Public Vulnerability Reports

Ipswitch IMail IMAP STATUS Remote Buffer Overflow Vulnerability



Ipswitch Collaboration Suite (ICS) is a comprehensive communication and
collaboration solution for Microsoft Windows with a customer base of
over 53 million users. More information is available on the vendor's


Remote exploitation of a buffer overflow vulnerability in Ipswitch
Inc.'s Imail IMAP server allows attackers to execute arbitrary code with
System privileges.

The vulnerability specifically exists in the handling of a long mailbox
name to the STATUS command. A long mailbox name argument will cause a
stack based buffer overflow, providing the attacker with full control
over the saved return address on the stack. Once this has been achieved,
execution of arbitrary code becomes trivial. As this vulnerability is in
the STATUS command, which requires that a session is authenticated,
valid credentials are required.


Successful exploitation allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary
code with System privileges. Valid credentials are required for
exploitation, which lessens the impact of this vulnerability.


iDEFENSE has confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in Ipswitch
IMail version 8.13. It is suspected that earlier versions are also


As this vulnerability is exploited after authentication occurs, ensuring
that only trusted users have accounts can mitigate the risk somwhat. As
a more effective workaround, consider limiting access to the IMAP server
by filtering TCP port 143. If possible, consider disabling IMAP and
forcing users to use POP3.


The vendor has released the following hotfix to fix this vulnerability
in IMail Server 8.15:

The vendor has released the following hotfix to fix this vulnerability
in IMail Server 8.2:
The vendor has released the following hotfix to fix this vulnerability
in Ipswitch Collaboration Suite 2.0:

The associated vendor advisories are available at:


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the
name CAN-2005-1256 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in
the CVE list (, which standardizes names for
security problems.


04/25/2005   Initial vendor notification
05/10/2005   Initial vendor response
05/24/2005   Public disclosure


iDEFENSE Labs is credited with this discovery.

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Copyright © 2005 Verisign, Inc.

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