Public Vulnerability Reports

Computer Associates License Client PUTOLF Directory Traversal



The Computer Associates License Client/Server applications provide a
method for CA products to register their licenses on the network. The
License Client and Server are distributed with almost all CA software
distributions. More information about Computer Associates software
products is available from:


Remote exploitation of a directory traversal vulnerability in Computer
Associates International Inc. License Client can allow attackers create
files in arbitrary locations.

The vulnerability specifically exists in the handling of the filename
used in PUTOLF requests. A PUTOLF request looks something like this:

A0 PUTOLF 1 H A 10 name 2700 Test Data Goes Here<EOM>

By sending a name containing "../../../../" as a prefix, the file is
created 4 directories below where it ordinarily would. The file created
has ".olf" added on the end, and has the contents "Test Data Goes Here".


Exploitation allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code under the
privileges of Local System (on Windows platforms) or root (on Linux
platforms). The CA License Client runs by default and is packaged with
almost all CA software.


iDEFENSE has confirmed that CA License Client is vulnerable. It
is suspected that most CA products are running vulnerable versions of
the client and/or server.


Use a firewall to only allow trusted hosts to connect to the Computer
Associates License Server and Client ports.


A vendor advisory for this issue is available at:

Patches for this issue are available at:


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the
name CAN-2005-0583 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion
in the CVE list (, which standardizes names for
security problems.


02/08/2005   Initial vendor notification
02/09/2005   Initial vendor response
03/02/2005   Coordinated public disclosure


This vulnerability was discovered by Greg MacManus, iDEFENSE Labs.

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Copyright © 2005 Verisign, Inc.

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