Public Vulnerability Reports

IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Express Heap Buffer Overflow Vulnerability



IBM Corp.'s Tivoli Storage Manager Express is a simple backup management software targeting small business customer. For more information, please visit vendor's website at the following URL.


Remote exploitation of a heap buffer overflow vulnerability in IBM Corp.'s Tivoli Storage Manager Express backup server could allow an unauthenticated attacker to execute arbitrary code with SYSTEM privileges.

The vulnerability exists within adsmdll.dll which is loaded by the Tivoli Storage Manager Express daemon dsmsvc.exe. The vulnerable function allocates a fixed-size heap buffer, and uses part of this buffer for storing session related data. A user-supplied value is then used as the length of bytes to copy into this buffer. Due to a lack of bounds checking, a buffer overflow can occur.


Exploitation allows an attacker to execute arbitrary code with SYSTEM privileges. No authentication is required to exploit this vulnerability.


iDefense has confirmed this vulnerability in adsmdll.dll version, as included in Tivoli Storage Manager Express with all available patches as of July 2008. All previous versions are suspected vulnerable.


iDefense is currently unaware of any effective workarounds for this issue. The vulnerability is within a core component of Tivoli Storage Management Express which cannot be disabled without major functionality loss.


IBM Corp,'s Tivoli team has released patches and workarounds to address this vulnerability. For more information, consult their advisory at the following URL.


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the name CVE-2008-4563 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (, which standardizes names for security problems.


07/22/2008 - Initial Contact
07/31/2008 - Initial Response
07/31/2008 - PoC Requested
07/31/2008 - PoC Sent
09/02/2008 - Status update received - no estimated release date
09/12/2008 - Status update received - no estimated release date
09/23/2008 - Status update received - estimated release date February 2009
03/10/2009 - Status update received
03/10/2009 - Status updated requested
03/10/2009 - Coordinated public disclosure


The discoverer of this vulnerability wishes to remain anonymous.

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