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IBM Lotus Notes Client TagAttributeListCopy Buffer Overflow Vulnerability



IBM Corp.'s Lotus Notes software is an integrated desktop client option for accessing e-mail, calendars and applications on an IBM Corp. Lotus Domino server. More information can be found by visiting the URL below.



Remote exploitation of a buffer overflow vulnerability in IBM Corp.'s Lotus Notes mail user agent could allow attackers to execute arbitrary code in the context of the current user.

When a Lotus Notes user receives an HTML email, the HTML is converted to a format resembling RTF (Rich Text Format). When messages are replied to, forwarded or copied to the clipboard, the e-mail format is converted again.

The buffer overflow is the result of a call to "Cstrcpy" when copying an attacker supplied variable length string into a fixed-sized stack buffer. The overflow occurs at the "Cstrcpy" call inside the "TagAttributeListCopy" function in nnotes.dll.


Exploitation allows attackers to execute arbitrary code in the context of the recipient of the message. In order to be successful, an attacker must social engineer the victim into processing a specially crafted message in a certain way. Specifically, the victim must either forward, reply with history, or copy the message to the clipboard in order to trigger the vulnerability.

Additionally, non-printable ASCII characters are converted to the LMBCS (Lotus MultiByte Character Set) before the overflow occurs. This complicates, but does not prevent, exploitation.


iDefense confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in version 7.0.2 of IBM Corp.'s Lotus Notes. Additionally, versions 6.5.1, 6.5.3 and 7.0.1 were reported to be vulnerable. Other versions are suspected to be vulnerable.


iDefense is currently unaware of any effective workaround for this issue.


IBM Lotus has addressed this vulnerability within versions 7.0.3 and 8.0 of Lotus Notes. For more information, visit the following URL.



The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the name CVE-2007-4222 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (http://cve.mitre.org/), which standardizes names for security problems.


02/07/2007 Initial vendor notification
02/07/2007 Initial vendor response
10/23/2007 Coordinated public disclosure


This vulnerability was reported to iDefense by UVInc.

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Copyright © 2007 Verisign, Inc.

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