Public Vulnerability Reports

SAP MaxDB Signedness Error Heap Corruption Vulnerability



SAP's MaxDB is a database software product. MaxDB was released as open source from version 7.5 up to version 7.6.00. Later versions are no longer open source but are available for download from the SAP SDN website ( as a community edition with free community support for public use beyond the scope of SAP applications. The "vserver" program is responsible for accepting and handling communication with remote database clients. For more information, visit the product's website at the following URL.


Remote exploitation of a signedness error in the "vserver" component of SAP AG's MaxDB could allow attackers to execute arbitrary code.

After accepting a connection, the "vserver" process forks and reads parameters from the client into various structures. When doing so, it trusts values sent from the client to be valid. By sending a specially crafted request, an attacker can cause heap corruption. This leads to a potentially exploitable memory corruption condition.


Exploitation allows an attacker to execute arbitrary code in the context of the running service. In order to exploit this vulnerability, an attacker must be able to establish a TCP session on port 7210 with the target host. Additionally, the attacker must know the name of an active database on the server.

Since this service uses the fork() system call once a connection has been accepted, an attacker can repeatedly attempt to exploit this vulnerability. Some exploitation attempts may result in the database process ceasing to run, in which case further exploitation attempts will not be possible.


iDefense has confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in SAP AG's MaxDB version on Linux. Other versions may also be affected.


Employing firewalls to limit access to the affected service will mitigate exposure to this vulnerability.


SAP AG has addressed this vulnerability by releasing a new version of MaxDB. For more information, consult SAP note 1140135.


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the name CVE-2008-0307 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (, which standardizes names for security problems.


12/06/2007 Initial vendor notification
12/10/2007 Initial vendor response
03/10/2008 Coordinated public disclosure


The discoverer of this vulnerability wishes to remain anonymous.

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Copyright © 2008 Verisign, Inc.

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