Public Vulnerability Reports

Hewlett-Packard HP-UX Remote ldcconn Buffer Overflow Vulnerability



Cisco Local Director is a load-balancing, connection fail-over device used to help manage large enterprise networks. HP-UX allows for easy interfacing with Cisco Local Director using the HP Controller for Cisco Local Director package. In this package is ldcconn, which is configured to run via inetd on TCP port 17781.


Remote exploitation of a buffer overflow vulnerability in ldcconn allows attackers to execute arbitrary code with root privileges.

By sending a long string to the TCP port that ldcconn listens on, a buffer overflow is triggered. No authentication or data validation is performed.


Exploitation allows unauthenticated remote attackers to gain root access on affected machines.

The seriousness of this vulnerability is increased by the fact that in most cases an attacker will have unlimited attempts at successful exploitation due to the fact that inetd will continue to launch the service for each new connection.


iDefense confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in HP-UX 11.11i. It is suspected that other versions are also vulnerable.

To determine if ldcconn is installed on your specific install, use the command:

 # swlist -l file | grep ldcconn 

If this command returns anything, it means it is installed. To tell if it is currently configured to run from inetd, use the command:

 # grep ldcconn /etc/inetd.conf 

If it returns an entry, that means it is currently configured to run from inetd.


Firewall rules should be set to only allow Cisco equipment to access the service (port 17781).

If the service is not being used, simply remove, or comment out, the entry in /etc/inetd.conf and restart inetd.


Hewlett-Packard states that this product is obsolete and no longer supported. They have no plans to release a patch or advisory. They further stated that the version of HP-UX used to verify this vulnerability is also obsolete.

"HP simply recommends that customers upgrade to a currently supported OS release and to some other tool, if one is available."


A Mitre Corp. Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) number has not been assigned yet.


11/02/2004 Initial vendor notification
11/03/2004 Initial vendor response
12/19/2005 Second vendor notification
01/30/2007 Third vendor notification
01/30/2007 Third vendor response
04/25/2007 Status update requested
06/08/2007 Status update requested
07/24/2007 Status update requested
07/30/2007 Vendor stated product's support ended in 2002
08/06/2007 Vendor communicated their response
08/07/2007 Coordinated public disclosure


This vulnerability was discovered by iDefense Labs.

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