TippingPoint Zero Day Initiative

EMC AutoStart Backbone Engine Trusted Pointer Code Execution Vulnerability

ZDI-09-009: January 23rd, 2009


Affected Vendors

Affected Products

TippingPoint™ IPS Customer Protection

TippingPoint IPS customers are protected against this vulnerability by Digital Vaccine protection filter ID 6412. For further product information on the TippingPoint IPS:

Vulnerability Details

This vulnerability allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on systems with vulnerable installations of EMC AutoStart. Authentication is not required to exploit this vulnerability.

The specific flaw exists within the Backbone service (ftbackbone.exe) which listens by default on TCP port 8042. The process trusts a DWORD value from incoming packets which it arbitrarily calls. Exploitation of this issue leads to code execution under the context of the SYSTEM user.

Vendor Response

EMC states:

Customers who are using older versions are advised to upgrade to EMC AutoStart 5.3 SP2
For EMC AutoStart 5.3. SP2 Software navigate to the following location:
Powerlink > Support > Software Downloads and Licensing > Downloads A-B > AutoStart

Disclosure Timeline

    2008-08-26 - Vulnerability reported to vendor
    2009-01-23 - Coordinated public release of advisory


This vulnerability was discovered by:
    Manuel Santamarina Suarez