Feeds

Sophos pulls out spade, fills in holes in Web Appliance

Uproots root privilege route, covers it over

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Sophos has pulled out the weeds in its web-scanning software after Core Security identified multiple holes in its Web Protection Appliance versions 3.8.0, 3.8.13 and 3.7.9 and earlier.

The Core Security advisory states that if a remote attacker can gain access to the appliance's web administrator interface, the attacker could execute arbitrary commands and gain root privileges.

Acknowledging the issue to The Register, Sophos advised that it had not observed any exploits of the vulnerability in the wild.

The issue arises via a slip in a Perl script, as the advisory states:

[T]he invoked /opt/ws/bin/sblistpack Perl script itself is vulnerable to OS command injection, because its get_referers() function doesn't escape the first argument of the script before using it within a string that will be executed as a command by using backticks.

This opens a vulnerability in which a POST parameter allows the attacker to execute OS commands on the appliance, with the privileges of the operating system user – in this case, "spiderman".

To get from spiderman's OS user privileges to root privileges, the Core Security testers then located a Perl command which runs with root privileges, and which also had an escaping error. Core Security points out that the script “doesn't escape the second argument of the script before using it within a string that will be executed as a command by using backticks. Since it can be run by the spiderman user with the sudo* command, it can be abused to gain root privileges within the appliance.”

Sophos has acknowledged the issue, and Core Security's disclosure, in this notice.

The company says it is now rolling out the update to customers with automatic updating. Customers who have disabled automatic updates can run a manual install. The fix was posted on Friday 6 September. ®

* "sudo", or "superuser do" allows users to run programs with the security privileges of another user.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
Carders punch holes through Staples
Investigation launched into East Coast stores
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.