SUPERCON 2022: Kuba Tyszko Cracks Encrypted Software

[Kuba Tyszko] like many of us, has been hacking things from a young age. An early attempt at hacking around with grandpa’s tractor might have been swiftly quashed by his father, but likely this was not the last such incident. With a more recent interest in cracking encrypted applications, [Kuba] gives us some insights into some of the tools at your disposal for reading out the encrypted secrets of applications that have something worth hiding.¬† (Slides here, PDF.)

There may be all sorts of reasons for such applications to have an encrypted portion, and that’s not really the focus. One such application that [Kuba] describes was a pre-trained machine-learning model written in the R scripting language. If you’re not familiar with R, it is commonly used for ‘data science’ type tasks and has a big fan base. It’s worth checking out. Anyway, the application binary took two command line arguments, one was the encrypted blob of the model, and the second was the path to the test data set for model verification.

The first thing [Kuba] suggests is to disable network access, just in case the application wants to ‘dial home.’ We don’t want that. The application was intended for Linux, so the first port of call was to see what libraries it was linked against using the ldd command. This indicated that it was linked against OpenSSL, so that was a likely candidate for encryption support. Next up, running objdump gave some clues as to the various components of the binary. It was determined that it was doing something with 256-bit AES encryption. Now after applying a little experience (or educated guesswork, if you prefer), the likely scenario is that the binary yanks the private key from somewhere within itself reads the encrypted blob file, and passes this over to libssl. Then the plaintext R script is passed off to the R runtime, the model executes against the test data, and results are collated.

[Kuba]’s first attack method was to grab the OpenSSL source code and drop in some strategic printf() function calls into the target functions. Next, using the LD_PRELOAD ‘trick’ the standard system OpenSSL library was substituted with the ‘fake’ version with the trojan printfs. The result of this was the decryption function gleefully sending the plaintext R script direct to the terminal. No need to even locate the private key!

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This Week In Security: OpenSSL Fizzle, Java XML, And Nothing As It Seems

The security world held our collective breaths early this week for the big OpenSSL vulnerability announcement. Turns out it’s two separate issues, both related to punycode handling, and they’ve been downgraded to high severity instead of critical. Punycode, by the way, is the system for using non-ASCII Unicode characters in domain names. The first vulnerability, CVE-2022-3602, is a buffer overflow that writes four arbitrary bytes to the stack. Notably, the vulnerable code is only run after a certificate’s chain is verified. A malicious certificate would need to be either properly signed by a Certificate Authority, or manually trusted without a valid signature.

A couple sources have worked out the details of this vulnerability. It’s an off-by-one error in a loop, where the buffer length is checked earlier in the loop than the length variable is incremented. Because of the logic slip, the loop can potentially run one too many times. That loop processes the Unicode characters, encoded at the end of the punycode string, and injects them in the proper place, sliding the rest of the string over a byte in memory as a result. If the total output length is 513 characters, that’s a single character overflow. A Unicode character takes up four bytes, so there’s your four-byte overflow. Continue reading “This Week In Security: OpenSSL Fizzle, Java XML, And Nothing As It Seems”

This Week In Security: IOS, OpenSSL, And SQLite

Earlier this week, a new release of iOS rolled out, fixing a handful of security issues. One in particular noted it “may have been actively exploited”, and was reported anonymously. This usually means that a vulnerability was discovered in the wild, being used as part of an active campaign. The anonymous credit is interesting, too. An educated guess says that this was a rather targeted attack, and the security company that found it doesn’t want to give away too much information.

Of other interest is the GPU-related fix, credited to [Asahi Lina], the VTuber doing work on porting Linux to the Apple M1/M2 platform, and particularly focusing on GPU drivers. She’s an interesting case, and doing some very impressive work. There does remain the unanswered question of how the Linux Kernel will deal with a pull request coming from a pseudonym. Regardless, get your iOS devices updated.

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This Week In Security: Zimbra RCE, Routers Under Attack, And Old Tricks In WebAssembly

There’s a problem in the unrar utility, and as a result, the Zimbra mail server was vulnerable to Remote Code Execution by simply sending an email. So first, unrar is a source-available command-line application made by RarLab, the same folks behind WinRAR. CVE-2022-30333 is the vulnerability there, and it’s a classic path traversal on archive extraction. One of the ways this attack is normally pulled off is by extracting a symlink to the intended destination, which then points to a location that should be restricted. unrar has code hardening against this attack, but is sabotaged by its cross-platform support. On a Unix machine, the archive is checked for any symbolic links containing the ../ pattern. After this check is completed, a function runs to convert any Windows paths to Unix notation. As such, the simply bypass is to include symlinks using ..\ traversal, which don’t get caught by the check, and then are converted to working directories.

That was bad enough, but Zimbra made it worse by automatically extracting .rar attachments on incoming emails, in order to run a virus and spam check. That extraction isn’t sandboxed, so an attacker’s files are written anywhere on the filesystem the zimbra user can write. It’s not hard to imagine how this turns into a full RCE very quickly. If you have an unrar binary based on RarLab code, check for version 6.1.7 or 6.12 of their binary release. While Zimbra was the application specifically called out, there are likely to be other cases where this could be used for exploitation.
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This Week In Security: IoT In The Hot Tub, App Double Fail, And FreeBSD BadBeacon

[Eaton Zveare] purchased a Jacuzzi hot tub, and splurged for the SmartTub add-on, which connects the whirlpool to the internet so you can control temperature, lights, etc from afar. He didn’t realize he was about to discover a nightmare of security problems. Because as we all know, in IoT, the S stands for security. In this case, the registration email came from smarttub.io, so it was natural to pull up that URL in a web browser to see what was there. The page presented a login prompt, so [Eaton] punched in the credentials he had just generated. “Unauthorized” Well that’s not surprising, but what was very odd was the flash of a dashboard that appeared just before the authorization complaint. Could that have been real data that was unintentionally sent? A screen recorder answered that question, revealing that there was indeed a table loaded up with valid-looking data.

Digging around in the page’s JavaScript comes up with the login flow. The page uses the Auth0 service to handle logins, and that service sends back an access token. The page sends that access token right back to the Auth0 service to get user privileges. If the logged in user isn’t an admin, the redirect happens. However, we already know that some real data gets loaded. It appears that the limitations to data is all implemented on the client side, and the backend only requires a valid access token for data requests. What would happen if the response from Auth0 were modified? There are a few approaches to accomplish this, but he opted to use Fiddler. Rewrite the response so the front-end believes you’re an admin, and you’re in.

This approach seems to gain admin access to all of the SmartTub admin controls, though [Eaton] didn’t try actually making changes to see if he had write access, too. This was enough to demonstrate the flaw, and making changes would be flirting with that dangerous line that separates research from computer crime. The real problem started when he tried to disclose the vulnerability. SmartTub didn’t have a security contact, but an email to their support email address did elicit a reply asking for details. And after details were supplied, complete radio silence. Exasperated, he finally turned to Auth0, asking them to intervene. Their solution was to pull the plug on one of the two URL endpoints. Finally, after six months of trying to inform Jacuzzi and SmartTub of their severe security issues, both admin portals were secured.

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This Week In Security: Ransomware Decryption, OpenSSL, And USBGadget Spoofing

We’ve covered a lot of ransomware here, but we haven’t spent a lot of time looking at the decryptor tools available to victims. When ransomware gangs give up, or change names, some of them release a decryption tool for victims who haven’t paid. It’s not really a good idea to run one of those decryptors, though. The publishers don’t have a great track record for taking care of your data, after all. When a decryptor does get released, and is verified to work, security researchers will reverse engineer the tool, and release a known-good decryption program.

The good folks at No More Ransom are leading the charge, building such tools, and hosting a collection of them. They also offer Crypto Sheriff, a tool to identify which ransomware strain got your files. Upload a couple encrypted files, and it will inform you exactly what you’re dealing with, and whether there is a decryptor available. The site is a cooperation between the Dutch police, Interpol, Kaspersky, and McAfee. It may surprise you to know that they recommend reporting every ransomware case to the authorities. I can confirm that at the very least, the FBI in the US are very interested in keeping track of the various ransomware attacks — I’ve fielded a surprise call from an agent following up on an infection.

OpenSSL

The OpenSSL project has fixed a pair of vulnerabilities, CVE-2021-3711 and CVE-2021-3712 with release 1.1.11l. The first is a possible buffer overflow caused by a naive length calculation function. A “fixed” length header is actually dynamic, so a carefully crafted plaintext can overflow the allocated buffer. Continue reading “This Week In Security: Ransomware Decryption, OpenSSL, And USBGadget Spoofing”

Hackaday Space: Transmission 3 Puzzles Explained

transmission-3-puzzles-explained

Yesterday we did a run down of Transmission 2 as part of a series of posts covering the ARG that we ran throughout April. Today I’m going to reveal all the details in Transmission 3, how we put it together and what the answers were.

In classic Hackaday fashion we hadn’t planned any of this, so by this point all our initial ideas we already used up and we were now running out of creativity so it was a real slog to get Transmission 3 out the gate. However we¬†somehow managed it and opened Transmission 3 by posting a series of 5 images of space telescopes:

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