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Jupiter Plugin Flaws Enable Hackers to Hijack Websites


According to WordPress security researchers, the Jupiter Theme and JupiterX Core plugins for the WordPress content management system have a variety of vulnerabilities. A major privilege escalation issue is one of these vulnerabilities. 

Privilege escalation is a malicious method that involves acquiring control of a user's account that would otherwise be inaccessible to the present user by exploiting an app or OS flaw or configuration error. By obtaining these rights, a hostile actor can do a variety of actions on the operating system or server, such as executing instructions or assisting malware infection within the network, which can result in business disruption, sensitive data exposure, or system takeover. This is a violation of privilege. 

As per the source, "This vulnerability allows any authenticated attacker, including a subscriber or customer-level attacker, to gain administrative privileges and completely take over any site running either the Jupiter Theme or JupiterX Core Plugin. The JupiterX Core plugin is required for the JupiterX theme. The classic Jupiter Theme contains a function, uninstallTemplate, which is intended to reset a site after a template is uninstalled, but has the additional effect of elevating the user calling the function to an administrator role. In JupiterX, this functionality has been migrated to the JupiterX Core plugin. Vulnerable versions register AJAX actions but do not perform any capability checks or nonce checks."

"On a site with a vulnerable version of the Jupiter Theme installed, any logged-in user can elevate their privileges to those of an administrator by sending an AJAX request with the action parameter set to abb_uninstall_template. This calls the uninstallTemplate function, which calls the resetWordpressDatabase function, where the site is effectively reinstalled with the currently logged-in user as the new site owner. On a site where a vulnerable version of the JupiterX Core plugin is installed, the same functionality can also be accessed by sending an AJAX request with the action parameter set to jupiterx_core_cp_uninstall_template." 

Jupiter is a powerful and high-quality WordPress theme builder. More than 90,000 well-known blogs, online magazines, and platforms with a high volume of user traffic use it. The vulnerability, which has been issued the tracking number CVE-2022-1654 and a CVSS score of 9.9, allows any authorised user on a website that employs vulnerable plugins to get administrator access (critical). 

After successfully exploiting the flaw, attackers have complete control over the website and may do whatever they want with it. This can include altering the site's content, installing dangerous programmes, or completely deleting the site. The attacker only has to be a simple subscriber or client on the website to exploit this vulnerability; thus, it could be said that the attack does not have strict requirements. 

CVE-2022-1654 affects Jupiter Theme 6.10.1 and older (fixed in 6.10.2), JupiterX Theme 2.0.6 and older (fixed in 2.0.7), and JupiterX Core Plugin 2.0.7 and older (fixed in 2.0.8). To improve the security vulnerabilities, one needs to either update to the latest version or disable the plugin and change the site's theme.

Researchers: Tesla Cars, Bluetooth Locks, Vulnerable to Hackers


Hackers can remotely unlock millions of digital locks around the world, including those on Tesla cars, due to a flaw in Bluetooth technology, according to a cybersecurity firm. 

NCC Group researcher Sultan Qasim Khan was able to open and then drive a Tesla using a small relay device tied to a laptop, which spanned a wide gap between the Tesla and the Tesla owner's phone, according to a video shared with Reuters.

"This proves that any product relying on a trusted BLE connection is vulnerable to attacks even from the other side of the world," the UK-based firm said in a statement, referring to the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) protocol - technology used in millions of cars and smart locks which automatically open when in close proximity to an authorised device. 

Although Khan demonstrated the hack on a Tesla Model Y from 2021, NCC NSE 0.23 percent Group claims that any smart lock that uses BLE technology, including residential smart locks, may be unlocked in the same way. A request for comment from Tesla was not immediately returned. 

"In effect, systems that people rely on to guard their cars, homes, and private data are using Bluetooth proximity authentication mechanisms that can be easily broken with cheap off-the-shelf hardware," the firm stated. "This research illustrates the danger of using technologies for reasons other than their intended purpose, especially when security issues are involved". 

According to the NCC Group, such a vulnerability is not the same as a traditional bug that can be repaired with a software patch, and BLE-based authentication was not intended for usage in locking mechanisms.

New Version of 'Sysrv' Botnet is Targeting Windows and Linux Servers


Microsoft recently unearthed a new version of the Sysrv botnet, tracked as Sysrv-K, capable of abusing bugs in WordPress and Spring Framework to install crypto-mining malware on vulnerable Windows and Linux servers. The variant has been upgraded with multiple features, including scanning for unpatched WordPress and Spring deployments. 

"The new variant, which we call Sysrv-K, sports additional exploits and can gain control of web servers" by exploiting various vulnerabilities, the Microsoft Security Intelligence team tweeted. These vulnerabilities, which have all been addressed by security updates, include old vulnerabilities in WordPress plugins as well as newer vulnerabilities like CVE-2022-22947." 

CVE-2022-22947 (CVSS score of 10) is a code injection critical vulnerability in Spring Cloud Gateway that exposes applications to code injection assaults, allowing unauthenticated, remote attackers to achieve remote code execution. 
Sysrv-K scans for WordPress configuration files for their backups, in an attempt to steal database credentials and take over the webserver. Moreover, the botnet packs updated communication capabilities, such as support for Telegram. 

“Like older variants, Sysrv-K scans for SSH keys, IP addresses, and hostnames, and then attempts to connect to other systems in the network via SSH to deploy copies of itself. This could put the rest of the network at risk of becoming part of the Sysrv-K botnet,” the Microsoft team added. 

The botnet has been active since at least December 2020, but its activity was documented in April 2021 by multiple security researchers. Sysrv-K secures control of web servers by scanning the internet to locate web servers and then uses various vulnerabilities such as path traversal, remote file disclosure, arbitrary file downloads, and remote code execution. Once the malware runs on a Windows or Linux device, Sysrv-K deploys a cryptocurrency miner. 

After killing competing cryptocurrency miners and deploying its own payloads, the botnet auto-spreads over the network via brute force attacks using SSH private keys collected from various locations on infected servers (e.g., bash history, ssh config, and known_hosts files). 

Subsequently, the botnet aggressively scans the Internet for more vulnerable Windows and Linux systems to add to its army of Monero mining bots. To mitigate the risks, organizations are recommended to secure all of their internet-facing systems by installing available security patches in a timely manner and by applying security best practices.

SonicWall Urges Admins to Fix SSLVPN SMA1000 Flaws


SonicWall is urging customers to fix multiple high-risk security vulnerabilities in its Secure Mobile Access (SMA) 1000 Series line of products, which might allow attackers to evade authorization and compromise unpatched devices. 

Enterprises utilise SonicWall SMA 1000 SSLVPN solutions to ease end-to-end secure remote access to business resources in on-premises, cloud, and hybrid data centre environments. The first bug (a high-severity unauthenticated access control bypass) has been assigned CVE-2022-22282, however, the other two (a hard-coded cryptographic key and an open redirect, both of medium severity) are currently awaiting a CVE ID. 

"SonicWall strongly urges that organizations using the SMA 1000 series products upgrade to the latest patch," the company says in a security advisory published this week. 

SonicWall, on the other hand, stated that no evidence of these vulnerabilities being exploited in the field was discovered. The vulnerabilities do not affect SMA 1000 series devices running versions prior to 12.4.0, SMA 100 series products, CMS, or remote access clients, according to the company. The following SMA 1000 Series models are affected by security flaws: 6200, 6210, 7200, 7210, and 8000v (ESX, KVM, Hyper-V, AWS, Azure). 

The most serious of the three flaws is CVE-2022-22282, which allows unauthenticated attackers to bypass access control and obtain access to internal resources. This vulnerability can be remotely exploited in low-complexity attacks that don't involve any user input. If left unpatched and abused by attackers, the hard-coded cryptographic key flaw can have catastrophic repercussions, allowing them to get access to encrypted passwords. 

According to MITRE's CWE database, "The use of a hard-coded cryptographic key significantly increases the possibility that encrypted data may be recovered. If hard-coded cryptographic keys are used, it is almost certain that malicious users will gain access through the account in question." 

Threat actors would most likely seek ways to compromise SMA 1000 series VPN appliances because they are utilised to protect remote connections into corporate networks. SonicWall also warned in July 2021 that end-of-life SMA 100 series and Secure Remote Access systems will be more vulnerable to ransomware assaults. 

SonicWall's products are used by over 500,000 commercial clients in 215 countries and territories across the world, with many of them deployed on the networks of government agencies and the world's major corporations.

German Firms Targeted by Malicious NPM Packages


JFrog researchers have uncovered multiple malicious packages in the NPM registry particularly targeting several popular media, logistics, and industrial companies based in Germany to carry out supply chain assaults. 

"Compared with most malware found in the NPM repository, this payload seems particularly dangerous: a highly-sophisticated, obfuscated piece of malware that acts as a backdoor and allows the attacker to take total control over the infected machine," researchers said in a new report. 

According to the DevOps company, the evidence discovered suggests it is either the work of a sophisticated hacker or a "very aggressive" penetration test. Four maintainers— bertelsmannnpm, boschnodemodules, stihlnodemodules, and dbschenkernpm— have been associated with all the rogue packages; most of the packages have been taken down from the repository.

The finding points out that the hackers are trying to copy legitimate firms like Bertelsmann, Bosch, Stihl, and DB Schenker. Some of the package names are distinct, which makes it likely that the adversary managed to trace the libraries hosted in the companies’ internal repositories to launch a dependency confusion attack. 

The findings are based on a report from Snyk late last month that detailed one of the malicious packages, "gxm-reference-web-auth-server," noting that the malware is targeting an unknown firm that has the same package in their private registry.

"The attacker(s) likely had information about the existence of such a package in the company's private registry," the Snyk security research team said. According to researchers at Reversing Labs, who independently examined the hacks, the rogue modules uploaded to NPM featured elevated version numbers than their private counterparts to force the modules onto target environments.

"The targeted private packages for the transportation and logistics firm had versions 0.5.69 and 4.0.48, while the malicious, public versions were identically named, but used versions 0.5.70 and 4.0.49," the cybersecurity firm explained. 

Calling the implant an "in-house development," JFrog pointed out that the malware contains two components, a dropper that sends information about the infected machine to a remote telemetry server before decrypting and executing a JavaScript backdoor. The backdoor, while lacking a persistence mechanism, is designed to receive and execute commands sent from a hard-coded command-and-control server, evaluate arbitrary JavaScript code, and upload files back to the server. 

Earlier this week, a German penetration testing company named Code White has owned up to uploading the malicious packages in question, adding it was an attempt to "mimic realistic threat actors for dedicated clients."

Misconfiguration Identified in Google Cloud Platform


A misconfiguration discovered in the Google Cloud Platform could allow threat actors to gain complete control over virtual devices by exploiting legitimate features in the system, researchers at Mitiga, a Cloud Incident Response firm, stated. 

Mitiga uncovered a misconfiguration several months ago while examining Google Cloud Platform’s Compute Engine (GCP), specifically virtual machine (VM) services. The Cloud incident response vendor identified a misconfiguration that allowed attackers to send and receive data from the VM and possibly secure complete control over the system. However, Mitiga emphasizes that this is not a security loophole, or system error – it’s described as a “dangerous functionality”. 

Mitiga notes that malicious actors could use a compromised metadata API, named “getSerialPortOutput”, which is used for the purpose of tracking and reading serial port keys. The researchers described the API call as a “legacy method of debugging systems”, as serial ports are not ports in the TCP/UP sense, but rather files of the form /dev/ttySX, given that this is Linux. 

"We at Mitiga believe that this misconfiguration is likely common enough to warrant concern; however, with proper access control to the GCP environment there is no exploitable flaw," Andrew Johnston, principal consultant at Mitiga, stated. 

After reporting the findings to Google, the company agreed that misconfiguration could be exploited to bypass firewall settings. Mitiga proposed two changes to the getSerialPortOutput function by Google, including restricting its use to only higher-tiered permission roles and allowing organizations to disable any additions or alterations of VM metadata at runtime. 

Additionally, the company advised Google to revise its GCP documentation, to further clarify that firewalls and other network access controls don’t fully restrict access to VMs. However, Google disagreed with a majority of the recommendations. 

"After a long exchange, Google did ultimately concur that certain portions of their documentation could be made clearer and agreed to make changes to documentation that indicated the control plane can access VMs regardless of firewall settings. Google did not acknowledge the other recommendations nor speak to specifics regarding whether a GCP user could evade charges by using the getSerialPortOutput method," Johnston wrote in the report.

Conti, REvil, LockBit Ransomware Flaws Exploited to Block Encryption


A researcher has demonstrated how a flaw common to numerous ransomware families can be used to control and eliminate the malware before it encrypts files on vulnerable systems. Malvuln is a project created by researcher John Page (aka hyp3rlinx) that lists vulnerabilities uncovered in various types of malware. 

Early in 2021, the Malvuln project was launched. SecurityWeek covered it in January 2021, when there were only a few dozen entries, and again in June 2021, when there were 260. Malvuln had almost 600 malware vulnerabilities as of May 4, 2022. Page added ten new entries in the first several days of May, detailing vulnerabilities in the Conti, REvil, Loki Locker, Black Basta, AvosLocker, LockBit, and WannaCry ransomware families. 

The researcher discovered that DLL hijacking flaws affect these and other ransomware families. By inserting a carefully designed file in a location where it will be run before the legal DLL, these vulnerabilities can often be exploited for arbitrary code execution and privilege escalation. When it comes to ransomware, a "attacker" can build a DLL file with the same name as a DLL that the malware looks for and loads. 

The new DLL will be executed instead of the ransomware executable if it is placed next to it. This can be used to stop malware from encrypting data by intercepting it and terminating it. The DLLs can be hidden, according to the researcher, who uses the Windows "attrib +s +h" command in his PoC videos. 

Page explained, “Endpoint protection systems and/or antivirus can potentially be killed prior to executing malware, but this method cannot as there’s nothing to kill — the DLL just lives on disk waiting. From a defensive perspective, you can add the DLLs to a specific network share containing important data as a layered approach.” 

Page told SecurityWeek that while some of the ransomware versions he tested were new, the strategy works against practically all ransomware, comparing it to a "Pandora's box of vulnerabilities." The researcher has also made videos showing how to exploit the ransomware's flaws. The videos demonstrate how a specially constructed DLL file installed in the same folder as the ransomware executable prevents the malware from encrypting files. 

Authentication bypass, command/code execution, hardcoded credentials, DoS, SQL injection, XSS, XXE, CSRF, path traversal, information disclosure, insecure permissions, cryptography-related, and other forms of attacks are all stored in the Malvuln database. Page also recently released Adversary3, an open-source malware vulnerability intelligence tool for third-party attackers. The Python-based application is intended to make it easier to access data from the Malvuln database, allowing users to search for vulnerabilities by attack category. 

According to the researcher, the tool could be valuable in red teaming activities. For instance, the tester could seek for devices hosting malware and exploit vulnerabilities in that malware to gain elevated access. When the project was first announced, certain members of the cybersecurity community expressed concern that the data could be beneficial to malware makers, assisting them in fixing vulnerabilities, some of which may have been exploited for threat intelligence reasons without their knowledge. The ransomware vulnerabilities and the Adversary3 tool, on the other hand, illustrate that the project can also benefit the cybersecurity community.

ExtraReplica: Microsoft Patches Cross-Tenant Bug in Azure PostgreSQL


Recently, Microsoft has patched pair of security vulnerabilities in its Azure Database for PostgreSQL Flexible Server which could have been exploited to execute malicious code. On Thursday, cyber security researchers from Wiz Research published an advisory on "ExtraReplica," wherein they described it as a "cross-account database vulnerability" in Azure's infrastructure. 

The first is a privilege escalation bug in a modification that Microsoft made to the PostgreSQL engine and the second bug leverages the privilege escalation enabled by the former to give attackers cross-account access. 

Microsoft Azure is a hybrid cloud service and accounts for hundreds of thousands of enterprise customers, it also provides various services to different enterprises including software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and platform as a service (PaaS). 

It supports various programming languages, frameworks, and tools including both Microsoft-specific and third-party software and systems, as well as housing the data for various other Microsoft tools is one of its key features. 

According to the report, security vulnerabilities in the software could be used to bypass Azure's tenant isolation, which prevents software-as-a-service (SaaS) systems users from accessing resources belonging to other tenants. 

Also, ExtraReplica's core attack vector is based on a flaw that gave full access to customer data across multiple databases in a region without authorization, researchers from cloud security vendor Wiz Research recently added. 

"An attacker could create a full copy of a target database in Azure PostgreSQL [Flexible Server], essentially exfiltrating all the information stored in the database…," 

 “…The vulnerabilities would have allowed attackers to bypass firewalls configured to protect the hosted databases unless an organization had configured it for private access only but this is not the default configuration," says Ami Luttwak, co-founder and CTO at Wiz. 

Following the attack, Microsoft said it has mitigated the security vulnerabilities in the second week of January 2022, less than 48 hours after Wiz had warned about the attack. However, the company said that its research showed no evidence that hackers has exploited the vulnerabilities to access customer data.

11 High-Severity Flaws in Security Products Patched by Cisco


This week, Cisco released its April 2022 bundle of security advisories for Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA), Firepower Threat Defense (FTD), and Firepower Management Center (FMC). 

The semiannual bundled advisories include a total of 19 flaws in Cisco security products, with 11 of them being classified as "high severity." 

CVE-2022-20746 (CVSS score of 8.8) is the most serious of these, an FTD security vulnerability that occurs because TCP flows aren't appropriately handled and might be exploited remotely without authentication to generate a denial of service (DoS) condition. 

“An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending a crafted stream of TCP traffic through an affected device. A successful exploit could allow the attacker to cause the device to reload, resulting in a DoS condition,” Cisco explains in an advisory. 

With the introduction of FDT versions and, the IT giant has addressed the problem. Fixes will also be included in FDT releases and 7.0.2, which will be released next month. Several more DoS vulnerabilities, all rated "high severity," were fixed with the same FDT releases, including ones that affect ASA as well. They were addressed in ASA releases, 9.14.4,,, and Other problems fixed by these software upgrades could result in privilege escalation or data manipulation when using an IPsec IKEv2 VPN channel.

Cisco also fixed an ASA-specific flaw that allowed an attacker to access sensitive information from process memory. Firepower Management Center (FMC) releases and, as well as the future releases and 7.0.2, resolve a remotely exploitable security protection bypass flaw, as per the tech giant. 

Cisco stated, “An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by uploading a maliciously crafted file to a device running affected software. A successful exploit could allow the attacker to store malicious files on the device, which they could access later to conduct additional attacks, including executing arbitrary code on the affected device with root privileges."

Fixes for eight medium-severity vulnerabilities in these security products are included in the company's semiannual bundled publishing of security advisories. Cisco is not aware of any attacks that take advantage of these flaws.

New Nimbuspwn Linux Flaws Could Provide Attackers Root Access


Microsoft uncovered vulnerabilities in Linux systems that could be used to grant attackers root access if they were chained together. 

The flaws, dubbed "Nimbuspwn," are detected in networkd-dispatcher, a dispatcher daemon for systemd-networkd connection status changes in Linux, and are labelled as CVE-2022-29799 and CVE-2022-29800. As part of a code review and dynamic analysis effort, Microsoft found the vulnerabilities while listening to signals on the System Bus. 

Microsoft’s Jonathan Bar Or explained, “Reviewing the code flow for networkd-dispatcher revealed multiple security concerns, including directory traversal, symlink race, and time-of-check-time-of-use race condition issues, which could be leveraged to elevate privileges and deploy malware or carry out other malicious activities.”
“The vulnerabilities can be chained together to gain root privileges on Linux systems, allowing attackers to deploy payloads, like a root backdoor, and perform other malicious actions via arbitrary root code execution.” 

He went on to state that ransomware attackers might use Nimbuspwn as a route for root access in order to have a significant impact on affected machines. Clayton Craft, the maintainer of the networkd-dispatcher, apparently worked promptly to remedy the flaws after responsibly revealing the bugs. 

Linux users who are affected are recommended to apply patches as soon as they become available. Although Nimbuspwn has the potential to affect a huge number of people, attackers would first need local access to the targeted systems in order to exploit the flaws. 

Mike Parkin, senior technical engineer at Vulcan Cyber argued, “Any vulnerability that potentially gives an attacker root-level access is problematic. Fortunately, as is common with many open-source projects, patches for this new vulnerability were quickly released.” 

“While susceptible configurations aren’t uncommon, exploiting these vulnerabilities appears to require a local account and there are multiple ways to mitigate them beyond the recommended patching. There is currently no indication that these vulnerabilities have been exploited in the wild.”

Critical Vulnerability Identified in Ever Surf Blockchain Wallet


A vulnerability identified in the browser version of the Ever Surf blockchain wallet could have allowed attackers full control over a victim’s wallet and subsequent funds, say threat analysts at Check Point Research. 

Available on Google Play and Apple iOS Store, Ever Surf is described as a cross-platform messenger, blockchain browser, and crypto wallet for the Everscale blockchain network. It currently has nearly 670,000 active accounts worldwide and claims it has facilitated at least 31.6 million transactions.

According to Check Point researchers, the web version of the Ever Surf blockchain wallet suffered from a relatively simple bug that allowed malicious actors to exfiltrate private keys and plant phrases stored in local browser storage. To do that, threat actors first needed to secure the encrypted keys of the wallet, which is usually done via malicious browser extensions, infostealer malware, or plain old phishing.

Subsequently, the bad actors could have used a simple script to perform decryption. The susceptibility made decryption possible in “just a couple of minutes, on consumer-grade hardware," the researchers stated. 

CPR reported the vulnerability to Ever Surf developers, who then published a desktop version that mitigates the flaw, the company said in a press release. The web version is now declared deprecated and should only be used for development purposes. Seed phrases from accounts that store real value in crypto should not be used in the web version of Ever Surf, the researchers warned. 

“Everscale is still in the early stages of development. We assumed that there might be vulnerabilities in such a young product,” said Alexander Chailytko, Cyber Security, Research & Innovation Manager at Check Point Software 

“When working with cryptocurrencies, you always need to be careful, ensure your device is free of malware, do not open suspicious links, and keep OS and antivirus software updated. Despite the fact that the vulnerability we found has been patched in the new desktop version of the Ever Surf wallet, users may encounter other threats such as vulnerabilities in decentralized applications, or general threats like fraud, phishing,” Chailytko added. 

To mitigate the risks, researchers recommended users not to follow suspicious links, particularly those sent from unknown sources, always keep their OS and antivirus software updated, and avoid downloading any software or browser extensions before verifying the identity of the source.

ICS Exploits Earn Hackers $400,000 at Pwn2Own Miami Hacking Contest


Pwn2Own Miami 2022 has come to an end, and Zero Day Initiative says the competitors earned $400,000 for 26 zero-day exploits (and multiple vulnerability collisions) targeting ICS and SCADA products exhibited during the contest held last week. 

The contest, organized by Trend Micro’s Zero Day Initiative (ZDI), saw 11 participants targeting multiple production categories: Control Server, OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) Server, Data Gateway, and Human Machine Interface (HMI). 

"Thanks again to all of the competitors who participated. We couldn’t have a contest without them," Trend Micro's Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) said today. “Thanks also to the participating vendors for their cooperation and for providing fixes for the bugs disclosed throughout the contest.”

After the safety vulnerabilities abused throughout Pwn2Own are reported, distributors are given 120 days to launch patches till ZDI publicly discloses them. 

The highest payout went to Computest Sector 7 researchers Daan Keuper (@daankeuper) and Thijs Alkemade (@xnyhps). During day one, they earned $20,000 after executing code on the Inductive Automation Ignition SCADA control server solution using a missing authentication vulnerability. 

The same day they used an uncontrolled search path bug to secure remote code execution (RCE) in AVEVA Edge HMI/SCADA software and were awarded $20,000 for their efforts. The next day, Computest Sector 7 exploited an infinite loop condition to trigger a DoS state against the Unified Automation C++ Demo Server and earned $5,000.

Last but not least, on day two of Pwn2Own Miami 2022, the Computest Sector 7 team earned $40,000 for successfully bypassing the trusted application check on the OPC UA .NET standard. This was the maximum amount that Pwn2Own participants could earn for a single exploit, and Computest’s attempt involved what ZDI described as one of the most interesting bugs ever seen at Pwn2Own. In fact, the Computest team earned the most points and a total of $90,000. 

This year's Pwn2Own Miami took place at the S4 conference in Miami South Beach in person and also allowed remote participation. In 2020, in the first edition of Pwn2Own on ICS, participants won a total of $ 280,000. This event did not take place in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Critical Chipset Flaws Enable Remote Spying on Millions of Android Devices


Three security flaws in Qualcomm and MediaTek audio decoders have been discovered, if left unpatched which might permit an adversary to remotely access media and audio chats from compromised mobile devices. According to Israeli cybersecurity firm Check Point, the flaws might be exploited to execute remote code execution (RCE) attacks by delivering a carefully prepared audio file. 

The researchers said in a report shared with The Hacker News, "The impact of an RCE vulnerability can range from malware execution to an attacker gaining control over a user's multimedia data, including streaming from a compromised machine's camera. In addition, an unprivileged Android app could use these vulnerabilities to escalate its privileges and gain access to media data and user conversations." 

The flaws, termed ALHACK, are based on an audio coding system that Apple created and made open-source in 2011. The Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) or Apple Lossless audio codec format is used to compress digital music in a lossless manner. Since then, other third-party suppliers have used Apple's reference audio codec implementation as the basis for their own audio decoders, including Qualcomm and MediaTek. While Apple has constantly patched and fixed security problems in their proprietary version of ALAC, the open-source version of the codec has not gotten a single update since it was first uploaded to GitHub on October 27, 2011. 

Check Point revealed three vulnerabilities in this ported ALAC code, two of which were found in MediaTek CPUs and one in Qualcomm chipsets. – 
• CVE-2021-0674 (CVSS score: 5.5, MediaTek) - A case of improper input validation in ALAC decoder leading to information disclosure without any user interaction 
• CVE-2021-0675 (CVSS score: 7.8, MediaTek) - A local privilege escalation flaw in the ALAC decoder stemming from out-of-bounds write 
• CVE-2021-30351 (CVSS score: 9.8, Qualcomm) - An out-of-bound memory access due to improper validation of a number of frames being passed during music playback 

The vulnerabilities allowed Check Point to "grab the phone's camera feed" in a proof-of-concept exploit, according to security researcher Slava Makkaveev, who discovered the issues alongside Netanel Ben Simon. All three vulnerabilities were addressed by the individual chipset manufacturers in December 2021, following responsible disclosure. 

"The vulnerabilities were easily exploitable. A threat actor could have sent a song (media file) and when played by a potential victim, it could have injected code in the privileged media service. The threat actor could have seen what the mobile phone user sees on their phone," Makkaveev explained.

Software Vendor VMware Patches Critical Bug Exploited in the Wild


Malicious actors are actively exploiting a critical bug, tracked as CVE-2022-22954, in VMware Workspace ONE Access and Identity Manager recently addressed by the vendor. The vulnerability is used in active attacks that infect servers with coin miners. 

Earlier this month, VMWare rolled out an update to resolve a critical security flaw (CVSS: 9.8) in several of their products, including VMware’s Workspace ONE Access, VMware Identity Manager (vIDM), vRealize Lifecycle Manager, vRealize Automation, and VMware Cloud Foundation products.

The software vendor also warned regarding the possibility of an attacker with network access triggering a server-side template injection that results in RCE. The vulnerability is not unprecedented: in late September 2022, CVE-2021-22005 enabled malicious actors to strike vulnerable systems with RCE attacks, achieving root privileges and reaching the vCenter Server over the network. 

“VMware Workspace ONE Access and Identity Manager contain a remote code execution vulnerability due to server-side template injection. VMware has evaluated the severity of this issue to be in the Critical severity range with a maximum CVSSv3 base score of 9.8.” reads the security advisory. “A malicious actor with network access can trigger a server-side template injection that may result in remote code execution.”

“This critical vulnerability should be patched or mitigated immediately per the instructions in VMSA-2021-0011. The ramifications of this vulnerability are serious,” the software vendor said while urging its customers to address the vulnerabilities immediately to prevent its exploitation. 

In the past two weeks, multiple security researchers designed working exploits for CVE-2022-22954, with at least one proof-of-concept exploit released on Twitter. While publishing public exploits raises the risks that threat actors will use them in attacks, they are also meant to help secure systems through testing and serve as validators of existing fixes/patches. 

According to cybersecurity intelligence firm Bad Packets, malicious actors are actively scanning for vulnerable hosts to exploit the flaw in the wild. The IP address,, used in the payload, was recently seen dropping the Linux Tsunami backdoor in other attacks. However, it remains unclear what the 'one' executable is, as it is no longer accessible. Security researcher Daniel Card also joined the queue by releasing proof-of-concept exploits on Twitter and stated that the vulnerability was being exploited to deploy coinminer payloads.

F5 Patches NGINX LDAP Zero-Day Bug


The maintainers of NGINX, F5 Networks, have disclosed a zero-day bug on NGINX Lightweight Directory Access Protocol Reference (LDAP) implementation at the end of the first week of April. Now, they have released security updates to address security loophole in LDAP.

According to security analysts at F5, NGINX Open Source and NGINX Plus are not affected by the bug by themselves. So, there is no action required if the reference implementation is not employed.

“NGINX Open Source and NGINX Plus are not themselves affected, and no corrective action is necessary if you do not use the reference implementation,” Liam Crilly and Timo Stark of F5 Networks said in an advisory. However, if LDAP reference implementation is used, any of the following conditions will cause vulnerability in the systems: 

• Command-line parameters to configure the Python-based reference implementation daemon 
• Unused, optional configuration parameters and 
• Specific group membership to carry out LDAP authentication

If any of these conditions are fulfilled, a threat actor could override the configuration parameters by sending specially designed HTTP request headers and even bypass LDAP authentication. This would allow LDAP authentication failure to occur even if the user is falsely authenticated. 

“The Python daemon does not sanitize its inputs. Consequently, an attacker can use a specially crafted request header to bypass the group membership (member Of) check and so force LDAP authentication to succeed even if the user being authenticated does not belong to the required groups,” F5 researchers told.

“To mitigate against this, ensure that the backend daemon that presents the login form strips any special characters from the username field. In particular, it must remove the opening and closing parenthesis characters – () – and the equal sign (=), which all have special meanings for LDAP servers. advisory. The backend daemon in the LDAP reference implementation will be updated in this way in due course.” 

NGINX project developers advised users to strip special characters so as they are removed from the username field during authentication, and to update configuration parameters using an empty value. The LDAP-reference implementation mainly explains how the integration operates, and all the components necessary to verify it and how it is not a production grade LDAP solution.

Several Palo Alto Devices Affected by OpenSSL Flaw


In April 2022, Palo Alto Networks aims to patch the CVE-2022-0778 OpenSSL flaw in several of its firewall, VPN, and XDR devices. 

OpenSSL published fixes in mid-March to address a high-severity denial-of-service (DoS) vulnerability impacting the BN mod sqrt() function used in certificate parsing, which is tracked as CVE-2022-0778. Tavis Ormandy, a well-known Google Project Zero researcher, uncovered the issue. An attacker can exploit the flaw by creating a certificate with invalid explicit curve parameters. 

The advisory for this flaw read, “The BN_mod_sqrt() function, which computes a modular square root, contains a bug that can cause it to loop forever for non-prime moduli. Internally this function is used when parsing certificates that contain elliptic curve public keys in compressed form or explicit elliptic curve parameters with a base point encoded in compressed form.” 

“It is possible to trigger the infinite loop by crafting a certificate that has invalid explicit curve parameters.” 

The bug affects OpenSSL versions 1.0.2, 1.1.1, and 3.0, and the project's maintainers fixed it with the release of versions 1.0.2zd (for premium support customers), 1.1.1n, and 3.0.2. When parsing an invalid certificate, an attacker can cause the OpenSSL library to enter an infinite loop, resulting in a DoS condition, according to Palo Alto Networks. 

“All PAN-OS software updates for this issue are expected to be released in April 2022. The full fixed versions for PAN-OS hotfixes will be updated in this advisory as soon as they are available.” as per Palo Alto Network. 

During the week of April 18, the company is expected to provide security remedies for the above vulnerability. PAN-OS, GlobalProtect app, and Cortex XDR agent software, according to Palo Alto, have a faulty version of the OpenSSL library, whereas Prisma Cloud and Cortex XSOAR solutions are unaffected. 

“We intend to fix this issue in the following releases: PAN-OS 8.1.23, PAN-OS 9.0.16-hf, PAN-OS 9.1.13-hf, PAN-OS 10.0.10, PAN-OS 10.1.5-hf, PAN-OS 10.2.1, and all later PAN-OS versions. These updates are expected to be available during the week of April 18, 2022.” continues the advisory. 

Customers with Threat Prevention subscriptions can enable Threat IDs 92409 and 92411 to limit the risk of exploitation for this issue while waiting for PAN-OS security upgrades, according to the company.

SpringShell Attacks Target About One in Six Vulnerable Orgs


According to figures from one cybersecurity firm, about one out of every six firms affected by the Spring4Shell zero-day vulnerability has already been targeted by threat actors. 

The exploitation attempts occurred within the first four days of the severe remote code execution (RCE) issue, CVE-2022-22965, and the associated attack code was publicly disclosed. 37,000 Spring4Shell attacks were discovered over the weekend alone, according to Check Point, which generated the statistics based on their telemetry data. Software vendors appear to be the most hit industry, accounting for 28% of the total, possibly due to their high vulnerability to supply chain threats. 

Based on their visibility, Check Point ranks Europe #1 in terms of the most targeted region, with 20%. This suggests that the malicious effort to exploit existing RCE possibilities against vulnerable systems is well underway, and threat actors seem to be turning to Spring4Shell while unpatched systems are still exposed. North America accounts for 11% of Check Point's detected Spring4Shell attacks, while other entities have confirmed active exploitation in the United States. 

Spring4Shell was one of four flaws posted to the US Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency's (CISA) inventory of vulnerabilities known to be used in actual attacks yesterday. The agency has uncovered evidence of attacks on VMware products, in which the software vendor published security upgrades and alerts. 

Microsoft also released guidelines for detecting and preventing Spring4Shell attacks, as well as a statement that they are already analyzing exploitation attempts. Spring MVC and Spring WebFlux apps operating on JDK 9+ are affected by CVE-2022-22965, hence all Java Spring installations should be considered potential attack vectors. Spring Framework versions 5.3.18 and 5.2.2, as well as Spring Boot 2.5.12, were published by the vendor to address the RCE issue. 

As a result, upgrading to these versions or later is strongly advised. System administrators should also be aware of the remote code execution vulnerabilities in the CVE-2022-22963 and CVE-2022-22947 remote code execution flaws in the Spring Cloud Function and Spring Cloud Gateway. These flaws already have proof-of-concept exploits that are publicly available.

Japanese Automation Firm Yokogawa Patches CENTUM, Exaopc Vulnerabilities


Yokogawa Electric Corp., of Japan, recently patched multiple critical flaws in its control system software that can be abused to suppress alarms, read or write files, crash the server, or execute arbitrary code. 

Researchers at cybersecurity firm Dragos have identified ten critical flaws in Yokogawa’s CENTUM VP distributed control system (DCS) and the Exaopc OPC server for CENTUM systems. The remotely exploitable vulnerabilities are related to hard-coded credentials, relative path traversal, improper output neutralization for logs, OS command injection, permissions, privileges, access controls, and uncontrolled resource consumption. 

The vulnerabilities, a lot of which have been assigned a “high severity” rating, require local access to the targeted device, while others can be abused by sending specially designed packets to the Consolidated Alarm Management Software (CAMS) for the human interface station (HIS or HMI).

“Most likely, the adversary would need access to the LAN for successful exploitation,” Sam Hanson, vulnerability expert in Dragos' Threat Operations Center, stated. “However, if the HIS is somehow internet-facing then exploitation from the internet is possible.” 

Thus far, Dragos researchers have no evidence to suggest that vulnerabilities are exploited in the wild. However, in a real-world attack, a malicious actor could abuse the security loopholes to secure access to the HIS or render it useless by causing a DoS condition. 

“An adversary could use these issues to affect a loss of control and loss of view. Depending on the configuration, the adversary could manipulate physical process controls,” Hanson added. 

Japanese automation giant has released patches and mitigations for affected products. However, CENTUM CS 3000 products, which have reached the end of life, will not receive updates and users have been recommended to update to CENTUM VP. The company released details about the flaws in January and February, and the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) published its own advisory in late March. 

“CENTUM VP has been targeted in the past by security researchers. HIS operations involve many file system interactions and therefore there are plenty of places for bugs (such as directory traversals) to appear,” Hanson concluded. “While security has improved over time, Dragos expects more of this type of issue to surface until Yokogawa can find a way to mitigate these issues en masse (through file system permissions, sandboxing, or utilizing a common DLL for file access, etc.).” 

Earlier this year in February, Dragos reported that 1,703 ICS/OT vulnerabilities received a CVE identifier in 2021, more than twice as many as in the previous year. More than two-thirds of the security loopholes examined by the firm impacted systems located deep within the industrial network.

Multi-GPU Systems are Vulnerable to Covert and Side Channel Assaults


A team led by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) academic researchers has published a research paper explaining a side-channel assault targeting architectures that depend on several graphics processing units (GPUs) for resource-intensive computational operations. 

Multi-GPU systems are employed in high-performance computing and cloud data centers and are shared between multiple users, meaning that the protection of applications and data flowing through them is critical. 

“These systems are emerging and increasingly important computational platforms, critical to continuing to scale the performance of important applications such as deep learning. They are already offered as cloud instances offering opportunities for an attacker to spy on a co-located victim,” the researchers stated in their paper. 

Researchers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Binghamton University, University of California, and an independent contributor, used the Nvidia Ampere-generation DGX -1 system containing two GPUs attached using a combination of custom interconnect (NVLink) and PCIe connections for their demonstrations. 

The researchers reverse-engineered the cache hierarchy, demonstrating how an assault on a single GPU can hit the L2 cache of a connected GPU and cause a contention issue on a linked GPU. They also showed that the malicious actor could “recover the cache hit and miss behavior of another workload,” essentially allowing for the fingerprinting of an application operating on the remote GPU. 

In reverse engineering the caches and poking around the shared Non-Uniform Memory Access (NUMA) configuration the team unearthed "the L2 cache on each GPU caches the data for any memory pages mapped to that GPU's physical memory (even from a remote GPU)." 

Additionally, the researchers demonstrated proof-of-concept side-channel assaults where they recovered the memorygram of the accesses of a remote victim and used it to fingerprint applications on the victim GPU and to spot the multiple neurons in a concealed layer of a machine learning model. 

To precisely spot applications based on their memorygram, the academics designed a deep learning network to accurately identify applications based on their memorygram and say that this can be used as a base for future attacks that not only identify a target application but also infer information about it.

“This attack can be used to identify and reverse engineer the scheduling of applications on a multi-GPU system (simply by spying on all other GPUs in a GPU-box), identify target GPUs that are running a specific victim application, and even identify the kernels running on each GPU,” the researchers added.

While GPUs do have some defenses to thwart side-channel attacks on a single GPU, they are not designed to mitigate this new type of assaults, which are conducted from the user-level and do not require system-level features necessary in other assaults.

Severe Flaws in Rockwell PLC Could Allow Attackers to Implant Malicious Code


Rockwell Automation's programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and engineering workstation software have two new security flaws that might be exploited by an intruder to introduce malicious code into affected systems and silently manipulate automation operations. 

In a way similar to Stuxnet and the Rogue7 assaults, the vulnerabilities have the ability to impair industrial operations and cause physical damage to factories. 

Claroty's Sharon Brizinov noted in a write-up published, "Programmable logic and predefined variables drive these [automation] processes, and changes to either will alter the normal operation of the PLC and the process it manages." 

The following is a list of two flaws – 
  • CVE-2022- (CVSS score: 10.0) — A remotely exploited weakness that allows a hostile actor to write user-readable "textual" computer code to a memory location independent from the compiled code that is being executed (aka bytecode). The problem is in Rockwell's ControlLogix, CompactLogix, and GuardLogix control systems' PLC firmware. 
  • CVE-2022-1159 =This vulnerability has a CVSS score of 7.7. Without the user's knowledge, an attacker with administrative access to a workstation running the Studio 5000 Logix Designer application can disrupt the compilation process and inject code into the user programme. 

Successfully exploiting the flaws could enable an attacker to change user programmes and download malicious code to the controller, effectively changing the PLC's normal operation and allowing rogue commands to be sent to the industrial system's physical devices. 

Brizinov explained, "The end result of exploiting both vulnerabilities is the same: The engineer believes that benign code is running on the PLC; meanwhile, completely different and potentially malicious code is being executed on the PLC." 

Because of the severity of the weaknesses, the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has issued a warning outlining mitigation actions that users of the affected hardware and software can take as part of a "comprehensive defence-in-depth strategy."