CYBAZE-News

The Skygofree spyware analyzed by Kaspersky today was first spotted by the researcher Lukas Stefanko and the first analysis was published last year experts at CSE Cybsec ZLab.

Security researchers at Kaspersky Lab have made the headlines because they have spotted a new strain of a powerful Android spyware, dubbed Skygofree, that was used to gain full control of infected devices remotely.

Skygofree is an Android spyware that could be used in targeted attacks and according to the experts it has infected a large number of users for the past four years.

The name Skygofree is not linked to Sky Go, which is the subsidiary of Sky and does not affect its services.

The malware has been in the wild at least since 2014, and it was improved several times over the years.

“At the beginning of October 2017, we discovered new Android spyware with several features previously unseen in the wild. In the course of further research, we found a number of related samples that point to a long-term development process. We believe the initial versions of this malware were created at least three years ago – at the end of 2014.” reads the analysis published by Kaspersky.

“Since then, the implant’s functionality has been improving and remarkable new features implemented, such as the ability to record audio surroundings via the microphone when an infected device is in a specified location; the stealing of WhatsApp messages via Accessibility Services; and the ability to connect an infected device to Wi-Fi networks controlled by cybercriminals.”

In this post, I’ll show you that the malware was first found by the security researcher at ESET Lukas Stefanko and the first detailed analysis of the spyware (titled “Malware Analysis Report: Fake 3MobileUpdater“) was published by the experts at the CSE Cybsec ZLab.

According to Kaspersky, Skygofree has being distributed through fake web pages mimicking leading mobile network operators. The attackers registered some of the domains used in the attack since 2015.

The most recently observed domain was registered on October 31, 2017, according to Kaspersky data the malicious code was used against several infected individuals, exclusively in Italy.

The team of researchers at CSE CybSec ZLab analyzed in November a fake 3 Mobile Updater that was used pose itself as a legitimate application of the Italian Telco company, TRE Italia.

“The most classic and efficient method used to lure the users is to believe that the application does something good. This is just what 3 Mobile Updater does. In fact, this malicious Android application looks like a legitimate app used to retrieve mobile system update and it improperly uses the logo of the notorious Italian Telco company, TRE Italia, in order to trick victims into trusting it.” reads the report published by CSE CybSec.

Tre android malware

The analysis conducted by Kaspersky suggests the involvement of an Italian firm due to the presence in the code of strings in Italian.

“As can be seen from the comparison, there are similar strings and also a unique comment in Italian, so it looks like the attackers created this exploit payload based on android-rooting-tools project source code.” states Kaspersky.

The CSE CybSec researchers arrived atthe same conclusion, below a portion of the code analyzed by the members of the ZLab.

Skygofree linked to fake 3 updater

“Moreover, both in the logcat messages and in the code, the malware writers used the Italian language. So, we can say with high confidence that this malicious app has been written by an Italian firm that intended to target users of the Italian telco company Tre.” CSE wrote in the analysis.

The artifacts analyzed by Kaspersky in the malware code and information gathered on the control infrastrucure suggest the developer of the Skygofree implants is an Italian IT company that works for surveillance solutions.

Skygofree

 

Kaspersky Lab has not confirmed the name of the Italian company behind this spyware, we at the CSE CybSec ZLab opted for the same decision in October due to the possible involvement of law enforcement or intelligence Agencies.

Unfortunately, the OPsec implemented by the firm is very poor. The name of the company is present in multiple reference of the code. Not only, one of the domains used to control registered by the attacker is linked to an Italian technology company.

“Although the security firm has not confirmed the name of the Italian company behind this spyware, it found multiple references to Rome-based technology company “Negg” in the spyware’s code. Negg is also specialized in developing and trading legal hacking tools.” states the blog post published by THN.

Once installed, Skygofree hides its icon and starts background services to conceal its malicious actions from the victim, one interesting feature implemented by the malicious code prevents its services from being killed.

“Interestingly, a self-protection feature was implemented in almost every service. Since in Android 8.0 (SDK API 26) the system is able to kill idle services, this code raises a fake update notification to prevent it” continues Kaspersky.

According to Kaspersky, the Skygofree malware was enhanced since October implementing a sophisticated multi-stage attack and using a reverse shell payload.

The malicious code includes multiple exploits to escalate privileges for root access used by attackers to execute sophisticated payloads, including a shellcode used to spy on popular applications such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Line, and Viber.

The same spying abilities were implemented in the app we analyzed at the CSE CybSec.

“The capabilities of this malicious app are enormous and include the information gathering from various sources, including the most popular social apps, including Whatsapp, Telegram, Skype, Instagram, Snapchat. It is able to steal picture from the gallery, SMS and calls registry apps. All this data is first stored in a local database, created by the malicious app, and later it is sent to the C2C.” reads the preliminary analysis published on SecurityAffairs.

“There are multiple, exceptional capabilities: usage of multiple exploits for gaining root privileges, a complex payload structure, [and] never-before-seen surveillance features,” the researchers said.

Skygofree is able to take pictures and videos remotely, monitor SMS, call records and calendar event, of course, it also able to gather target’ location and access any information stored on the mobile.

Skygofree also can record audio via the microphone, the attacker can also force the victim’s device to connect to compromised Wi-Fi networks it controls in order to conduct man-in-the-middle attacks.

Kaspersky also found a variant of Skygofree targeting Windows users, a circumstance that suggests the same company is also targeting machines running Windows OS.

The best way to prevent yourself from being a victim is to avoid downloading apps via third-party websites, app stores or links provided in SMS messages or emails.

Comparative analysis fake 3 Mobile Updater vs SkyGoFree

I asked my colleague Dr. Antonio Pirozzi, Director of the CSE CybSec ZLab, to compare the stubs of code shared by Kaspersky with the ones related to the code we analyzed back in November.

This is what has emerged:

These classes are identical:

SkyGoFree comparison
  • The spyware we analyzed did not contain the Android exploits found by Kaspersky, as well as the reverse shell PRISM and the busy box.
  • The class used for parsing are similar;

  • The DNS used are the same;
 
  • The IoCs published by Kaspersky includes the URL of the C&C (url[.] plus) which was the same of the Spyware analyzed by CSE CybSec.
Conclusion
 
Many parts of the code are identical, both source codes include strings in Italian and the reference to the Italian firms are the same. The version analyzed by Kaspersky is a new version of the malware analyzed by CSE CybSec ZLab.
Kaspersky also shared the URL from which the spyware is downloaded and one of them was related to the version we analyzed (Fake 3 mobile updater).
The two version of the malware shared numerous classes, C&C server, Whois records and many other info.  The sample analyzed by CSE was probably still under development.

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Android malware, Skygofree)

The post Powerful Skygofree spyware was reported in November by Lukas Stefanko and first analyzed by CSE CybSec appeared first on Security Affairs.

Four malicious Chrome extensions may have impacted more than half million users likely to conduct click fraud or black search engine optimization.

More than half million users may have been infected by four malicious Chrome extensions that were likely used to conduct click fraud or black search engine optimization.

According to ICEBRG, the malicious extensions also impacted employees of major organizations, potentially allowing attackers to gain access to corporate networks.

“Recently, ICEBRG detected a suspicious spike in outbound network traffic from a customer workstation which prompted an investigation that led to the discovery of four malicious extensions impacting a total of over half a million users, including workstations within major organizations globally.” states the analysis published by  ICEBRG. “Although likely used to conduct click fraud and/or search engine optimization (SEO) manipulation, these extensions provided a foothold that the threat actors could leverage to gain access to corporate networks and user information.”

The researchers noticed an unusual spike in outbound traffic volume from a customer workstation to a European VPS provider. The analysis of the HTTP traffic revealed it was to the domain ‘change-request[.]info’ and was generated from a Chrome extension with ID ‘ppmibgfeefcglejjlpeihfdimbkfbbnm’ named Change HTTP Request Header that was available via Google’s Chrome Web Store.

Malicious Chrome Extensions

The extension does not contain any malicious code, but the combination of “two items of concern that” could allow attackers to inject and execute an arbitrary JavaScript code via the extension.

The experts highlighted that Chrome extensions are not allowed to retrieve JSON from an external source and execute JavaScript code they contain, but need to explicitly request its use via the Content Security Policy (CSP).

Once enable the ‘unsafe-eval’ (Figure 3) permission to retrieve the JSON from an external source the attacker can force the browser to execute malicious code.

“When an extension does enable the ‘unsafe-eval’ (Figure 3) permission to perform such actions, it may retrieve and process JSON from an externally-controlled server.” “This creates a scenario in which the extension author could inject and execute arbitrary JavaScript code anytime the update server receives a request.” continues the analysis.

The Change HTTP Request Header extension is able to download obfuscated JSON files from an external source (‘change-request[.]info’), by invoking the ‘update_presets()’ function.

The Chrome extension implemented an anti-analysis technique to avoid detection.

The extension checks the JavaScript for the presence of native Chrome debugging tools (chrome://inspect/ and chrome://net-internals/), and if detected, halts the injection of malicious code segment. The Chrome extension implemented an anti-analysis technique to avoid detection.

Once injected the code, the JavaScript creates a WebSocket tunnel with ‘change-request[.]info’ and uses it to proxy browsing traffic via the victim’s browser.

During the analysis, the experts observed that this feature was observed by threat actors for visiting advertising related domains likely to conduct click fraud scams.

“The same capability could also be used by the threat actor to browse internal sites of victim networks, effectively bypassing perimeter controls that are meant to protect internal assets from external parties.” continues the analysis.

The security experts discovered other Chrome extensions with a similar behavior and using the same C&C server.

  • Nyoogle – Custom Logo for Google
  • Lite Bookmarks
  • Stickies Chrome’s Post-it Notes

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs –Malicious Chrome extensions, cybercrime)

The post Four malicious Chrome extensions affected over half a million users and global businesses appeared first on Security Affairs.

A Canadian Man supposed to be the admin of the LeakedSource.com website was charged over the leak of 3 billion hacked accounts.

The post Canadian man charged over leak of billions hacked accounts through LeakedSource appeared first on Security Affairs.

Several customers of the Chinese smartphone manufacturer. OnePlus claim to have been the victim of fraudulent credit card transactions after making purchases on the company webstore.

A large number of OnePlus users claim to have been the victim of fraudulent credit card transactions after making purchases on the official website of the Chinese smartphone manufacturer.

Dozens of cases were reported through the support forum and on Reddit, the circumstance that credit cards had been compromised after customers bought a smartphone or some accessories from the OnePlus official website indicating suggest it was compromised by attackers.

“I purchased two phones with two different credit cards, first on 11-26-17 and second on 11-28-17. Yesterday I was notified on one of the credit cards of suspected fraudulent activity, I logged onto credit card site and verified that there were several transactions that I did not make” claims one of the victims. “The only place that both of those credit cards had been used in the last 6 months was on the Oneplus website.”

Security researchers at Fidus analyzed the payment page after reading the claims on the official forum and discovered that card details are hosted ON-SITE exposing data to attacks.

“We stepped through the payment process on the OnePlus website to have a look what was going on. Interestingly enough, the payment page which requests the customer’s card details is hosted ON-SITE.” reads a blog post published by Fidus. “This means all payment details entered, albeit briefly, flow through the OnePlus website and can be intercepted by an attacker. Whilst the payment details are sent off to a third-party provider upon form submission, there is a window in which malicious code is able to siphon credit card details before the data is encrypted.”

OnePlus Payment-Page-1024x579

The experts speculate the servers of the company website might have been compromised, likely the attackers exploited some flaws in the Magento eCommerce platform used by OnePlus.

There are two methods used by crooks to steal credit cards from Magento-based stores:

  • Using Javascript on client-side. The malicious JavaScript is hosted on the web page which causes the customer’s machine to silently send a crafted request containing the payment data to a server controlled by attackers. The researchers who analyzed the payment page on the OnePlus site did not find any malicious JavaScript being used.
  • The second method relies on the modification of the app/code/core/Mage/Payment/Model/Method/Cc.php file through a shell access to the server. The Cc.php file handles the saving of card details on the eCommerce website. Regardless if card details are actually saved or not, the file is called regardless. Attackers inject code into this file to siphon data.

OnePlus declared that it does not store any credit card data on its website and all payment transactions are carried out through a payment processing partner.

“At OnePlus, we take information privacy extremely seriously. Over the weekend, members of the OnePlus community reported cases of unknown credit card transactions occurring on their credit cards post purchase from oneplus.net. We immediately began to investigate as a matter of urgency, and will keep you updated. ” reads the statement published by the company.
“No. Your card info is never processed or saved on our website – it is sent directly to our PCI-DSS-compliant payment processing partner over an encrypted connection, and processed on their secure servers. “
“The Chinese smartphone maker also confirms that purchases involving third-party services like PayPal are not affected.”

OnePlus excluded that its website is affected by any Magento vulnerability, since 2014, it has entirely been re-built using custom code.

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – OnePlus, credit card data)

The post Customers reporting OnePlus payment website was hacked and reported credit card fraud appeared first on Security Affairs.

A new variant of the infamous disk-wiper malware KillDisk has been spotted by malware researchers at Trend Micro while targeting financial organizations in Latin America.

A new variant of the infamous disk-wiper malware KillDisk has been spotted by malware researchers at Trend Micro. This variant of KillDisk, tracked as TROJ_KILLDISK.IUB, was involved in cyber attacks against financial organizations in Latin America, it is delivered by a different piece of malware or it may be part of a bigger attack.

“We came across a new variant of the disk-wiping KillDisk targeting financial organizations in Latin America.” reads a preliminary analysis published by TrendMicro.

“Because KillDisk overwrites and deletes files (and doesn’t store the encryption keys on disk or online), recovering the scrambled files was out of the question.”

KillDisk and the ICS-SCADA malware BlackEnergy, were used in the attacks that caused the power outage in Ukraine in December 2015.

It was used in the same period also against mining companies, railways, and banks in Ukraine. The malware was later included in other malicious codes, including Petya.

In December 2016, researchers at security firm CyberX discovered a variant of the KillDisk malware that implemented ransomware features.

This latest variant targets Windows machines deleting any file stored on drives, except for system files and folders.

“The malware attempts to wipe \.PhysicalDrive0 to \.PhysicalDrive4. It reads the Master Boot Record (MBR) of every device it successfully opens and proceeds to overwrite the first 0x20 sectors of the device with “0x00”. It uses the information from the MBR to do further damage to the partitions it lists.” states Trend Micro. “If the partition it finds is not an extended one, it overwrites the first 0x10 and last sectors of the actual volume. If it finds an extended partition, it will overwrite the Extended Boot Record (EBR) along with the two extra partitions it points to.”

Once the malware has deleted and overwritten files and folders it attempts to terminate several processes to force the machine reboots.

The processed targeted by the malware are:

  • Client/server run-time subsystem (csrss.exe)
  • Windows Start-Up Application (wininit.exe)
  • Windows Logon Application (winlogon.exe)
  • Local Security Authority Subsystem Service (lsass.exe)

Trend Micro is still investigating this news KillDisk variant, meantime it is inviting companies to adopt a “defense in depth” approach securing the perimeters from gateways, endpoints, and networks to servers.

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – KillDisk , wiper)

The post New KillDisk variant targets Windows machines in financial organizations in Latin America appeared first on Security Affairs.

Analysis conducted by SolarWinds on the impact on the performance of the Spectre/Meltdown patches on its own Amazon Web Services infrastructure revealed serious performance degradation.

SolarWinds, the vendor of IT Management Software & Monitoring Tools, has analyzed the impact on the performance of Meltdown and Spectre security patches on its own Amazon Web Services infrastructure.

The results are disconcerting, the company has graphically represented the performance of “a Python worker service tier” on paravirtualized AWS instances.

The CPU usage jumped up to roughly 25% just after Amazon restarted the PV instance used by the company.

“As you can see from the following chart taken from a Python worker service tier, when we rebooted our PV instances on Dec 20th ahead of the maintenance date, we saw CPU jumps of roughly 25%.” states the analysis published by SolarWinds.

 

The company also monitored the performance of its EC2 instances noticing a degradation while Amazon was rolling out the Meltdown patches.

“AWS was able to live patch HVM instances with the Meltdown mitigation patches without requiring instance reboots. From what we observed, these patches started rolling out about Jan 4th, 00:00 UTC in us-east-1 and completed around 20:00 UTC for EC2 HVM instances in us-east-1. ” continues the analysis.

“CPU bumps like this were noticeable across several different service tiers:”

Summarizing, the packet rate drops up to 40% on its Kafka cluster, while CPU utilization spiked by around 25 percent on Cassandra.

The deployment of the patches had also some positive effects, CPU utilization rates decreased. The company issued an update on Jan 12, 2018.

“As of 10:00 UTC this morning we are noticing a step reduction in CPU usage across our instances. It is unclear if there are additional patches being rolled out, but CPU levels appear to be returning to pre-HVM patch levels.” states the firm.

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Meltdown patches, Amazon)

The post Spectre/Meltdown patches had a significant impact on SolarWinds’s AWS infrastructure appeared first on Security Affairs.

BlackWallet.co was victims of a DNS hijacking attack, on January 13 the attackers have stolen over $400,000 from users’ accounts (roughly 670,000 Lumens).

The spike in cryptocurrency values is attracting cybercriminals, the last victim is the BlackWallet.co a web-based wallet application for the Stellar Lumen cryptocurrency (XLM).

The platform was victims of a DNS hijacking attack, on January 13 the attackers have stolen over $400,000 from users’ accounts (roughly 670,000 Lumens).

According to Bleeping Computer, the attackers collected 669,920 Lumens, which is about $400,192 at the current XML/USD exchange rate.

Stellar Lumen today is considered as the eight most popular cryptocurrency.

The attackers hijacked the DNS entry of the BlackWallet.co domain and redirected it to a server they operated, as result of the attack, the application suspended its service.

Technically users were logging to the bogus domain entering their credentials, then the attackers used them to access the account and steal the funds.

 

Users on Reddit and other communities promptly spread the news of the hack.

The attackers immediately started moving funds from the XLM account to Bittrex, a cryptocurrency exchange, in the attempt to launder them by converting in other digital currency.

blackwallet hacked

The situation is critical, admins are asking Bittrex to block the attackers’ operations before is too late.

“I am the creator of Blackwallet. Blackwallet was compromised today, after someone accessed my hosting provider account. He then changed the dns settings to those of its fraudulent website (which was a copy of blackwallet).” the Blackwallet creator wrote on Reddit.

“Hacker wallet is: https://stellarchain.io/address/GBH4TZYZ4IRCPO44CBOLFUHULU2WGALXTAVESQA6432MBJMABBB4GIYI

I’ve contacted both SDF and Bittrex to ask them to block the bittrex’s account of the hacker. I’ve contacted my hosting provider to disable my account and my websites.

Hacker sent the funds to a bittrex account. This might lead to an identity.”

According to the BlackWallet admin, the incident took place after someone accessed his hosting provider account.

The creator of the web-based wallet application is trying to collect more info about the hack from his hosting provider.

“If you ever entered your key on blackwallet, you may want to move your funds to a new wallet using the stellar account viewer,” he added. “Please note however that blackwallet was only an account viewer and that no keys were stored on the server!” he added in the statement.

In December, the popular cryptocurrency exchange EtherDelta suffered a similar incident, attackers conducted a DNS attack that allowed to steal at least 308 ETH ($266,789) as well as a large number of tokens.

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – hacking, Lumens)

The post Blackwallet hacked, hackers stole $400,000 from users’ accounts through DNS hijacking appeared first on Security Affairs.

Researcher @unixfreaxjp spotted the first time ever in the history of computer engineering a Linux malware designed to infect ARC CPU, this new Linux ELF malware was dubbed MIRAI OKIRU.

In August 2016 the researcher @ from @ team first spotted the dreaded Mirai botnet, now the same researcher is announcing a new big earthquake in the malware community.

 spotted the first time ever in the history of computer engineering a Linux malware designed to infect ARC CPU, this new Linux ELF malware was dubbed MIRAI OKIRU.

This is the first time that a malware specifically targets AR-based systems, the Mirai Okiru was undetected by almost all the antivirus engines at the time of its discovery.

Mirai ARC OKIRU

“!! Please be noted of this fact, and be ready for the bigger impact on infection Mirai (specially Okiru) to devices that hasn’t been infected yet.” said 

The Linux IoT threat landscape is rapidly changing, crooks will start targeting IoT devices based on ARC CPU.

“From this day, the landscape of #Linux #IoT infection will change. #ARC cpu has produced #IoT dervices more than 1 billion per year. So these devices are what the hackers want to aim to infect #ELF #malware with their #DDoS cannons. It’s a serious threat will be. #MalwareMustDie!” wrote MMD.

As highlighted by the colleague _odisseus the impact of such botnet could be devastating, it has been estimated that ARC embedded processors are shipped in more than 1.5 billion products per year. This means that the number of the potentially exposed devices is enormous, and a so powerful botnet could be used for a multitude of malicious purposes.

“ARC (Argonaut RISC Core) embedded processors are a family of 32-bit CPUs originally designed by ARC International. They are widely used in SoC devices for storage, home, mobile, automotive, and Internet of Things applications. ARC processors have been licensed by more than 200 organizations and are shipped in more than 1.5 billion products per year.” reads Wikipedia.

#Mirai #Okiru variant is very dangerous, if you see how the coder made specific “innovative modification” in its variant codes+encryption you’ll see what I mean, & now they are the 1st malware to aim #ARC core. These guys can make greater chaos if not be stopped. Mark my word” wrote MalwareMustDie.

It is very important to understand that the Mirai Satori variant is very different from Okiru as explained by MalwareDustdie.

  1. From what we observe so far. these two types are very different, (among of several common similar characteristic), we think it is good to have different rules to detect Mirai variant Okiru and Satori
  2. Some simple highlights to differ Okiru to Satori variant:
  • The config is different, Okiru variant’s config is encrypted in two parts w/ telnet bombardment password encrypted, Satori does not split it in 2parts and doesn’t encrypt brute default passwords. Also Okiru’s telnet attack login information is a bit longer (can be up to 114 credentials, max counted), while Satori is having different and shorter database.
  • Satori seem to have “TSource Engine Query” common Distributed “Reflective” (DRDoS) attack function via random UDP, while Okiru does not seem to have this function,
  • The infection follow up commands written in both Okiru and Satori in their configurations are a bit different, showing possibility that they don’t seem sharing a same “herding environment”,
  • (up to) Four types of router attack exploit code has only being spotted hard coded in Okiru variant, yet Satori does not use these exploits at all,
  • Satori (see VT comment part for reversed code) is using small embedded ELF trojan downloaders to download other architecture binaries which were coded differently compared to Okiru ones (see reversed code is in VT comment),
  • (there are more minors stuff too that you can notice using the pictures shown in previous points, like differences in usage of watchdog, the usage of command “echo -en x…” etc)

wrote MalwareMustDie.

 ARC Core CPU base compiled Mirai Okiru ELF malware (botnet client) (ELF 32-bit LSB executable, ARC Cores Tangent-A5, version 1 (SYSV), dynamically linked, interpreter /lib/ld-uClibc.so.0, for GNU/Linux 4.8.0, stripped).

The risk that someone could build a powerful Mirai Okiru botnet composed of a billion device is concrete.

Stay tuned …

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Mirai Okiru botnet, Linux malware)

The post Mirai Okiru botnet targets for first time ever in the history ARC-based IoT devices appeared first on Security Affairs.

A new round of the weekly SecurityAffairs newsletter arrived!

The best news of the week with Security Affairs.

Once again thank you!

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Newsletter)

The post Security Affairs newsletter Round 145 – News of the week appeared first on Security Affairs.

Lenovo discovered a firmware backdoor in RackSwitch and BladeCenter networking switch families during an internal security audit.

Security experts at Levono have spotted a firmware backdoor, tracked CVE-2017-3765, in RackSwitch and BladeCenter networking switch families during an internal security audit.

An authentication bypass affects only in RackSwitch and BladeCenter switches running ENOS (Enterprise Network Operating System), the tech giant promptly addressed it with firmware updates last week.

The Enterprise Network Operating System (ENOS) is the firmware that powers some Lenovo and IBM RackSwitch and BladeCenter switches.

According to the security advisory published by Lenovo, the backdoor (dubbed “HP backdoor”) was added to ENOS in 2004 when ENOS was owned by Nortel’s Blade Server Switch Business Unit.

The backdoor was intentionally inserted by Nortel that added it at the request of a BSSBU OEM customer.

“An authentication bypass mechanism known as “HP Backdoor” was discovered during a Lenovo security audit in the Telnet and Serial Console management interfaces, as well as the SSH and Web management interfaces under certain limited and unlikely conditions.” states the security advisory.

“A source code revision history audit revealed that this authentication bypass mechanism was added in 2004 when ENOS was owned by Nortel’s Blade Server Switch Business Unit (BSSBU). The mechanism was authorized by Nortel and added at the request of a BSSBU OEM customer.”

The backdoor was never removed from the firmware even after three acquisitions of the unit. Nortel spun BSSBU off in 2006 as BLADE Network Technologies (BNT), IBM acquired BNT in 2010, and Lenovo bought IBM’s BNT portfolio in 2014 … but the HP backdoor was never removed.

This bypass mechanism can be accessed when performing local authentication under specific circumstances using credentials that are unique to each switch. the exploitation of the backdoor could grant the attacker admin-level access.

Below the list of ENOS interfaces and authentication configurations affected by the issue:

  • Telnet and Serial Console when performing local authentication, or a combination of RADIUS, TACACS+, or LDAP and local authentication under specific circumstances described below
  • Web when performing a combination of RADIUS or TACACS+ and local authentication combined with an unlikely condition under specific circumstances described below
  • SSH for certain firmware released in May 2004 through June 2004 (only) when performing a combination of RADIUS or TACACS+ and local authentication under specific circumstances described below; the vulnerable code is present in more recent firmware, but not used

Lenovo backdoor

Lenovo has provided the firmware source code to a third-party security partner to enable independent investigation of the issue, the company declined any responsibility and expressed its disappointment for the presence of the backdoor:

“The existence of mechanisms that bypass authentication or authorization are unacceptable to Lenovo and do not follow Lenovo product security or industry practices. Lenovo has removed this mechanism from the ENOS source code and has released updated firmware for affected products.” continues the advisory

“Lenovo is not aware of this mechanism being exploited, but we assume that its existence is known, and customers are advised to upgrade to firmware which eliminates it.”

Lenovo released firmware updates for both newer and older (IBM-branded) RackSwitch and BladeCenter networking switch families.

The full list of impacted switches and associated links for the latest firmware were included in the advisory.

Lenovo confirmed that the backdoor doesn’t affect the switches running CNOS (Cloud Network Operating System).

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs –Lenovo Switches, backdoor)

The post Lenovo spotted and fixed a backdoor in RackSwitch and BladeCenter networking switches appeared first on Security Affairs.