterprise Server

Visit http://www.blackberry.com/go/serverdownloads to obtain Interim Security Update 2 for affected BlackBerry Enterprise Server software versions.

For BlackBerry Professional Software

Visit http://na.blackberry.com/eng/support/downloads/#tab_professional to obtain Interim Security Update 2 for affected BlackBerry Professional Software versions.

CollapseWorkaround

Note : As a mobile device best practice, Research In Motion (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.

Note: Restarting BlackBerry Enterprise Server services might delay message delivery to BlackBerry devices. For more information, see KB04789.

 

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

  1. Open the 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 Lotus Domino Administrator.
CollapseAdditional Information

Network Segmentation

The administrator 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.

CollapseAcknowledgements

RIM thanks Sean Larsson of iDefense Labs for reporting these issues to RIM, and working with RIM to protect its customers.

CollapseChange Log
09-02-10

Updates to article formatting. No technical content changed.

Disclaimer

By downloading, accessing or otherwise using the Knowledge Base documents you agree:

   (a) that the terms of use for the documents found at www.blackberry.com/legal/knowledgebase apply to your use or reference to these documents; and

   (b) not to copy, distribute, disclose or reproduce, in full or in part any of the documents without the express written consent of RIM.


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