Security Intelligence

TIBCO SmartSockets Stack Buffer Overflow Vulnerability



SmartSockets is a message-passing framework used to transport messages over disparate channels. The RTserver is the server component of the framework. For more information, see the vendor's site found at the following link.


Remote exploitation of a stack based buffer overflow vulnerability in TIBCO Software Inc.'s SmartSockets RTserver could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the affected service.

The vulnerability occurs when parsing requests on the UDP interface of the RTserver.


Exploitation of this vulnerability results in the execution of arbitrary code with the privileges of the affected service, usually SYSTEM. No authentication is required to exploit this vulnerability. Since the vulnerability is a stack based buffer overflow, and there are no stack cookies, reliable exploitation is trivial.


iDefense has confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in the RTserver version Previous versions may also be affected.

The SmartSockets framework is resold to various 3rd party vendors, and in this case iDefense used the version provided with Computer Associates Enterprise Communicator.


TIBCO has identified the following workarounds:

* Disable the rtserver UDP port if it has been enabled in the rtserver configuration file.

 * Utilize a firewall to restrict access to the rtserver. 
 * Use a user with restricted privileges to invoke the rtserver or application. 
 * On Unix systems, invoke the server or application from a chroot environment. This will restrict the ability to access or modify information in the event of a successful exploit. 


TIBCO has released a patch which addresses this issue. For more information, consult their advisory at the following URL:


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the name CVE-2009-1291 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (, which standardizes names for security problems.


03/18/2009 - Initial Contact
03/18/2009 - PoC Requested
03/25/2009 - PoC Sent
03/30/2009 - Vendor PoC ACK
04/07/2009 - Vendor Validated
04/10/2009 - Coordination
04/14/2009 - CVE from Vendor
04/14/2009 - Coordination
04/28/2009 - Coordinated Public Disclosure


This vulnerability was reported to iDefense by Stephen Fewer of Harmony Security (

Get paid for vulnerability research

Free tools, research and upcoming events


Copyright © 2009 Verisign, Inc.

Permission is granted for the redistribution of this alert electronically. It may not be edited in any way without the express written consent of iDefense. If you wish to reprint the whole or any part of this alert in any other medium other than electronically, please e-mail customer service for permission.

Disclaimer: The information in the advisory is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing based on currently available information. Use of the information constitutes acceptance for use in an AS IS condition. There are no warranties with regard to this information. Neither the author nor the publisher accepts any liability for any direct, indirect, or consequential loss or damage arising from use of, or reliance on, this information.