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Category:   Application (Generic)  >   Novell ZENworks Vendors:   Novell
Novell ZENworks Unsafe Executable Path Lets Local Users Gain System Privileges
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1019155
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   CVE-2007-5665   (Links to External Site)
Date:  Jan 5 2008
Impact:   Execution of arbitrary code via local system, Root access via local system
Fix Available:  Yes  Vendor Confirmed:  Yes  Exploit Included:  Yes  
Version(s): 3.5 prior to
Description:   A vulnerability was reported in Novell ZENworks. A local user can obtain system privileges on the target system.

A local user can create an alternate command shell in a temporary directory used by the ZENworks Endpoint Security Management client and then cause the 'STEngine.exe' process to execute the alternate command shell program on the target system with system privileges.

The vendor was notified on September 24, 2007.

Stephen Fewer of Harmony Security reported this vulnerability via iDefense.

Impact:   A local user can obtain system privileges on the target system.
Solution:   The vendor has issued a fixed version (

The Novell advisory is available at:

Vendor URL: (Links to External Site)
Cause:   Access control error
Underlying OS:  Windows (2000), Windows (XP)

Message History:   None.

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  iDefense Security Advisory 12.24.07: Novell ZENworks Endpoint Security

iDefense Security Advisory 12.24.07
Dec 24, 2007


Novell ZENworks Endpoint Security Management (ESM) Security Client
provides centrally managed, policy based firewall protection for
clients. It is designed to be installed on all workstations within the
enterprise. More information is available on the vendor's site at the
following URL.


Local exploitation of a privilege escalation vulnerability in Novell
ZENworks Endpoint Security Management allows attackers to execute
arbitrary code with SYSTEM privileges.

When the ZENworks ESM Security Client is installed on a workstation, the
STEngine service is set to run under the local SYSTEM account. This
service is implemented within the following executable.

  File Name: STEngine.exe (1,847,296 bytes)
  MD5: B5402A1EC8D04130304EBA89AF843916

The service provides functionality for any user to generate a diagnostic
report in order to aid in product troubleshooting. During report
generation, STEngine attempts to execute various scripts by spawning
command shells to gather system information. These scripts are
dynamically generated in a directory which all users may write to.

STEngine will also attempt to locate a command shell in this directory
and execute it if it is found. If a malicious local user places a
binary named "cmd.exe" in this directory, STEngine will execute it with
SYSTEM level privileges.


Exploitation allows unprivileged local users to take complete control of
the affected system.

Exploitation is trivial and does not require any special tools or coding
ability. If an attacker desires an interactive command prompt, a small
wrapper application will be required in order to ensure that the
command window is visible after execution.


iDefense has confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in
STEngine.exe version as included with Novell Inc's ZENworks
Endpoint Security Management 3.5. Other versions may also be affected.


iDefense is unaware of any effective workaround for this issue.


Novell has addressed this vulnerability by releasing version of
Endpoint Security Management. To download this new version, visit the
following URL.


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the
name CVE-2007-5665 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in
the CVE list (, which standardizes names for
security problems.


09/24/2007  Initial vendor notification
09/25/2007  Initial vendor response
12/24/2007  Coordinated public disclosure


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

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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
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