Security Experts Warn of Holes in Domino

Though cracking an organisation's system in this way would require a pretty high level of sophistication for one of the holes, Web-based systems are particularly vulnerable, the Trust Factory warning said.

Trust Factory engineer Patrick Guenther was able to crack Notes to gain access to passwords and individual files, which he demonstrated at the conference in a joint presentation with Secure Design International Group (SDI).

"I wouldn't describe it as minor. I think that the implications are rather large, based on the way that Notes [servers] are configured at most organisations," said Matthew Devost, one of the presenters for SDI.

He said Notes administrators can protect their databases simply by "salting" hashes -- adding a random number into the scrambled alphanumeric string that represents a password. This function is an option built into newer versions of both Domino and Notes.

Devost said a cracker can access the hashes with a few commands through a Web browser if the address list is publicly available there.

Another way to break the hashings is through a brute-force attack using macros, viruses or other code designed to grab the recipient's personal information, including the encrypted passwords, and sending them back to the author of the code. Even salted hashes could be sent back to a cracker in this way, Devost said.

"All it takes is one person to run a Word document," he said.

Domino product managers Kevin Lynch and Katherine Spanbauer said Lotus has advised users of these vulnerabilities for some time, and urged administrators to use the salted encryption. However, some systems need the unsalted version to remain backwards-compatible in a mixed shop.

"Simply use the other hash that's been available since [Notes version] 4.6 and you will no longer be able to perpetrate that attack," Lynch said.

"It's an extremely sophisticated style of attack and the attacker would have to already have internal access to resources," Spanbauer said. The attacker would also need special software to decipher the hash, then place it where the password is normally stored in memory.

That technique is only valid if the user has the same password for Web and server access. Most users access the server through Notes, not the Web, Spanbauer said.

Trust Factory and SDI suggest taking the following steps to protect your Notes database:

- Restrict access from the Web

- Choose different passwords for ID and HTTP accounts - Store user ID files on removable media - Use strong password hashing - Manually upgrade to the stronger hash - Exit Notes completely when leaving your desk - Never click on any e-mail attachments

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?