Feeds

Banking app vuln surfaces 18 months after discovery

Patch procrastination bares 24 sites

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

As a security auditor for 11 years, Adriel Desautels has written his share of vulnerability advisories, but never one like the one he issued Tuesday for a software package made by a small Vermont company called Cambium Group.

In the course of penetration testing a client's website, Desautels, who is CTO of security consulting firm Netragard, says he discovered that CAMAS - the marketing name for Cambium's content management system - was riddled with vulnerabilities that made its customers' websites susceptible to breaches that could reveal administrator passwords and other sensitive data. No small deal since a significant percentage of Cambium's clients are banks, credit unions, and health care providers.

Of course, discoveries like these are a dime a dozen. What was unprecedented - at least for Desautels - was the amount of time it took to publish his findings: Almost 18 months from the time of discovery. During most of that time, he says CAMAS customers who didn't take special precautions - including Cambium Group itself, according to this Google cache - were vulnerable to attacks known as SQL injections.

Screenshot of SQL error returned on Cambium Group website

At least 23 Cambium customer websites returned SQL errors like these

"I have no doubt what so ever that the vulnerability shown in the cached link above is the exact same one that we alerted Scott Wells of in August of 2007," Desautels wrote in an email to The Register, referring to Cambium's president. "Scott Wells may have fixed the vulnerability in our customer's instance of their Cambium Group Content Management System, but he certainly did not fix the rest of his customers according to google."

The time line of the advisory shows that Cambium was notified in full detail on August 24, 2007. And yet, a review by The Register earlier this month identified 24 Cambium-driven websites that returned verbose error messages when a single additional character was added to the websites' URL. The errors were returned by the sites' SQL database and were the result of the same vulnerability, Desautels said. They began disappearing shortly after we asked Cambium Group's Wells to comment on them.

"We have addressed all but two of the sites for SQL injection vulnerabilities you listed below in your links," he wrote in a February 17 email, referring to the 24 sites identified as vulnerable. "Because our system is modular, once any type of vulnerability is found, we can update all systems very easily and quickly."

Wells also disputed claims that the errors were the same ones brought to his attention in 2007. "In regards to the Netragard claim, we immediately responded to any vulnerabilities found by Netragard in 2007," he added. "All of the recommendations that Netragard gave were followed and the site was then able to pass their validation process."

In all, Desautels's advisory lists seven website industry security categories he says CAMAS failed, including authentication, input validation, error handling, and password management.

"The Cambium Group Content Management System (CAMAS) failed most Open Web Application Security Project ('OWASP') criterion during testing," he wrote. "Netragard strongly recommends that the Cambium Group modify CAMAS to meet OWASP criterion as defined by the OWASP Testing Guide version 3."

Desautels said he walked away from the matter after it became clear he wasn't going to get the cooperation he needed to issue a public advisory. He helped his unnamed client fix the vulnerabilities, but non-disclosure agreements prevented him from publicly acknowledging the flaws, he said. Those restrictions were made moot earlier this month, when this posting to the Full-Disclosure list claimed Cambium's CMS software was vulnerable to SQL injection and other vulnerabilities.

Desautels says he's glad to finally issue the report, because he remains concerned that CAMAS customers may remain vulnerable to attack.

"The only way for the Cambium Group to properly defend against the risks that were identified by us in 2007 is to implement proper input validation, data sanitization, and well designed parameterized stored procedures," he writes. "Doing anything less is to take a short cut that might leave customers vulnerable yet still." ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.