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: More Protestware, Another Linux Vuln, And TLStorm

It seems I have made my tiny, indelible mark on internet security history, with the term “protestware“. As far as I can tell, I first coined this particular flavor of malware while covering the Faker.js/Colors.js vandalism in January.

Yet another developer, [RIAEvangelist] has inserted some malicious code (Mirror, since the complaint has been deleted) in an existing project, in protest of something, in this case the war in Ukraine. The behavior here is to write a nice note on the desktop, preaching “peace not war”. However, a few versions of this sample have a nasty surprise — it does a GeoIP lookup, and attempts to wipe the entire drive if it detects a Russian location. Yes, node-ipc versions 10.1.1 and 10.1.2 contain straight-up malware. It’s not clear how many users ran the potentially malicious code, as it was quickly reverted and released 10.1.3. Up-to-date versions of node-ipc still create the desktop file, and Unity Hub has already confirmed they shipped the library in this state, and have since issued a hotfix.
Continue reading “This Week In Security: More Protestware, Another Linux Vuln, And TLStorm”

This Week In Security: NPM Vandalism, Simulating Reboots, And More

We’ve covered quite a few stories about malware sneaking into NPM and other JavaScript repositories. This is a bit different. This time, a JS programmer vandalized his own packages. It’s not even malware, perhaps we should call it protestware? The two packages, colors and faker are both popular, with a combined weekly download of nearly 23 million. Their author, [Marak] added a breaking update to each of them. These libraries now print a header of LIBERTY LIBERTY LIBERTY, and then either random characters, or very poor ASCII art. It’s been confirmed that this wasn’t an outside attacker, but [Marak] breaking his own projects on purpose. Why?

It seems like this story starts back in late 2020, when [Marak] lost quite a bit in a fire, and had to ask for money on Twitter. Edit: Thanks to commenter [Jack Dansen] for pointing out an important detail that was missing. Marak was charged for reckless endangerment, and was suspected for possible terrorism aspirations, as bomb-making materials were found in his burned-out apartment. Two weeks later, he tweeted that billions were being made off open source devs’ work, citing a FAANG leak. FAANG is a reference to the big five American tech companies: Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google. The same day, he opened an issue on Github for faker.js, throwing down an ultimatum: “Take this as an opportunity to send me a six figure yearly contract or fork the project and have someone else work on it.”
Continue reading “This Week In Security: NPM Vandalism, Simulating Reboots, And More”