Tag Archives: exploits

New iPhone Exploit Uses Four Zero-Days

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2024/01/new-iphone-exploit-uses-four-zero-days.html

Kaspersky researchers are detailing “an attack that over four years backdoored dozens if not thousands of iPhones, many of which belonged to employees of Moscow-based security firm Kaspersky.” It’s a zero-click exploit that makes use of four iPhone zero-days.

The most intriguing new detail is the targeting of the heretofore-unknown hardware feature, which proved to be pivotal to the Operation Triangulation campaign. A zero-day in the feature allowed the attackers to bypass advanced hardware-based memory protections designed to safeguard device system integrity even after an attacker gained the ability to tamper with memory of the underlying kernel. On most other platforms, once attackers successfully exploit a kernel vulnerability they have full control of the compromised system.

On Apple devices equipped with these protections, such attackers are still unable to perform key post-exploitation techniques such as injecting malicious code into other processes, or modifying kernel code or sensitive kernel data. This powerful protection was bypassed by exploiting a vulnerability in the secret function. The protection, which has rarely been defeated in exploits found to date, is also present in Apple’s M1 and M2 CPUs.

The details are staggering:

Here is a quick rundown of this 0-click iMessage attack, which used four zero-days and was designed to work on iOS versions up to iOS 16.2.

  • Attackers send a malicious iMessage attachment, which the application processes without showing any signs to the user.
  • This attachment exploits the remote code execution vulnerability CVE-2023-41990 in the undocumented, Apple-only ADJUST TrueType font instruction. This instruction had existed since the early nineties before a patch removed it.
  • It uses return/jump oriented programming and multiple stages written in the NSExpression/NSPredicate query language, patching the JavaScriptCore library environment to execute a privilege escalation exploit written in JavaScript.
  • This JavaScript exploit is obfuscated to make it completely unreadable and to minimize its size. Still, it has around 11,000 lines of code, which are mainly dedicated to JavaScriptCore and kernel memory parsing and manipulation.
  • It exploits the JavaScriptCore debugging feature DollarVM ($vm) to gain the ability to manipulate JavaScriptCore’s memory from the script and execute native API functions.
  • It was designed to support both old and new iPhones and included a Pointer Authentication Code (PAC) bypass for exploitation of recent models.
  • It uses the integer overflow vulnerability CVE-2023-32434 in XNU’s memory mapping syscalls (mach_make_memory_entry and vm_map) to obtain read/write access to the entire physical memory of the device at user level.
  • It uses hardware memory-mapped I/O (MMIO) registers to bypass the Page Protection Layer (PPL). This was mitigated as CVE-2023-38606.
  • After exploiting all the vulnerabilities, the JavaScript exploit can do whatever it wants to the device including running spyware, but the attackers chose to: (a) launch the IMAgent process and inject a payload that clears the exploitation artefacts from the device; (b) run a Safari process in invisible mode and forward it to a web page with the next stage.
  • The web page has a script that verifies the victim and, if the checks pass, receives the next stage: the Safari exploit.
  • The Safari exploit uses CVE-2023-32435 to execute a shellcode.
  • The shellcode executes another kernel exploit in the form of a Mach object file. It uses the same vulnerabilities: CVE-2023-32434 and CVE-2023-38606. It is also massive in terms of size and functionality, but completely different from the kernel exploit written in JavaScript. Certain parts related to exploitation of the above-mentioned vulnerabilities are all that the two share. Still, most of its code is also dedicated to parsing and manipulation of the kernel memory. It contains various post-exploitation utilities, which are mostly unused.
  • The exploit obtains root privileges and proceeds to execute other stages, which load spyware. We covered these stages in our previous posts.

This is nation-state stuff, absolutely crazy in its sophistication. Kaspersky discovered it, so there’s no speculation as to the attacker.

New Windows/Linux Firmware Attack

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2023/12/new-windows-linux-firmware-attack.html

Interesting attack based on malicious pre-OS logo images:

LogoFAIL is a constellation of two dozen newly discovered vulnerabilities that have lurked for years, if not decades, in Unified Extensible Firmware Interfaces responsible for booting modern devices that run Windows or Linux….

The vulnerabilities are the subject of a coordinated mass disclosure released Wednesday. The participating companies comprise nearly the entirety of the x64 and ARM CPU ecosystem, starting with UEFI suppliers AMI, Insyde, and Phoenix (sometimes still called IBVs or independent BIOS vendors); device manufacturers such as Lenovo, Dell, and HP; and the makers of the CPUs that go inside the devices, usually Intel, AMD or designers of ARM CPUs….

As its name suggests, LogoFAIL involves logos, specifically those of the hardware seller that are displayed on the device screen early in the boot process, while the UEFI is still running. Image parsers in UEFIs from all three major IBVs are riddled with roughly a dozen critical vulnerabilities that have gone unnoticed until now. By replacing the legitimate logo images with identical-looking ones that have been specially crafted to exploit these bugs, LogoFAIL makes it possible to execute malicious code at the most sensitive stage of the boot process, which is known as DXE, short for Driver Execution Environment.

“Once arbitrary code execution is achieved during the DXE phase, it’s game over for platform security,” researchers from Binarly, the security firm that discovered the vulnerabilities, wrote in a whitepaper. “From this stage, we have full control over the memory and the disk of the target device, thus including the operating system that will be started.”

From there, LogoFAIL can deliver a second-stage payload that drops an executable onto the hard drive before the main OS has even started.


It’s an interesting vulnerability. Corporate buyers want the ability to display their own logos, and not the logos of the hardware makers. So the ability has to be in the BIOS, which means that the vulnerabilities aren’t being protected by any of the OS’s defenses. And the BIOS makers probably pulled some random graphics library off the Internet and never gave it a moment’s thought after that.

Zero-Click Exploit in iPhones

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2023/09/zero-click-exploit-in-iphones.html

Make sure you update your iPhones:

Citizen Lab says two zero-days fixed by Apple today in emergency security updates were actively abused as part of a zero-click exploit chain (dubbed BLASTPASS) to deploy NSO Group’s Pegasus commercial spyware onto fully patched iPhones.

The two bugs, tracked as CVE-2023-41064 and CVE-2023-41061, allowed the attackers to infect a fully-patched iPhone running iOS 16.6 and belonging to a Washington DC-based civil society organization via PassKit attachments containing malicious images.

“We refer to the exploit chain as BLASTPASS. The exploit chain was capable of compromising iPhones running the latest version of iOS (16.6) without any interaction from the victim,” Citizen Lab said.

“The exploit involved PassKit attachments containing malicious images sent from an attacker iMessage account to the victim.”

Operation Triangulation: Zero-Click iPhone Malware

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2023/06/operation-triangulation-zero-click-iphone-malware.html

Kaspersky is reporting a zero-click iOS exploit in the wild:

Mobile device backups contain a partial copy of the filesystem, including some of the user data and service databases. The timestamps of the files, folders and the database records allow to roughly reconstruct the events happening to the device. The mvt-ios utility produces a sorted timeline of events into a file called “timeline.csv,” similar to a super-timeline used by conventional digital forensic tools.

Using this timeline, we were able to identify specific artifacts that indicate the compromise. This allowed to move the research forward, and to reconstruct the general infection sequence:

  • The target iOS device receives a message via the iMessage service, with an attachment containing an exploit.
  • Without any user interaction, the message triggers a vulnerability that leads to code execution.
  • The code within the exploit downloads several subsequent stages from the C&C server, that include additional exploits for privilege escalation.
  • After successful exploitation, a final payload is downloaded from the C&C server, that is a fully-featured APT platform.
  • The initial message and the exploit in the attachment is deleted

The malicious toolset does not support persistence, most likely due to the limitations of the OS. The timelines of multiple devices indicate that they may be reinfected after rebooting. The oldest traces of infection that we discovered happened in 2019. As of the time of writing in June 2023, the attack is ongoing, and the most recent version of the devices successfully targeted is iOS 15.7.

No attribution as of yet.

New Zero-Click Exploits against iOS

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2023/04/new-zero-click-exploits-against-ios.html

Citizen Lab has identified three zero-click exploits against iOS 15 and 16. These were used by NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware in 2022, and deployed by Mexico against human rights defenders. These vulnerabilities have all been patched.

One interesting bit is that Apple’s Lockdown Mode (part of iOS 16) seems to have worked to prevent infection.

News article.

EDITED TO ADD (4/21): News article. Good Twitter thread.

Zoom Exploit on MacOS

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2022/08/zoom-exploit-on-macos.html

This vulnerability was reported to Zoom last December:

The exploit works by targeting the installer for the Zoom application, which needs to run with special user permissions in order to install or remove the main Zoom application from a computer. Though the installer requires a user to enter their password on first adding the application to the system, Wardle found that an auto-update function then continually ran in the background with superuser privileges.

When Zoom issued an update, the updater function would install the new package after checking that it had been cryptographically signed by Zoom. But a bug in how the checking method was implemented meant that giving the updater any file with the same name as Zoom’s signing certificate would be enough to pass the test—so an attacker could substitute any kind of malware program and have it be run by the updater with elevated privilege.

It seems that it’s not entirely fixed:

Following responsible disclosure protocols, Wardle informed Zoom about the vulnerability in December of last year. To his frustration, he says an initial fix from Zoom contained another bug that meant the vulnerability was still exploitable in a slightly more roundabout way, so he disclosed this second bug to Zoom and waited eight months before publishing the research.

EDITED TO ADD: Disclosure works. The vulnerability seems to be patched now.

Metasploit Weekly Wrap-Up

Post Syndicated from Shelby Pace original https://blog.rapid7.com/2022/03/04/metasploit-wrap-up-150/

Metasploit Weekly Wrap-Up

This week’s Metasploit Framework release brings us seven new modules.

IP Camera Exploitation

Rapid7’s Jacob Baines was busy this week with two exploit modules that target IP cameras. The first module exploits an authenticated file upload on Axis IP cameras. Due to lack of proper sanitization, an attacker can upload and install an eap application which, when executed, will grant the attacker root privileges on the device. This vulnerability, discovered by Baines in 2017, has yet to be patched.

The second module exploits an unauthenticated command injection vulnerability in a number of Hikvision IP cameras. A PUT request to the /SDK/webLanguage endpoint passes the contents of its request body’s <language> tag to snprintf(), which then passes its resultant data to a call to system(), resulting in code execution with root privileges. This vulnerability has been reported as exploited in the wild.

Privilege Escalation in pkexec

Community contributor RootUp submitted a module that exploits a privilege escalation vulnerability in Polkit’s pkexec utility, an SUID binary that is present on most major Linux distributions. Additionally, this vulnerability has likely existed in pkexec since 2009.

Any user can escalate their privileges to root by exploiting an out-of-bounds read and write that exists in pkexec’s executable path-finding logic. The logic always assumes that an argument is passed to pkexec, resulting in a read of the data that follows arguments in memory. Environment variables follow program arguments, so pkexec reads the first environment variable, resolves its full path, and replaces the environment variable with the full path. Leveraging the GCONV_PATH environment variable coerces pkexec into loading arbitrary libraries, leading to escalation of privileges.

New module content (7)

  • WordPress Modern Events Calendar SQLi Scanner by Hacker5preme (Ron Jost), h00die, and red0xff, which exploits CVE-2021-24946 – This exploits an unauthenticated SQL injection vulnerability in the Modern Events Calendar plugin for WordPress.

  • WordPress Secure Copy Content Protection and Content Locking sccp_id Unauthenticated SQLi by Hacker5preme (Ron Jost), Krzysztof Zając (kazet), and h00die, which exploits CVE-2021-24931 – A new module has been added to exploit CVE-2021-24931, an unauthenticated SQLi vulnerability in the sccp_id parameter of the ays_sccp_results_export_file AJAX action in Secure Copy Content Protection and Content Locking WordPress plugin versions before 2.8.2. Successful exploitation allows attackers to dump usernames and password hashes from the wp_users table which can then be cracked offline to gain valid login credentials for the affected WordPress installation.

  • Axis IP Camera Application Upload by jbaines-r7 – The "Apps” feature in Axis IP cameras allow allows third party developers to upload and execute ‘eap’ applications on the device, however no validation is performed to ensure the application comes from a trusted source. This module takes advantage of this vulnerability to allow authenticated attackers to upload and execute malicious applications and gain RCE. Once the application has been installed and the shell has been obtained, the module will then automatically delete the malicious application. No CVE is assigned to this issue as a patch has not been released as of the time of writing.

  • Hikvision IP Camera Unauthenticated Command Injection by Watchful_IP, bashis, and jbaines-r7, which exploits CVE-2021-36260 – This module exploits an unauthenticated command injection in a variety of Hikvision IP cameras (CVE-2021-36260). The module inserts a command into an XML payload used with an HTTP PUT request sent to the /SDK/webLanguage endpoint, resulting in command execution as the root user.

  • Local Privilege Escalation in polkits pkexec by Andris Raugulis, Dhiraj Mishra, Qualys Security, and bwatters-r7, which exploits CVE-2021-4034 – This adds an LPE exploit for CVE-2021-4034 which leverages an out-of-bounds read and write in polkit’s pkexec utility. It also adds support to Metasploit for generating Linux SO library payloads for the AARCH64 architecture.

  • Firefox MCallGetProperty Write Side Effects Use After Free Exploit by 360 ESG Vulnerability Research Institute, maxpl0it, and timwr, which exploits CVE-2020-26950 – This adds a module for CVE-2020-26950, a use after free browser exploit targeting Firefox and Thunderbird.

  • #16202 from zeroSteiner – This adds an exploit for CVE-2022-21882 which is a patch bypass for CVE-2021-1732. It updates and combines both techniques into a single mega-exploit module that will use the updated technique as necessary. No configuration is necessary outside of the SESSION and payload datastore options.

Bugs fixed

  • #16228 from zeroSteiner – This fixes a bug where the framework failed to check if a payload would fit in the space defined by an exploit if the payload was not encoded.
  • #16235 from bcoles – This change fixes an issue with APK injection when in some configurations an invalid apktool version string would cause injection to fail.
  • #16251 from zeroSteiner – This fixes an error when executing commands using the Python Meterpreter where not all results were returned to msfconsole.
  • #16254 from heyder – This fixes an issue in the Shodan search module where recent changes to randomize the user agent were causing the results returned to the module to be in an unexpected format.
  • #16255 from zeroSteiner – This fixes a parsing issue with kiwi_cmd arguments which contained spaces, such as kiwi_cmd 'base64 /in:off /out:off'.
  • #16257 from bcoles – This change adds a warning when a user tries to inject the Android payload into an APK using an older version of apktool.
  • #16264 from bwatters-r7 – This fixes a crash when attempting to create create local module documentation with the info -d command when the provided GitHub credentials were invalid.
  • #16266 from smashery – This fixes bugs in how msfconsole tab-completes directory paths.

Get it

As always, you can update to the latest Metasploit Framework with msfupdate
and you can get more details on the changes since the last blog post from

If you are a git user, you can clone the Metasploit Framework repo (master branch) for the latest.
To install fresh without using git, you can use the open-source-only Nightly Installers or the
binary installers (which also include the commercial edition).

More on NSO Group and Cytrox: Two Cyberweapons Arms Manufacturers

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2021/12/more-on-nso-group-and-cytrox-two-cyberweapons-arms-manufacturers.html

Citizen Lab published another report on the spyware used against two Egyptian nationals. One was hacked by NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware. The other was hacked both by Pegasus and by the spyware from another cyberweapons arms manufacturer: Cytrox.

We haven’t heard a lot about Cytrox and its Predator spyware. According to Citzen Lab:

We conducted Internet scanning for Predator spyware servers and found likely Predator customers in Armenia, Egypt, Greece, Indonesia, Madagascar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Serbia.

Cytrox was reported to be part of Intellexa, the so-called “Star Alliance of spyware,” which was formed to compete with NSO Group, and which describes itself as “EU-based and regulated, with six sites and R&D labs throughout Europe.”

In related news, Google’s Project Zero has published a detailed analysis of NSO Group’s zero-click iMessage exploit: FORCED ENTRY.

Based on our research and findings, we assess this to be one of the most technically sophisticated exploits we’ve ever seen, further demonstrating that the capabilities NSO provides rival those previously thought to be accessible to only a handful of nation states.

By the way, this vulnerability was patched on 13 Sep 2021 in iOS 14.8.

The Everyperson’s Guide to Log4Shell (CVE-2021-44228)

Post Syndicated from boB Rudis original https://blog.rapid7.com/2021/12/15/the-everypersons-guide-to-log4shell-cve-2021-44228/

The Everyperson’s Guide to Log4Shell (CVE-2021-44228)

If you work in security, the chances are that you have spent the last several days urgently responding to the Log4Shell vulnerability (CVE-2021-44228), investigating where you have instances of Log4j in your environment, and questioning your vendors about their response. You have likely already read up on the implications and steps that need to be taken. This blog is for everyone else who wants to understand what’s going on and why the internet seems to be on fire again. And for you security professionals, we’ve also included some questions on the broader implications and long term view. You know, for all that spare time you have right now.

What is Log4Shell?

Log4Shell — also known as CVE-2021-44228 — is a critical vulnerability that enables remote code execution in systems using the Apache Foundation’s Log4j, which is an open-source Java library that is extensively used in commercial and open-source software products and utilities. For a more in-depth technical assessment of Log4Shell check out Rapid7’s AttackerKB analysis.

What is Log4j?

Log4j is one of the most common tools for sending text to be stored in log files and/or databases. It is used in millions of applications and websites in every organization all across the internet. For example, information is sent to keep track of website visitors, note when warnings or errors occur in processing, and help support teams’ triage problems.

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So what’s the problem?

It turns out that Log4j doesn’t just log plain strings. Text strings that are formatted a certain way will be executed just like a line from a computer program. The problem is that this allows malicious actors to manipulate computers all over the internet into taking actions without the computer owners’ wishes or permission. Cyberattacks can use this to steal information, force actions, or extort the computer owners or operators.

This vulnerability is what we’re referring to as Log4Shell, or CVE-2021-44228. Log4j is the vulnerable technology. As this is a highly evolving situation, you can always head over to our main live blog on Log4Shell.

Is it really that big of a deal?

In a word, yes.

Caitlin Kiska, an information security engineer at Cardinal Health, put it this way: “Imagine there is a specific kind of bolt used in most of the cars and car parts in the world, and they just said that bolt needs to be replaced.” Glenn Thorpe, Rapid7’s Emergent Threat Response Manager added, “… and the presence of that bolt allows anyone to just take over the car.”

The first issue is Log4j’s widespread use. This little tool is used in countless systems across the internet, which makes remediation or mitigation of this into a huge task — and makes it more likely something might get missed.

The second issue is that attackers can use it in a variety of ways, so the sky is sort of the limit for them.

Perhaps the biggest concern of all is that it’s actually pretty easy to use the vulnerability for malicious purposes. Remote code execution vulnerabilities are always concerning, but you hope that they will be complicated to exploit and require specialist technical skill, limiting who can take advantage of them and slowing down the pace of attacks so that defenders can ideally take remediation action first. That’s not the case with Log4Shell. The Log4j tool is designed to send whatever data is inputted in the right format, so as long as attackers know how to form their commands into that format (which is not a secret), they can take advantage of this bug, and they currently are doing just that.

That sounds pretty bad. Is the situation hopeless?

Definitely not. The good news is that the Apache Foundation has updated Log4j to address the vulnerability. All organizations urgently need to check for the presence of this vulnerability in their environment and update affected systems to the latest patched version.

The first update — version 2.15.0 — was released on December 6, 2021. As exploitation ramped up in the wild, it became clear that the update did not fully remediate the issue in all use cases, a vulnerability that the National Vulnerability Database (NVD) codified as CVE-2021-45046.

As a result, on December 13, the Apache Foundation released version 2.16.0, which completely removes support for message lookup patterns, thus slamming the door on JNDI functionality completely and possibly adding to development team backlogs to update material sections on their codebase that handle logging.

That sounds straightforward, right?

Unfortunately, it’s likely going to be a pretty huge undertaking and likely require different phases of discovery and remediation/mitigation.


The first course of action is to identify all vulnerable applications, which can be a mix of vendor-supplied solutions and in-house developed applications. NCSC NL is maintaining a list of impacted software, but organizations are encouraged to monitor vendor advisories and releases directly for the most up-to-date information.

For in-house developed applications, organizations — at a minimum — need to update their Log4j libraries to the latest version (which, as of 2021-12-14, is 2.16) and apply the mitigations described in Rapid7’s initial blog post on CVE-2021-44228, which includes adding a parameter to all Java startup scripts and strongly encourages updating Java virtual machine installations to the latest, safest versions. An additional resource, published by the Apache Security Team, provides a curated list of all affected Apache projects, which can be helpful to expedite identification and discovery.

If teams are performing “remote” checks (i.e., exploiting the vulnerability remotely as an attacker would) versus local filesystems “authenticated” checks, the remote checks should be both by IP address and by fully qualified domain name/virtual host name, as there may be different routing rules in play that scanning by IP address alone will not catch.

These mitigations must happen everywhere there is a vulnerable instance of Log4j. Do not assume that the issue applies only to internet-facing systems or live-running systems. There may be batch jobs that run hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, etc., on stored data that may contain exploit strings that could trigger execution.


Attacks have been active since at least December 1, 2021, and there is evidence this weakness has been known about since at least March of 2021. Therefore, it is quite prudent to adopt an “assume breach” mindset. NCSC NL has a great resource page on ways you can detect exploitation attempts from application log files. Please be aware that this is not just a web-based attack. Initial, quite public, exploit showcases included changing the name of iOS devices and Tesla cars. Both those companies regularly pull metadata from their respective devices, and it seems those strings were passed to Log4j handlers somewhere in the processing chain. You should review logs from all internet-facing systems, as well as anywhere Log4j processing occurs.

Exploitation attempts will generally rely on pulling external resources in (as is the case with any attack after gaining initial access), so behavioral detections may have already caught or stopped some attacks. The Log4j weakness allows for rather clever data exfiltration paths, especially DNS. Attackers are pulling values from environment variables and files with known filesystems paths and creating dynamic domain names from them. That means organizations should review DNS query logs going as far back as possible. Note: This could take quite a bit of time and effort, but it must be done to ensure you’re not already a victim.

Proactive response

Out of an abundance of caution, organizations should also consider re-numbering critical IP segments (where Log4j lived), changing host names on critical systems (where Log4j lived), and resetting credentials — especially those associated with Amazon AWS and other cloud providers — in the event they have already been exfiltrated.

Who should be paying attention to this?

Pretty much every organization, regardless of size, sector, or geography. If you have any kind of web presence or internet connectivity, you need to pay attention and check your status. If you outsource all the technical aspects of your business, ask your vendors what they are doing about this issue.

Who is exploiting it and how?

Kind of… everyone.

“Benign” researchers (some independent, some part of cybersecurity firms) are using the exploit to gain an initial understanding of the base internet-facing attack surface.

Cyberattackers are also very active and are racing to take advantage of this vulnerability before organizations can get their patches in place. Botnets, such as Mirai, have been adapted to use the exploit code to both exfiltrate sensitive data and gain initial access to systems (some deep within organizations).

Ransomware groups have already sprung into action and weaponized the Log4j weakness to compromise organizations. Rapid7’s Project Heisenberg is collecting and publishing samples of all the unique attempts seen since December 11, 2021.

How are things likely to develop?

These initial campaigns are only the beginning. Sophisticated attacks from more serious and capable groups will appear over the coming days, weeks, and months, and they’ll likely focus on more enterprise-grade software that is known to be vulnerable.

Most of the initial attack attempts are via website-focused injection points (input fields, search boxes, headers, etc.). There will be more advanced campaigns that hit API endpoints (even “hidden” APIs that are part of company mobile apps) and try to find sneaky ways to get exploit strings past gate guards (like the iOS device renaming example).

Even organizations that have remediated deployed applications might miss some virtual machine or container images that get spun up regularly or infrequently. The Log4Shell attacks are easily automatable, and we’ll be seeing them as regularly as we see WannaCry and Conficker (yes, we still see quite a few exploits on the regular for those vulnerabilities).

Do we need to worry about similar vulnerabilities in other systems?

In the immediate term, security teams should narrow their attention to identify systems with the affected Log4j packages.

For the longer term, while it is impossible to forecast identification of similar vulnerabilities, we do know the ease and prevalence of CVE-2021-44228 demands the continued attention (been a long weekend for many) of security, infrastructure, and application teams.

Along with Log4Shell, we also have CVE-2021-4104 — reported on December 9, 2021 —  a flaw in the Java logging library Apache Log4j in version 1.x. JMSAppender that is vulnerable to deserialization of untrusted data. This allows a remote attacker to execute code on the server if the deployed application is configured to use JMSAppender and to the attacker’s JMS Broker. Note this flaw only affects applications that are specifically configured to use JMSAppender, which is not the default, or when the attacker has write-access to the Log4j configuration for adding JMSAppender to the attacker’s JMS Broker.

Exploit vectors of Log4Shell and mitigations reported on Friday continue to evolve as reported by our partners at Snyk.io and Java Champion, Brian Vermeer — see “Editor’s note (Dec. 13, 2021)” — therefore, continued vigilance on this near and present threat is time well spent. Postmortem exercises (and there will be many) should absolutely include efforts to evolve software, open-source, and package dependency inventories and, given current impacts, better model threats from packages with similar uninspected lookup behavior.

Does this issue indicate that we should stop compiling systems and go back to building from scratch?

There definitely has been chatter regarding the reliance upon so many third-party dependencies in all areas of software development. We’ve seen many attempts at poisoning numerous ecosystems this year, everything from Python to JavaScript, and now we have a critical vulnerability in a near-ubiquitous component.

On one hand, there is merit in relying solely on code you develop in-house, built on the core features in your programming language of choice. You can make an argument that this would make attackers’ lives harder and reduce the bang they get for their buck.

However, it seems a bit daft to fully forego the volumes of pre-built, feature-rich, and highly useful components. And let’s not forget that not all software is created equally. The ideal is that community built and shared software will benefit from many more hands to the pump, more critical eyes, and a longer period to mature.

The lesson from the Log4Shell weakness seems pretty clear: Use, but verify, and support! Libraries such as Log4j benefit from wide community adoption, since they gain great features that can be harnessed quickly and effectively. However, you cannot just assume that all is and will be well in any given ecosystem, and you absolutely need to be part of the community vetting change and feature requests. If more eyes were on the initial request to add this fairly crazy feature (dynamic message execution) and more security-savvy folks were in the approval stream, you would very likely not be reading this post right now (and it’d be one of the most boring Marvel “What If…?” episodes ever).

Organizations should pull up a seat to the table, offer code creation and review support, and consider funding projects that become foundational or ubiquitous components in your application development environment.

How would a Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) have impacted this issue?

A Bill of Materials is an inventory, by definition, and conceptually should contribute to speeding the discovery timeline during emergent vulnerability response exercises, such as the Log4j incident we are communally involved in now.

An SBOM is intended to be a formal record that contains the details and supply chain relationships of various components used in software, kind of like an ingredients list for technology. In this case, those components would include java libraries used for logging (e.g. Log4j2).

SBOM requirements were included in the US Executive Order issued in May 2021. While there may be international variations, the concept and intended objects are uniform. For that reason, I will reference US progress for simplicity.

From: The Minimum Elements For a Software Bill of Materials (SBOM), issued Department of Commerce, in coordination with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), Jul 12, 2021

The Everyperson’s Guide to Log4Shell (CVE-2021-44228)

The question many Log4Shell responders — including CISOs, developers, engineers, sys admins, clients, and customers — are still grappling with is simply where affected versions of Log4j are in use within their technical ecosystems. Maintaining accurate inventories of assets has become increasingly challenging as our technical environments have become more complicated, interconnected, and wide-reaching. Our ever-growing reliance on internet-connected technologies, and the rise of shadow IT only make this problem worse.

Vulnerabilities in tools like Log4j, which is used broadly in a vast array of technologies and systems, highlight the need for more transparency and automation for asset and inventory management. Perhaps the longer-term substantive impact from Log4Shell will be to refocus investments and appreciation for the cruciality of an accurate inventory of software and associated components through an SBOM that can easily be queried and linked to dependencies.

The bottom line is that if we had lived in a timeline where SBOMs were required and in place for all software projects, identifying impacted products, devices, and ecosystems would have been much easier than it has been for Log4Shell and remediation would likely be faster and more effective.

How does Log4Shell impact my regulatory status — do I need to take special action to ensure compliance?

According to Rapid7’s resident policy and compliance expert, Harley Geiger, “Regulators may not have seen Log4Shell coming, but now that the vulnerability has been discovered, there will be an expectation that regulated companies address it. As organizations’ security programs address this widespread and serious vulnerability, those actions should be aligned with compliance requirements and reporting. For many regulated companies, the discovery of Log4Shell triggers a need to re-assess the company’s risks, the effectiveness of their safeguards to protect sensitive systems and information (including patching to the latest version), and the readiness of their incident response processes to address potential log4j exploitation. Many regulations also require these obligations to be passed on to service providers. If a Log4j exploitation results in a significant business disruption or breach of personal information, regulations may require the company to issue an incident report or breach notification.”

We also asked Harley whether we’re likely to see a public policy response. Here’s what he said…

“On a federal policy level, organizations should expect a renewed push for adoption of SBOM to help identify the presence of Log4j (and other vulnerabilities) in products and environments going forward. CISA has also required federal agencies to expedite mitigation of Log4j and has ramped up information sharing related to the vulnerability. This may add wind to the sails of cyber incident reporting legislation that is circulating in Congress at present.”

How do we know about all of this?

Well, a bunch of kids started wreaking havoc with Minecraft servers, and things just went downhill from there. While there is some truth to that, the reality is that an issue was filed on the Log4j project in late November 2021. Proof-of-concept code was released in early December, and active attacks started shortly thereafter. Some cybersecurity vendors have evidence of preliminary attacks starting on December 1, 2021.

Anyone monitoring the issue discussions (something both developers, defenders, and attackers do on the regular) would have noticed the gaping hole this “feature” created.

How long has it been around?

There is evidence of a request for this functionality to be added dating back to 2013. A talk at Black Hat USA 2016 mentioned several JNDI injection remote code execution vectors in general but did not point to Log4j directly.

Some proof-of-concept code targeting the JNDI lookup weakness in Log4j 2.x was also discovered back in March of 2021.

Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) is in copious supply today and likely to persist into the coming weeks and months. While adopting an “assumed breach” mindset isn’t relevant for every celebrity vulnerability, the prevalence and transitive dependency of the Log4j library along with the sophisticated obfuscation exploit techniques we are witnessing in real time point out that the question we should be considering isn’t, “How long has it been around?” Rather, it is, “How long should we be mentally preparing ourselves (and setting expectations) to clean it up?”

Get more critical insights about defending against Log4Shell

Check out our resource center

Metasploit Wrap-Up

Post Syndicated from Jeffrey Martin original https://blog.rapid7.com/2021/12/10/metasploit-wrap-up-142/

Word and Javascript are a rare duo.

Metasploit Wrap-Up

Thanks to thesunRider. you too can experience the wonder of this mystical duo. The sole new metasploit module this release adds a file format attack to generate a very special document. By utilizing Javascript embedded in a Word document to trigger a chain of events that slip through various Windows facilities, a session as the user who opened the document can be yours.

Do you like spiders?

It has been 3 years since SMB2 support was added to smb share enumeration and over a year ago SMB3 support was added, yet the spiders are not done spinning their webs. Thanks to sjanusz-r7 the spiders have evolved to take advantage of these new skills and the webs can span new doorways. Updates to scanner/smb/smb_enumshares improve enumeration support for the latest Windows targets that deploy with SMB3 only by default.

New module content (1)

Enhancements and features

  • #15854 from sjanusz-r7 – This updates the SpiderProfiles option as part of the scanner/smb/smb_enumshares module to now work against newer SMB3 targets, such as windows 10, Windows Server 2016, and above.
  • #15888 from sjanusz-r7 – This adds anonymised database statistics to msfconsole’s debug command, which is used to help developers track down database issues as part of user generated error reports.
  • #15929 from bcoles – This adds nine new Windows 2003 SP2 targets that the exploit/windows/smb/ms08_067_netapi module can exploit.

Bugs fixed

  • #15808 from timwr – This fixes a compatibility issue with Powershell read_file on Windows Server 2012 by using the old style Powershell syntax (New-Object).
  • #15937 from adfoster-r7 – This removes usage of SortedSet to improve support for Ruby 3.
  • #15939 from zeroSteiner – This fixes a bug where the Meterpreter dir/ls function would show the creation date instead of the modified date for the directory contents.

Get it

As always, you can update to the latest Metasploit Framework with msfupdate
and you can get more details on the changes since the last blog post from

If you are a git user, you can clone the Metasploit Framework repo (master branch) for the latest.
To install fresh without using git, you can use the open-source-only Nightly Installers or the
binary installers (which also include the commercial edition).

Metasploit Wrap-Up

Post Syndicated from Spencer McIntyre original https://blog.rapid7.com/2021/12/03/metasploit-wrap-up-141/

Metasploit CTF 2021 starts today

Metasploit Wrap-Up

It’s that time of year again! Time for the 2021 Metasploit Community CTF. Earlier today over 1,100 users in more than 530 teams were registered and opened for participation to solve this year’s 18 challenges. Next week a recap and the winners will be announced, so stay tuned for more information.

Overlayfs LPE

This week Metasploit shipped an exploit for the recent Overlayfs vulnerability in Ubuntu Linux. The exploit works on Ubuntu 14.04 through 20.10, for both the x64 and aarch64 architectures making it very accessible. The vulnerability leverages a lack of verification within the Overlayfs implementation and can be exploited reliably.

Older Exploit Improvements

Community member bcoles made a number of improvements to some older Windows exploits this week. The exploit for MS-03-026 now includes a check method along with modules docs. MS-05-039 was tested and found to be reliable regardless of the target language pack so the target was updated to reflect this. Additionally, MS-07-029 has 13 new targets for different Server 2000 and Server 2003 language packs. This set of improvements will go a long way in helping users test these critical vulnerabilities in older versions of Windows.

New module content (1)

  • 2021 Ubuntu Overlayfs LPE by bwatters-r7 and ssd-disclosure, which exploits CVE-2021-3493 – Adds a module for the CVE-2021-3493 overlay fs local privilege escalation for Ubuntu versions 14.04 – 20.10.

Enhancements and features

  • #15914 from bcoles – This improves upon the exploit/windows/dcerpc/ms03_026_dcom module by adding a check method, documentation, and cleaning up the code.
  • #15915 from bcoles – This renames the Windows 2000 SP4 Languages targets in thems05_039_pnp exploit to Windows 2000 SP4 Universal. It has been tested and was determined to not be language pack dependent.
  • #15918 from bcoles – This adds 13 new language pack-specific targets to the ms07_029_msdns_zonename exploit.
  • #15920 from smashery – This adds tab completion support to the powershell_import command.
  • #15928 from jmartin-r7 – This updates Metasploit Framework’s default Ruby version from 2.7 to 3. There should be no end-user impact.

Bugs fixed

  • #15897 from timwr – This fixes modules that check the return value of write_file() calls by returning a boolean value instead of nil.
  • #15913 from timwr – This fixes handling for shellwords parsing of malformed user-supplied input, such as unmatched quotes, when interacting with command shell sessions.
  • #15917 from smashery – This fixes a tab completion bug in Meterpreter.

Get it

As always, you can update to the latest Metasploit Framework with msfupdate
and you can get more details on the changes since the last blog post from

If you are a git user, you can clone the Metasploit Framework repo (master branch) for the latest.
To install fresh without using git, you can use the open-source-only Nightly Installers or the
binary installers (which also include the commercial edition).

Metasploit Wrap-Up

Post Syndicated from Christophe De La Fuente original https://blog.rapid7.com/2021/11/26/metasploit-wrap-up-140/

Self-Service Remote Code Execution

Metasploit Wrap-Up

This week, our own @wvu-r7 added an exploit module that achieves unauthenticated remote code execution in ManageEngine ADSelfService Plus, a self-service password management and single sign-on solution for Active Directory. This new module leverages a REST API authentication bypass vulnerability identified as CVE-2021-40539, where an error in the REST API URL normalization routine makes it possible to bypass security filters and upload arbitrary files on the target. wvu’s new module simply uploads a Java payload to the target and executes it, granting code execution as SYSTEM if ManageEngine ADSelfService Plus was started as a service.

Storm Alert

Warning, this is not a drill! A critical unauthenticated command injection vulnerability is approaching the Nimbus service component of Apache Storm and has been given the name CVE-2021-38294. A new exploit module authored by our very own zeroSteiner has landed and will exploit this vulnerability to get you OS command execution as the user that started the Nimbus service. Please, evacuate the area immediately!

Metasploit Community CTF 2021

We’re happy to announce this year’s CTF will start on Friday, December 3, 2021! Similar to last year, the game has been designed to be accessible to beginners who want to learn and connect with the community. Keep in mind that while a team can have unlimited members, only 1,000 team spots are available, and once they’re gone you will have to join someone else’s team. You can find the full details in our blog post.

New module content (2)

Enhancements and features

  • #15887 from smashery – The path expansion code has been expanded to support path-based tab completion. Users should now tab-complete things such as cat ~/some_filenam<tab>.
  • #15889 from dwelch-r7 – An update has been made to library code so that terminal resize events are only sent if the Meterpreter client supports it. Additionally, extra feedback is now provided to users on whether or not terminal resizing is handled automatically or if they should adjust it manually.
  • #15898 from jmartin-r7 – Ruby 3.x removes support for URI.encode and URI.escape. This PR replaces uses of these functions in modules with calls to URI::DEFAULT_PARSER.escape so that Ruby 3 can run these modules instead of raising errors about missing functions.
  • #15899 from dwelch-r7 – This improves the user experience when shell is invoked from a Meterpreter session. Now, when the fully_interactive_shells feature is enabled, a message is displayed to inform the operator that a fully interactive TTY is supported. Note that you can start it by invoking shell -it.

Bugs fixed

  • #15864 from timwr – A bug has been fixed whereby the sessions -u command would not return a x64 Meterpreter session on a x64 Windows host, and would instead return a x86 session. This issue has now been addressed so that sessions -u will determine the architecture of the target host prior to upgrading and will generate a new Meterpreter session of the appropriate architecture.

Get it

As always, you can update to the latest Metasploit Framework with msfupdate
and you can get more details on the changes since the last blog post from

If you are a git user, you can clone the Metasploit Framework repo (master branch) for the latest.
To install fresh without using git, you can use the open-source-only Nightly Installers or the
binary installers (which also include the commercial edition).

Apple Sues NSO Group

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2021/11/apple-sues-nso-group.html

Piling more on NSO Group’s legal troubles, Apple is suing it:

The complaint provides new information on how NSO Group infected victims’ devices with its Pegasus spyware. To prevent further abuse and harm to its users, Apple is also seeking a permanent injunction to ban NSO Group from using any Apple software, services, or devices.

NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware is favored by totalitarian governments around the world, who use it to hack Apple phones and computers.

More news:

Apple’s legal complaint provides new information on NSO Group’s FORCEDENTRY, an exploit for a now-patched vulnerability previously used to break into a victim’s Apple device and install the latest version of NSO Group’s spyware product, Pegasus. The exploit was originally identified by the Citizen Lab, a research group at the University of Toronto.

The spyware was used to attack a small number of Apple users worldwide with dangerous malware and spyware. Apple’s lawsuit seeks to ban NSO Group from further harming individuals by using Apple’s products and services. The lawsuit also seeks redress for NSO Group’s flagrant violations of US federal and state law, arising out of its efforts to target and attack Apple and its users.

NSO Group and its clients devote the immense resources and capabilities of nation-states to conduct highly targeted cyberattacks, allowing them to access the microphone, camera, and other sensitive data on Apple and Android devices. To deliver FORCEDENTRY to Apple devices, attackers created Apple IDs to send malicious data to a victim’s device — allowing NSO Group or its clients to deliver and install Pegasus spyware without a victim’s knowledge. Though misused to deliver FORCEDENTRY, Apple servers were not hacked or compromised in the attacks.

This follows in the footsteps of Facebook, which is also suing NSO Group and demanding a similar prohibition. And while the idea of the intermediary suing the attacker, and not the victim, is somewhat novel, I think it makes a lot of sense. I have a law journal article about to be published with Jon Penney on the Facebook case.

Metasploit Wrap-Up

Post Syndicated from Erin Bleiweiss original https://blog.rapid7.com/2021/11/19/metasploit-wrap-up-139/

Azure Active Directory login scanner module

Metasploit Wrap-Up

Community contributor k0pak4 added a new login scanner module for Azure Active Directory. This module exploits a vulnerable authentication endpoint in order to enumerate usernames without generating log events. The error code returned by the endpoint can be used to discover the validity of usernames in the target Azure tenant. If a tenant’s domain is known, the module can also be used to brute-force login credentials by providing a list of usernames and passwords.

Aerohive NetConfig RCE module

Also new this week, community contributor Erik Wynter added an exploit module for Aerohive NetConfig, versions 10.0r8a build-242466 and below. These versions are vulnerable to local file inclusion and log poisoning, as they rely on a version of PHP 5 that is affected by string truncation attacks. This allows users to achieve unauthenticated remote code execution as root on vulnerable systems.

2021 Metasploit community CTF

In case you missed the announcement earlier this week, the 2021 edition of the Metasploit community CTF is set to kick off two weeks from today! Registration starts Monday, November 22 for up to 750 teams, with capacity for an additional 250 teams once play starts on Friday, December 3. Many thanks to TryHackMe for sponsoring the event and providing some great prizes. Find some teammates and mark your calendars, because this year’s event should be a great challenge and a lot of fun for both beginners and CTF veterans!

New module content (4)

  • Jetty WEB-INF File Disclosure by Mayank Deshmukh, cangqingzhe, charlesk40, h00die, and lachlan roberts, which exploits CVE-2021-28164 – This adds an auxiliary module that retrieves sensitive files from Jetty versions 9.4.37.v20210219, 9.4.38.v20210224, 9.4.37-9.4.42, 10.0.1-10.0.5, and 11.0.1-11.0.5 . Protected resources behind the WEB-INF path can be accessed due to servlet implementations improperly handling URIs containing certain encoded characters.
  • Microsoft Azure Active Directory Login Enumeration by Matthew Dunn – k0pak4 – This adds an auxiliary scanner module that leverages Azure Active Directory authentication flaw to enumerate usernames without generating log events. The module also supports brute-forcing passwords against this tenant.
  • Aerohive NetConfig 10.0r8a LFI and log poisoning to RCE by Erik Wynter and Erik de Jong, which exploits CVE-2020-16152 – This change adds a new module to exploit LFI and log poisoning vulnerabilities (CVE-2020-16152) in Aerohive NetConfig, version 10.0r8a build-242466 and older in order to achieve unauthenticated remote code execution as the root user.
  • Sitecore Experience Platform (XP) PreAuth Deserialization RCE by AssetNote and gwillcox-r7, which exploits CVE-2021-42237 – This adds an exploit for CVE-2021-42237 which is an unauthenticated RCE within the Sitecore Experience Platform. The vulnerability is due to the deserialization of untrusted data submitted by the attacker.

Enhancements and features

  • #15796 from zeroSteiner – Support for pivoted SSL server connections as used by capture modules and listeners has been added to Metasploit. The support works for both Meterpreter sessions and SSH sessions.
  • #15851 from smashery – Update several modules and core libraries so that now when sending HTTP requests that include user agents, the user agents are modernized, and are randomized at msfconsole start time. Users can also now request Rex to generate a random user agent from one of the ones in the User Agent pool should they need a random user agent for a particular module.
  • #15862 from smashery – Updates have been made to Linux Meterpreter libraries to support expanding environment variables in several different commands. This should provide users with a smoother experience when using environment variables in commands such as cd, ls, download, upload, mkdir and similar commands.
  • #15867 from h00die – The example modules have been updated to conform to current RuboCop rules and to better reflect recent changes in the Metasploit Framework coding standards, as well as to better showcase various features that may be needed when developing exploits.
  • #15878 from smashery – This fixes an issue whereby tab-completing a remote folder in Meterpreter would append a space onto the end. This change resolves that by not appending the space if we’re potentially in the middle of a tab completion journey, and adding a slash if we’ve completed a directory, providing a smoother tab completion experience for users.

Bugs fixed

  • #15875 from smashery – This fixes an issue with the reverse Bash command shell payloads where they would not work outside of the context of bash.
  • #15879 from jmartin-r7 – Updates batch scanner modules to no longer crash when being able to unable to correctly calculate a scanner thread’s batch size

Get it

As always, you can update to the latest Metasploit Framework with msfupdate
and you can get more details on the changes since the last blog post from

If you are a git user, you can clone the Metasploit Framework repo (master branch) for the latest.
To install fresh without using git, you can use the open-source-only Nightly Installers or the
binary installers (which also include the commercial edition).

MacOS Zero-Day Used against Hong Kong Activists

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2021/11/macos-zero-day-used-against-hong-kong-activists.html

Google researchers discovered a MacOS zero-day exploit being used against Hong Kong activists. It was a “watering hole” attack, which means the malware was hidden in a legitimate website. Users visiting that website would get infected.

From an article:

Google’s researchers were able to trigger the exploits and study them by visiting the websites compromised by the hackers. The sites served both iOS and MacOS exploit chains, but the researchers were only able to retrieve the MacOS one. The zero-day exploit was similar to another in-the-wild vulnerability analyzed by another Google researcher in the past, according to the report.

In addition, the zero-day exploit used in this hacking campaign is “identical” to an exploit previously found by cybersecurity research group Pangu Lab, Huntley said. Pangu Lab’s researchers presented the exploit at a security conference in China in April of this year, a few months before hackers used it against Hong Kong users.

The exploit was discovered in August. Apple patched the vulnerability in September. China is, of course, the obvious suspect, given the victims.

EDITED TO ADD (11/15): Another story.

Hacking the Sony Playstation 5

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2021/11/hacking-the-sony-playstation-5.html

I just don’t think it’s possible to create a hack-proof computer system, especially when the system is physically in the hands of the hackers. The Sony Playstation 5 is the latest example:

Hackers may have just made some big strides towards possibly jailbreaking the PlayStation 5 over the weekend, with the hacking group Fail0verflow claiming to have managed to obtain PS5 root keys allowing them to decrypt the console’s firmware.


The two exploits are particularly notable due to the level of access they theoretically give to the PS5’s software. Decrypted firmware ­ which is possible through Fail0verflow’s keys ­ would potentially allow for hackers to further reverse engineer the PS5 software and potentially develop the sorts of hacks that allowed for things like installing Linux, emulators, or even pirated games on past Sony consoles.

In 1999, Adam Shostack and I wrote a paper discussing the security challenges of giving people devices that included embedded secrets that needed to be kept from those people. We were writing about smart cards, but our lessons were general. And they’re no less applicable today.

Metasploit Wrap-Up

Post Syndicated from Spencer McIntyre original https://blog.rapid7.com/2021/11/05/metasploit-wrap-up-137/

GitLab RCE

Metasploit Wrap-Up

New Rapid7 team member jbaines-r7 wrote an exploit targeting GitLab via the ExifTool command. Exploiting this vulnerability results in unauthenticated remote code execution as the git user. What makes this module extra neat is the fact that it chains two vulnerabilities together to achieve this desired effect. The first vulnerability is in GitLab itself that can be leveraged to pass invalid image files to the ExifTool parser which contained the second vulnerability whereby a specially-constructed image could be used to execute code. For even more information on these vulnerabilities, check out Rapid7’s post.

Less Than BulletProof

This week community member h00die submitted another WordPress module. This one leverages an information disclosure vulnerability in the WordPress BulletProof Security plugin that can disclose user credentials from a backup file. These credentials could then be used by a malicious attacker to login to WordPress if the hashed password is able to be cracked in an offline attack.

Metasploit Masterfully Manages Meterpreter Metadata

Each Meterpreter implementation is a unique snowflake that often incorporates API commands that others may not. A great example of this are all the missing Kiwi commands in the Linux Meterpreter. Metasploit now has much better support for modules to identify the functionality they require a Meterpreter session to have in order to run. This will help alleviate frustration encountered by users when they try to run a post module with a Meterpreter type that doesn’t offer functionality that is needed. This furthers the Metasploit project goal of providing more meaningful error information regarding post module incompatibilities which has been an ongoing effort this year.

New module content (3)

  • WordPress BulletProof Security Backup Disclosure by Ron Jost (Hacker5preme) and h00die, which exploits CVE-2021-39327 – This adds an auxiliary module that leverages an information disclosure vulnerability in the BulletproofSecurity plugin for WordPress. This vulnerability is identified as CVE-2021-39327. The module retrieves a backup file, which is publicly accessible, and extracts user credentials from the database backup.
  • GitLab Unauthenticated Remote ExifTool Command Injection by William Bowling and jbaines-r7, which exploits CVE-2021-22204 and CVE-2021-22205 – This adds an exploit for an unauthenticated remote command injection in GitLab via a separate vulnerability within ExifTool. The vulnerabilities are identified as CVE-2021-22204 and CVE-2021-22205.
  • WordPress Plugin Pie Register Auth Bypass to RCE by Lotfi13-DZ and h00die – This exploits an authentication bypass which leads to arbitrary code execution in versions and below of the WordPress plugin, pie-register. Supplying a valid admin id to the user_id_social_site parameter in a POST request now returns a valid session cookie. With that session cookie, a PHP payload as a plugin is uploaded and requested, resulting in code execution.

Enhancements and features

  • #15665 from adfoster-r7 – This adds additional metadata to exploit modules to specify Meterpreter command requirements. Metadata information is used to add a descriptive warning when running modules with a Meterpreter implementation that doesn’t support the required command functionality.
  • #15782 from k0pak4 – This updates the iis_internal_ip module to include coverage for the PROPFIND internal IP address disclosure as described by CVE-2002-0422.

Bugs fixed

  • #15805 from timwr – This bumps the metasploit-payloads version to include two bug fixes for the Python Meterpreter.

Get it

As always, you can update to the latest Metasploit Framework with msfupdate
and you can get more details on the changes since the last blog post from

If you are a git user, you can clone the Metasploit Framework repo (master branch) for the latest.
To install fresh without using git, you can use the open-source-only Nightly Installers or the
binary installers (which also include the commercial edition).

The Proliferation of Zero-days

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2021/09/the-proliferation-of-zero-days.html

The MIT Technology Review is reporting that 2021 is a blockbuster year for zero-day exploits:

One contributing factor in the higher rate of reported zero-days is the rapid global proliferation of hacking tools.

Powerful groups are all pouring heaps of cash into zero-days to use for themselves — and they’re reaping the rewards.

At the top of the food chain are the government-sponsored hackers. China alone is suspected to be responsible for nine zero-days this year, says Jared Semrau, a director of vulnerability and exploitation at the American cybersecurity firm FireEye Mandiant. The US and its allies clearly possess some of the most sophisticated hacking capabilities, and there is rising talk of using those tools more aggressively.


Few who want zero-days have the capabilities of Beijing and Washington. Most countries seeking powerful exploits don’t have the talent or infrastructure to develop them domestically, and so they purchase them instead.


It’s easier than ever to buy zero-days from the growing exploit industry. What was once prohibitively expensive and high-end is now more widely accessible.


And cybercriminals, too, have used zero-day attacks to make money in recent years, finding flaws in software that allow them to run valuable ransomware schemes.

“Financially motivated actors are more sophisticated than ever,” Semrau says. “One-third of the zero-days we’ve tracked recently can be traced directly back to financially motivated actors. So they’re playing a significant role in this increase which I don’t think many people are giving credit for.”


No one we spoke to believes that the total number of zero-day attacks more than doubled in such a short period of time — just the number that have been caught. That suggests defenders are becoming better at catching hackers in the act.

You can look at the data, such as Google’s zero-day spreadsheet, which tracks nearly a decade of significant hacks that were caught in the wild.

One change the trend may reflect is that there’s more money available for defense, not least from larger bug bounties and rewards put forward by tech companies for the discovery of new zero-day vulnerabilities. But there are also better tools.

Metasploit Wrap-Up

Post Syndicated from Louis Sato original https://blog.rapid7.com/2021/09/10/metasploit-wrap-up-129/

Confluence Server OGNL Injection

Metasploit Wrap-Up

Our own wvu along with Jang added a module that exploits an OGNL injection (CVE-2021-26804)in Atlassian Confluence’s WebWork component to execute commands as the Tomcat user. CVE-2021-26804 is a critical remote code execution vulnerability in Confluence Server and Confluence Data Center and is actively being exploited in the wild. Initial discovery of this exploit was by Benny Jacob (SnowyOwl).

More Enhancements

In addition to the module, we would like to highlight some of the enhancements that have been added for this release. Contributor e2002e added the OUTFILE and DATABASE options to the zoomeye_search module allowing users to save results to a local file or local database along with improving the output of the module to provide better information about the target. Our own dwelch-r7 has added support for fully interactive shells against Linux environments with shell -it. In order to use this functionality, users will have to enable the feature flag with features set fully_interactive_shells true. Contributor pingport80 has added powershell support for write_file method that is binary safe and has also replaced explicit cat calls with file reads from the file library to provide broader support.

New module content (1)

Enhancements and features

  • #15278 from e2002e – The zoomeye_search module has been enhanced to add the OUTFILE and DATABASE options, which allow users to save results to a local file or to the local database respectively. Additionally the output saved has been improved to provide better information about the target and additional error handling has been added to better handle potential edge cases.
  • #15522 from dwelch-r7 – Adds support for fully interactive shells against Linux environments with shell -it. This functionality is behind a feature flag and can be enabled with features set fully_interactive_shells true
  • #15560 from pingport80 – This PR add powershell support for write_file method that is binary safe.
  • #15627 from pingport80 – This PR removes explicit cat calls and replaces them with file reads from the file library so that they have broader support.

Bugs fixed

  • #15634 from maikthulhu – This PR fixes an issue in exploit/multi/misc/erlang_cookie_rce where a missing bitwise flag caused the exploit to fail in some circumstances.
  • #15636 from adfoster-r7 – Fixes a regression in datastore serialization that caused some event processing to fail.
  • #15637 from adfoster-r7 – Fixes a regression issue were Metasploit incorrectly marked ipv6 address as having an ‘invalid protocol’
  • #15639 from gwillcox-r7 – This fixes a bug in the rename_files method that would occur when run on a non-Windows shell session.
  • #15640 from adfoster-r7 – Updates modules/auxiliary/gather/office365userenum.py to require python3
  • #15652 from jmartin-r7 – A missing dependency, py3-pip, was preventing certain external modules such as auxiliary/gather/office365userenum from working due to requests requiring py3-pip to run properly. This has been fixed by updating the Docker container to install the missing py3-pip dependency.
  • #15654 from space-r7 – A bug has been fixed in lib/msf/core/payload/windows/encrypted_reverse_tcp.rb whereby a call to recv() was not being passed the proper arguments to receive the full payload before returning. This could result in cases where only part of the payload was received before continuing, which would have resulted in a crash. This has been fixed by adding a flag to the recv() function call to ensure it receives the entire payload before returning.
  • #15655 from adfoster-r7 – This cleans up the MySQL client-side options that are used within the library code.

Get it

As always, you can update to the latest Metasploit Framework with msfupdate
and you can get more details on the changes since the last blog post from

If you are a git user, you can clone the Metasploit Framework repo (master branch) for the latest.
To install fresh without using git, you can use the open-source-only Nightly Installers or the
binary installers (which also include the commercial edition).