Note: This is an archival copy of Security Sun Alert 200305 as previously published on
Latest version of this security advisory is available from as Sun Alert 1000230.1.
Article ID : 1000230.1
Article Type : Sun Alerts (SURE)
Last reviewed : 2010-01-24
Audience : PUBLIC
Copyright Notice: Copyright © 2010, Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates.

Security Vulnerabilities in Solaris AnswerBook2 Documentation


Release Phase

Bug Id
6228248, 6228257

Date of Resolved Release


Two vulnerabilities have been discovered in the AnswerBook2 Server related to malicious HTML tags.

1. The AnswerBook2 Search function dynamically generates web pages which may allow the execution of scripts or present malicious HTML to a user. Users may unintentionally execute scripts in their browser written by a remote unprivileged user if they follow untrusted links/URIs in web pages, mail messages, or newsgroup postings which link to AnswerBook2 search results. By following these untrusted links/URIs, the remote attacker may be able to execute commands with the privileges of the user who accessed the link/URI.

2. The "View Log Files" function in the AnswerBook2 browser-based admin interface (GUI) may be vulnerable to cross-site scripting attacks. Due to this vulnerability, the AnswerBook2 administrator accessing the "View Log Files" functionality may unintentionally execute scripts written by an unprivileged local or remote user. The commands executed would run with the privileges of the user utilizing the AnswerBook2 browser-based admin GUI, who may be privileged.

This issue is also described in the following documents:

For further information on malicious HTML tags, cross site scripting, and web script vulnerabilities, see the following URLs:

Sun acknowledges, with thanks, Thomas Liam Romanis for bringing this issue to our attention.

Contributing Factors

This issue can occur in the following releases:

SPARC Platform

  • AnswerBook2 Documentation Server versions 1.4.4 or earlier (for Solaris 7 and 8)

x86 Platform

  • AnswerBook2 Documentation Server versions 1.4.4 or earlier (for Solaris 7 and 8)


  1. AnswerBook2 is no longer supported as of Solaris 9, therefore Solaris 9 and Solaris 10 are not affected.
  2. The "View Log Files" vulnerability only exists when using the AnswerBook2 Admin GUI interface, i.e. the following URL path on an AnswerBook2 server: http://ab2server.hostname:8888/ab2/@Ab2Admin

To determine the version of the currently installed AnswerBook2 Server, the following command can be run:

    $ grep SUNW_PRODVERS /var/sadm/pkg/SUNWab2[rsu]/pkginfo


There are no reliable symptoms that would indicate the described issues have been exploited.


Sites which have configured AnswerBook2 Documentation Servers should disable AnswerBook2 and instead refer to Sun documentation at the Sun Product Documentation web site or view the documentation on the Solaris Documentation CD.

To disable the AnswerBook2 Documentation Server, the following commands can be run as "root" user:

    # /usr/lib/ab2/bin/ab2admin -o autostart_no
# /usr/lib/ab2/bin/ab2admin -o stop

To avoid the "View Log Files" vulnerability, do not use the AnswerBook2 Admin GUI to view the AnswerBook2 log files; the ab2admin(1M) command should be used instead, as in the following example:

    $ /usr/lib/ab2/bin/ab2admin -o view_access [-m server_name] [-p server_port]


Please see the "Relief/Workaround" section for the resolution to this issue.

Modification History

AnswerBook2 Documentation Server 1.4

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