February 27, 2015

WP-Slimstat vulnerability exposes WordPress websites to SQL injection attacks

wp-slimstat-plugin-logo(LiveHacking.Com) – A recent security advisory from Sucri has revealed that the popular WordPress plugin WP-Slimstat is vulnerable to SQL injection attacks because of a weak secret key.

If exploited fully the bug could allow hackers to use SQL injection attacks to download sensitive information from a susceptible site’s database, including username, and (hopefully) hashed passwords. According to Sucri it could even be possible, in certain situations, for the attacker to find the WordPress Secret Keys and then takeover the site completely.

The problem is with the secret key used by the plugin to sign data sent to/from the client. The key used is in fact the MD5 hash of the plugin’s installation timestamp. Although it would be impossible to guess the exact date and time of the plugin installation, it might be possible to guess the approximate date and therefore drastically reduce the number of combinations.

Only the correct year is needed to reduce the number of possibilities down to 30 million values, which according to Sucri is computable in around 10 minutes using modern setups. Part of the problem is that MD5 hashes are quite breakable using modern CPU/GPU combinations.

Once the correct MD5 hash has been discovered then fake data can be sent to the plugin. Then, due to a second bug – which allows an attacker to insert arbitrary data into an unserialize() call, the attacker can execute arbitrary SQL queries and allow them  to get any data they want from the database.

“This is a dangerous vulnerability, you should update all of your websites using this plugin as soon as possible,” wrote  Marc-Alexandre Montpas on Sucri’s blog.

WP-Slimstat is an analytics tool. Its listing on WordPress shows it has been downloaded more than 1.3 million times. People who operate websites that use the plugin should update immediately. All versions before 3.9.6 are vulnerable.

Cross Site Scripting vulnerability found in IE 11

hacked-by-deusen-1080x700(LiveHacking.Com) – A new Cross Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability has been found in IE 11. According to an email sent by David Leo, a researcher with information security company Deusen, to the Full Disclosure mailing list, the vulnerability can allow an attacker to steal anything from a third party domain, and likewise inject anything into a third party domain.

Deusen has also posted a proof of concept which injects the words “Hacked by Deusen” into a third party website, in this case dailymail.co.uk. The disclosure is for Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 7, however I have tried it on Windows 8.1 and the vulnerability is present.

The way the PoC works is once the web page has been opened you need to click on a dialog box to proceed. Then a second window opens showing the dailymail.co.uk website, after a few seconds the contents of dailymail.co.uk are replaced with the hacked message. In a real world scenario the injected code would do something more malicious.

Since IE still shows that the domain is dailymail.co.uk users can be easily tricked into giving up usernames and passwords, or other private information. Imagine if the attacker used paypal.com rather than dailymail.co.uk.

However, phishing isn’t the only worry. The vulnerability also means attackers can access existing authentication cookies. This means that an attacker can masquerade as an already authorized user.

According to Joey Fowler, a Senior Security Engineer at Tumblr, the vulnerability allows hackers to bypass standard HTTP-to-HTTPS restrictions. “It looks like, through this method, all viable XSS tactics are open!” he wrote.

Joey also asked if Microsoft had been informed. David Leo confirmed that Microsoft was notified on Oct 13, 2014. In a statement to iTnews, Microsoft said that there were no known cases of this vulnerability being exploited in the wild. Microsoft is working on a fix.

Apple updates iOS, OS X and Apple TV in monster patch release

ios8-logo(LiveHacking.Com) – Following Google’s disclose of a number of zero day vulnerabilities in OS X, Apple has released a huge set of patches that fix a range of Critical security problems on OS X, iOS, Apple TV, and Safari.

Starting with OS X, Apple’s patches fix 54 separate CVEs including 11 from Google’s Project Zero. Among the fixes are patches for the 3 bugs which Google disclosed last week:

  • An error existed in the Bluetooth driver that allowed a malicious application to control the size of a write to kernel memory.
  • Multiple type confusion issues existed in coresymbolicationd’s handling of XPC messages.
  • A memory access issue existed in the handling of IOUSB controller user client functions.

A security vulnerability in the Intel graphics driver is also credited to Google’s project zero. According to the release notes, multiple vulnerabilities existed in the Intel graphics driver, the most serious of could lead to arbitrary code execution with system privileges.

Another six CVE’s were reported to Apple from another of Google security groups, this time the Google Security Team. Among its catches are a bug in the kernel: Multiple uninitialized memory issues existed in the network statistics interface, which led to the disclosure of kernel memory content.

The security update is available for OS X Mountain Lion v10.8.5, OS X Mavericks v10.9.5, OS X Yosemite v10.10 and v10.10.1. You can read the full details here: http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT1222

Since iOS and OS X share much of the same code (certainly at the lower levels), Apple also released an update to its mobile operating system with many of the same fixes. The iOS update addresses 33 different CVEs and fixes some of the same vulnerabilities from Google’s Project Zero. You can read more about iOS 8.1.3 here: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT204245

Like iOS, Apple TV also uses lots of the same core technologies as OS X. In response to Google’s disclosures and in the light of other security issues, Apple has released Apple TV 7.0.3. It addresses 29 different CVEs including the disclosed problems with XPC: Multiple type confusion issues existed in networkd’s handling of interprocess communication. By sending a maliciously formatted message to networkd, it could be possible to execute arbitrary code as the networkd process.

Apple TV 7.0.3 is available for all 3rd generation and later Apple TV boxes. Full details can be found here: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT204246

To round off this huge security update, Apple has also updated Safari 8.0.3, Safari 7.1.3, and Safari 6.2.3 on OS X Mountain Lion v10.8.5, OS X Mavericks v10.9.5, and OS X Yosemite v10.10.1 to fix a series of memory issues with WebKit. If exploited these vulnerabilities could allow an attacker to run arbitrary code on a victim’s Mac, if tricked into visiting a maliciously crafted website.

Apple has also updated its web plug-in blocking mechanism to disable all versions prior to Flash Player 16.0.0.296 and 13.0.0.264.

Apple updates OS X’s NTP server to address recently disclosed NTP vulnerabilities

12-54-on-digitial-clock-300px(LiveHacking.Com) – Apple has released a patch for OS X Mountain Lion v10.8.5, OS X Mavericks v10.9.5, and OS X Yosemite v10.10.1 to update the included NTP server to  fix the recently disclosed  vulnerabilities. The standard, open source Network Time Protocol (NTP) daemon (ntpd) contains multiple vulnerabilities which were publicly disclosed a few days ago. The vulnerabilities not only affect OS X, but also other Unix-type operating systems like Linux and FreeBSD.

ntpd version 4.2.7 and before, have several to buffer overflow issues. If exploited they could allow malicious code to be executed. Also, ntp-keygen prior to version 4.2.7p230 has been found to use a non-cryptographic random number generator when generating symmetric keys. These vulnerabilities affect ntpd acting as a server or client.

The full list of vulnerabilities is as follow:

  • CWE-332 – If no authentication key is defined in the ntp.conf file, a cryptographically-weak default key is generated.
  • CWE-338 – ntp-keygen before 4.2.7p230 uses a non-cryptographic random number generator with a weak seed to generate symmetric keys.
  • CWE-121 – A remote unauthenticated attacker may craft special packets that trigger buffer overflows in the ntpd functions crypto_recv() (when using autokey authentication), ctl_putdata(), and configure(). The resulting buffer overflows may be exploited to allow arbitrary malicious code to be executed with the privilege of thentpd process.
  • CWE-389 – A section of code in ntpd handling a rare error is missing a return statement, therefore processing did not stop when the error was encountered. This situation may be exploitable by an attacker.

Apple’s release notes state that “a remote attacker may be able to execute arbitrary code” due to the vulnerabilities. The security bulletin goes on to say that “Several issues existed in ntpd that would have allowed an attacker to trigger buffer overflows. These issues were addressed through improved error checking.”

You can read more about APPLE-SA-2014-12-22-1 here and you can read CERT’s note on the issue here. You can download the latest (patched) version of NTP from here.

Microsoft fixes 24 security vulnerabilities in December’s Patch Tuesday

Windows-Vista-command-prompt(LiveHacking.Com) – As part of December’s Patch Tuesday, Microsoft has released seven security updates, three of which Microsoft has rated Critical, while the other four are rated Important in severity. These seven patches to address 24 security vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows, Internet Explorer (IE), Office and Exchange.

The first of the Critical patches is a cumulative update for IE. The patch resolves fourteen privately reported vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer. The most severe of these vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted webpage using Internet Explorer. The update applies to IE 6 to IE 11, on Windows Server 2003 to Windows 81, depending on the version of IE.

The second Critical patch applies to Microsoft Word and Microsoft Office Web Apps, to fix two privately reported vulnerabilities. The vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user opens or previews a specially crafted Microsoft Word file in an affected version of Microsoft Office software.

The Critical patch resolves a privately reported vulnerability in the VBScript scripting engine in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user visits a specially crafted website.

Microsoft has also re-released and updated two security bulletins related to Internet Explorer. The first, MS14-065, is a cumulative security update for Microsoft’s default browser, while the second relates to the browser’s built-in version of Flash. Adobe also released  a security update for Adobe Flash Player for Windows.

Apple patches security flaws in iOS 8, OS X 10.10 and Apple TV 7

Apple-logo(LiveHacking.Com) – Apple has released new versions of three of its major software products. The new versions of iOS, OS X and Apple TV address multiple security vulnerabilities. iOS 8.1.1, which is available for the iPhone 4s and later; the iPod touch (5th generation) and later; and the iPad 2 and later; addresses nine separate vulnerabilities. Apple TV 7.0.2, which is available for Apple TV 3rd generation and later, addresses four vulnerabilities, all of which are common with the iOS release. OS X 10.10.1 patches four flaws, two of which are common with the iOS release and two which are specific to OS X.

The common fixes are as follows:

  • iOS and OS X: A privacy issue existed where browsing data could remain in the cache after leaving private browsing. (CVE-2014-4460)
  • iOS and OS X: The initial connection made by Spotlight or Safari to the Spotlight Suggestions servers included a user’s approximate location before a user entered a query. (CVE-2014-4453)
  • iOS and Apple TV: A state management issue existed in the handling of Mach-O executable files with overlapping segments. (CVE-2014-4455)
  • iOS and Apple TV: A malicious application may be able to execute arbitrary code with system privileges due to a validation issue that existed in the handling of certain metadata fields in IOSharedDataQueue objects. (CVE-2014-4461)
  • iOS and Apple TV: Due to multiple memory corruption issues in WebKit, visiting a maliciously crafted website may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution. (CVE-2014-4452 and CVE-2014-4462)

The iOS specific fixes are:

  • In some circumstances, the failed passcode attempt limit was not enforced. (CVE-2014-4451)
  • The Leave a Message option in FaceTime may have allowed viewing and sending photos from the device. (CVE-2014-4463)
  • A permissions issue existed with the debugging functionality for iOS that allowed the spawning of applications on trusted devices that were not being debugged. (CVE-2014-4457)

The OS X only patches are:

  • The request made by About This Mac to determine the model of the system and direct users to the correct help resources included unnecessary cookies. (CVE-2014-4458)
  • Visiting a maliciously crafted website may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution due to a use after free issue existed in the handling of page objects. (CVE-2014-4459)

More information about all these patches can be found on Apple’s Security Updates web site: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222

Source code for BadUSB vulnerability posted on GitHub

usb-flash-drive(LiveHacking.Com) – Back in August, security researchers  Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell demonstrated how a USB device can be reprogrammed and used to infect a computer without the user’s knowledge. Dubbed BadUSB, the pair published their findings during the Black Hat conference, however they did not publish the source code or the reversed engineered firmware needed to perform the attack. Nohl and Lell said they did not release code in order to give firms making USB-controller firmware time to work out how to combat the problem.

Now two other researchers, Adam Caudill and Brandon Wilson have done their own research on BadUSB and produced code that can be used to exploit it. The source-code can be found on Github. Unlike Nohl and Lell, Caudill and Wilson think it is in the public’s interest to release the source code for public consumption.

“We’re releasing everything we’ve done here, nothing is being held back,” said Mr Wilson during his presentation at DerbyCon. “We believe that this information should not be limited to a select few as others have treated it. It needs to be available to the public.”

The BBC contacted Karsten Nohl about the new release, he said that “full disclosure” can motivate USB device makers to improve the security on their devices. However he also noted that the problem with BadUSB is not one particular device but rather, “the standard itself is what enables the attack and no single vendor is in a position to change that.” He added that, “it is unclear who would feel pressured to improve their products by the recent release.”

According to the GitHub page for the new source-code the following devices can be reprogrammed and used as attack vectors:

  • Patriot 8GB Supersonic Xpress
  • Kingston DataTraveler 3.0 T111 8GB
  • Silicon power marvel M60 64GB
  • Toshiba TransMemory-MX™ Black 16 GB
  • Patriot Stellar 64 Gb Phison

Shellshock: Code injection vulnerability found in Bash

bash-man-page(LiveHacking.Com) – A code injection vulnerability in the Bourne again shell (Bash) has been disclosed on the internet. If exploited then arbitrary commands can be executed, and where Bash is used in relation to a network service, for example in CGI scripts on a web server, then the vulnerability will allow remote code execution.

The problem resolves about the way that Bash processes environment variables used to export shell functions to other bash instances. Bash uses environment variables named by the function name, and a function definition starting with “() {” in the variable value to propagate function definitions through the process environment. The problem is that Bash does not stop after processing the function definition; it continues to parse and execute any shell commands following the function definition.

This means that shell commands can be tagged onto the end of environment variables and they will be executed by the shell. The vulnerability is deemed as critical because Bash is used widely on many types of UNIX-like operating systems including Linux, BSD, and Mac OS X.

The most prominent attack vector is via HTTP requests sent to CGI scripts executed by Bash. Also, if SSH has been configured to allow remote users to run a set of restricted commands, like rsync or git, this bug means that an attacker can use SSH to execute any command and not just the restricted command.

The initial bug was designated as CVE-2014-6271, and a patch was subsequently issued. However it was later discovered that the patch had an issue in the parser and did not fully address the problem. As a result a second CVE was assigned, CVE-2014-7169, to cover the remaining problems after the application of the first patch.

To test your system to see if your version of bash is vulnerable, run these two commands:

env X="() { :;} ; echo vulnerable" /bin/sh -c "echo completed"
env X="() { :;} ; echo vulnerable" `which bash` -c "echo completed"

In either case, if the word “vulnerable” is displayed then your shell needs patching.

The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) has issued a statement: Bourne Again Shell (Bash) Remote Code Execution Vulnerability, along with the following alert: GNU Bourne Again Shell (Bash) ‘Shellshock’ Vulnerability (CVE-2014-6271, CVE-2014-7169).

Red Hat has posted a special report on its security blog: Bash specially-crafted environment variables code injection attack. Akamai, a provider of cloud services, has also posted a blog post called Environment Bashing.

 

Apple releases iOS 8 with 56 security patches

ios8-logo(LiveHacking.Com) – Along side the release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Apple has also released a new version of its mobile operating system. iOS 8 includes improvements to Siri and the ability for third parties to add widgets to the notification area. Apple are calling it “huge for developers,  massive for everyone else.” iOS 8 also includes some important security fixes. Overall Apple addressed 56 unique CVEs in this release.

Among the changes are fixes for bugs which could allow an attacker with access to an iOS device to access sensitive user information from logs, allow a local attacker to escalate privileges and install unverified applications, and fixes for bugs that allow some kernel hardening measures may be bypassed.

Other fixes include a patch to stop maliciously crafted PDF files that can allow an attacker to run arbitrary code, and a patch to stop malicious applications executing arbitrary code with system privileges. Most of these issues revolve around NULL pointer dereferencing and bounds checking. For example an out-of-bounds read issue existed in the handling of an IOHIDFamily function. As a result, a malicious application may be able to read kernel pointers and then bypass kernel address space layout randomization. According to Apple’s release notes, “this issue was addressed through improved bounds checking.” A phrase that is found several times in Apple’s document that describes the security content of iOS 8.

Webkit, the open source HTML rendering engine used by Apple, also received a lot of patches (12 in total). According to Apple visiting a maliciously crafted website in previous versions of iOS may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution. This was because of multiple memory corruption issues in WebKit. These issues were addressed through improved memory handling.

As well as releasing iOS 8, Apple also released new versions of OS X, OS X Server, Safari, and Apple TV. These are all maintenance releases which fix bug and patch security vulnerabilities. The full list of updates including links to the relevant security information follows:

LinkedIn can be tricked into revealing personal email addresses

linkedin(LiveHacking.Com) – Benjamin Caudill and Bryan Seely, founders of Rhino Security, have discovered an unintentional side effect of LinkedIn’s obsession with making sure you are “linked” with just about everyone you have had contact with. According to the new research, which was published in part by Brian Krebs, it is possible to troll LinkedIn and discover the email addresses of public figures including leading CEOs, celebrities and company executives.

On a normal day LinkedIn will only let you connect with users that you claim to know professionally or personally. If you don’t know some you can get an introduction via a common third party. To ensure that you are linked to everyone you know LinkedIn will optionally trawl through your Google/Yahoo/Hotmail address book to see if anyone in your address book is already using LinkedIn. Sounds great, very helpful.

The problem is that if you start to create fake email addresses in your list of contacts then LinkedIn will helpfully show you the profiles of users with addresses that match your address book. This is because LinkedIn assumes that if you have their email address then you must know the person.

Now all you need to do is populate your address book with hundreds of combinations of email addresses based on people’s names, and then add @gmail.com or @yahoo.com etc on to the end.

When you import the list of names then LinkedIn will not only show you the profiles which match the addresses, it will also tell you which addresses don’t match any known profiles. If you got lucky and found the address of a high profile user then you just need to use a process of elimination to whittle down the list of emails that didn’t match a profile and you can discover the private email address of the target LinkedIn user.

To prove their point Cludill and Seely discovered the email address of Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks. Seely said they found success in locating the email addresses of other celebrities using the same method about nine times out of ten.

“We created several hundred possible addresses for Cuban in a few seconds, using a Microsoft Excel macro,” Seely said. “It’s just a brute-force guessing game, but 90 percent of people are going to use an email address that includes components of their real name.”

According to LinkedIn the company will be implementing a couple of changes over the next few weeks to alter the way the service handles email addresses.