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
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

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.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

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?