Feeds

Hackers: 'ColdFusion bug more serious than Adobe says'

'It works, and it's scary'

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

A recently patched vulnerability in Adobe's ColdFusion application server may be more serious than previously thought following the public release of exploit code and blog posts claiming it can be used to take full control of systems running the software.

In a bulletin published last week, Adobe rated the directory traversal vulnerability “important,” the third-highest classification on its four-tier severity scale. “This directory traversal vulnerability could lead to information disclosure,” the company warned. The flaw affects version 9.0.1 and earlier of ColdFusion for machines running Windows, Mac OS X, and Unix operating systems.

But at least two researchers have said the security bug should have been rated critical because it allows attackers to seize control of servers. What's more, they said attackers can employ simple web searches to find administrators who have carelessly exposed ColdFusion files that make the attacks much easier to carry out.

“This attack can lead to a full system compromise, so let's make sure we're clear,” HP researcher Rafal Los wrote here. “It's not just that you can poke around the system files of the machine you've attacked (which is highly likely a MS Windows server); it's also the ability to upload scripts that can compromise the system or even poke around the database natively if the security is really that bad.”

One reason the vulnerability may have been rated critical is that attacks generally work only when ColdFusion administrative components are accessible over the public internet, something that's not considered a best practice. Los pointed to Google searchers here , here, here and here, which over the weekend generated “a lot of results.”

Around the same time, a hacker who goes by the name Carnal0wnage posted attack code that reliably exploits the vulnerability.

Also over the weekend, hacker and penetration tester Adrian Pastor warned that attackers could exploit the vulnerability to login as a ColdFusion admin without needing to crack the cryptographic hash.

Adobe on Monday issued the following statement:

“The ColdFusion hotfix and security bulletin released on August 10, 2010 address a directory traversal vulnerability (CVE-2010-2861) that could lead to information disclosure (http://www.adobe.com/support/security/bulletins/apsb10-18.html). The vulnerability on its own has been rated as ”important” in accordance with the severity criteria available on the Adobe website at http://www.adobe.com/devnet/security/security_zone/severity_ratings.html. Because it is possible for a vulnerability to be exploited in combination with other factors that may impact the overall severity of an attack, Adobe always recommends users update their product installations in line with security best practices.”

The vulnerability has attracted the attention of plenty of other people in the security field, including Mike Bailey, a penetration tester and researcher specializing in web applications.

“I[f] you haven't played with the ColdFusion attack yet, I recommend you do so,” he tweeted Saturday. “It works, and it's scary.” ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Home Depot ignored staff warnings of security fail laundry list
'Just use cash', former security staffer warns friends
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
BitTorrent's peer-to-peer chat app Bleep goes live as public alpha
A good day for privacy as invisble.im also reveals its approach to untraceable chats
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.