Feeds

Staunch your Heartbleed patching: FreeBSD has a nasty credentials leak

Let's not forget that FreeBSD is in OSX, NetApp kit, Juniper boxen and even some tellies

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Got FreeBSD? Get busy on the patch, because a problem with its TCP ordering has emerged, with both denial-of-service and data leakage as possible effects.

The issue exists in how the popular Unix-like operating system handles TCP packets received out-of-order. Packets are held in a reassembly queue until they can be re-ordered and re-assembled. However, as the advisory states:

“FreeBSD may add a reassemble queue entry on the stack into the segment list when the reassembly queue reaches its limit. The memory from the stack is undefined after the function returns. Subsequent iterations of the reassembly function will attempt to access this entry.”

Crafted packets can cause a kernel crash, the advisory states, but worse: “because the undefined on stack memory may be overwritten by other kernel threads, while extremely difficult, it may be possible for an attacker to construct a carefully crafted attack to obtain portion of kernel memory via a connected socket”.

Ty Miller, CEO of Threat Intelligence, said in an e-mail the operating system is the basis of kit from a lot of well-known names, including: OSX, PlayStation, some Panasonic TVs; and security gear from Blue Coat, Checkpoint, IronPort, Juniper, McAfee and Sophos.

The difficulty of creating an exploit means this is far less likely to cause data leak before patches start becoming available. One issue, however, is very similar to Heartbleed: because FreeBSD is behind the scenes in non-obvious places, a lot of systems may never get patched.

While sysadmins will have charge of IT systems, almost no one except the very savvy home user patches consumer kit.

It should be noted that users will probably see denial-of-service rather than data leak as the most immediate potential impact. “Because of the complexity associated with the exploitation process, it is more likely to trigger the target system to crash,” Miller's e-mail noted.

Patch instructions are given at the FreeBSD advisory. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.