Public Vulnerability Reports

Sun Java System Active Server Pages Buffer Overflow Vulnerability



Sun Java System Active Server Pages is a multi-platform ASP application server. It provides provides ASP (Active Server Pages) functionality to a web server. More information is available at the following URL.


Remote exploitation of a buffer overflow vulnerability in Sun Microsystem's Java System Active Server Pages allows attackers to execute arbitrary code in the context of the ASP server.

The vulnerability exists within the request handling code within the ASP server. An attacker supplied string is copied into a fixed size stack buffer without first validating that there is sufficient space available. By supplying a specially crafted request, an attacker can cause a stack-based buffer overflow.


Exploitation allows an attacker to execute arbitrary code in the context of the ASP server. This vulnerability can be reached from a normal web server, usually on TCP port 80, configured to pass requests for ASP applications through the ASP server. No authentication is required to exploit this vulnerability. If this service is configured to run with root privileges it is possible to gain complete control over the affected system.


iDefense has confirmed the existence of this vulnerability within version 4.0.2 of Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Java System Active Server Pages. Older versions are suspected to be vulnerable.


iDefense is currently unaware of any effective workaround for this issue.

However, configuring the ASP server to run with reduced privileges can help prevent a complete compromise. This can be accomplished via the "Inherit user security" setting or setting a user and group to run with when using the "Defined user security" mode.


Sun Microsystems has addressed this vulnerability with the release of version 4.0.3 of Sun Java System Active Server Pages. For more information, refer to Sun Alert 238184 at the following URL.


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the name CVE-2008-2404 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (, which standardizes names for security problems.


04/04/2007 Initial vendor notification
04/05/2007 Initial vendor response
06/03/2008 Coordinated public disclosure


The discoverer of this vulnerability wishes to remain anonymous.

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Copyright © 2008 Verisign, Inc.

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