Sun Java System Access Manager XSLT/XML Vulnerabilities

A remote user may be able to execute arbitrary code in the context of the Access Manager application. The use would need to create an XML signature that would be viewed locally with the Access Manager. The privileges of the Access manager would be the same as web container application that it is run from. This could result in access to the hosting system.

The original advisory is available at:

IE6 and IE7 Vulnerable

A vulnerability in IE7 allows for websites to modify the location of another frame in another window by setting the location to an object instead of a string.This could lead to malicious sites loading content into frames of legitimate sites.

An input validation vulnerability in IE6 could result in the execution of arbitrary script code. This is due to errors in the handling of properties of a window object. Users should upgrade to IE7 as it is not affected by this vulnerability.

Microsoft SQL Injection Security Advisory

Microsoft has released a security advisory in response to the rapid increase in SQL injection attacks that have happened lately. This advisory was released to assist Web site administrators in identifying SQL injection issues within their Web application code, and to provide temporary solutions to mitigate SQL injection attacks against the server. The full advisory can be found at

It’s good to see Microsoft release such an advisory with explicit details on how to mitigate current issues and avoid SQL injection in the future. We have seen too many applications vulnerable to SQL injection, no matter if they’re ASP, PHP, Perl, Ruby or anything else. If you’re an ASP developer be sure to read this advisory and implement the listed strategies when coding, if you haven’t already.

Project Pre-Release – Vulnerabilities in Popular Content Management Systems Under Study

Over the next few weeks you will see more details from us about a project that we have been working on. As a part of our relationship with Syhunt, one of our elite partners for application security work, we have been testing and reviewing their new tool, Sandcat4PHP. The tool is a sophisticated and user friendly source code scanner for performing deep analysis of PHP applications including their surrounding javascript and HTML components.

Stay posted here for a pretty in-depth review of the new tool, its use and capabilities. We will be doing that review as a part of the project as well.

First, let me start with the purpose and the scope of the project. In the last few months we have worked with a number of clients who have had issues with the security of their content management system. More than a few of them are using popular products, but several are using proprietary tools as well. As such, we have worked on a few incidents and application reviews. That led to a pretty in-depth discussion between a couple of clients and ourselves about the state of content management system security, in general. As an off shoot of that discussion, we decided to test 5 of the most popular content managers using the new Syhunt PHP scanner, since we needed to review it anyway.

Next, we obtained a couple of lists of popular content managers. Selecting our five was pretty easy and we settled on the following:

WordPress, Joomla!, Mambo, Drupal and BitWeaver

We then downloaded the current versions of the CMS (as of that day, a couple of weeks ago…) and set up our testing environment.

We assessed the entire package, but only as downloaded from the web site. That means in most cases, that we tested only the core components and not any additional modules, plugins or components. We considered whatever was in the default download to be the basis for our work.

To date, we have begun our assessments and review of the CMS tools. We will be in contact with each of the CMS projects about the findings of the assessments and they will receive the details of the tool’s findings prior to public release of the technical details. Statistical and numeric data will also be forthcoming.

For now just let us say that we are evaluating our findings and that the tool performed very very well.

I look forward to sharing the details with everyone in the coming days.

Let me know if you have any questions about the product, the project or the work.

OS X Trojan

A new OS X Trojan has been spotted in the wild. The Trojan has been given the identifier “TheOSX/Hovdy-A”, and can perform somewhat advanced attacks against an infected machine. The Trojan takes advantage of a recent escalation exploit within applescript to gain root access to the machine. Once root, the Trojan can manipulate the firewall, steal passwords, and disable security settings. As OS X becomes more popular, we can expect to see more malicious software aimed it. Don’t assume that you’re safe just because you’re on a Mac, follow all of the precautions that your would with any other OS and practice safe surfing!

CA ARCserve DoS, Multiple CMS Vulns

Computer Associates ARCserve Backup 12.0.5454.0 and earlier can be Denial of Serviced by sending a specially crafted packet to port 41523. For more specific information please see CVE-2008-1979.

Several Content Management Systems are vulnerable to Remote File Inclusion (RFI) and SQL injection. As Adam said in a previous post, it appears that application developers are still not embracing the proper coding procedures that allow for these exploits to be developed. If you are an admin of a CMS please make sure that your application is tested regulary for any injection vulnerabilities.

Expect More Worms

The team at PandaLabs has discovered an application that converts any given executable into a worm. Apparently originating in Spain the tool allows a user to wrap any executable in worm code using a simple GUI interface. There are options for enabling Mutex, UPX compression, and disabling various operating system components. We will continue to see these types of tools lower the technical threshold of attackers and increase the number of malicious agents increase in the wild.

Security practitioners need to continue to assist their clients in developing defense in depth strategies that will reduce risk and exposure to these threats. Key elements to address would be identifying key at risk assests, moving towards enclave computing and adding more rigorous security testing of Internet facing applications (slowing their deployment if necessary). The need for security awareness training that is both engaging and current will continue to increase.

For more details on the tool itself you can visit:

Cisco IPS Denial of Service

Cisco has released an advisory for IPS platforms, they are susceptible to denial of service attacks. The vulnerability is in the handling of jumbo ethernet frames. A specially crafted packet can cause the device to kernel panic, a power cycle is required to reset the device. However, if the device is deployed in promiscous mode, or does not have a gigabit interface, it is not vulnerable. For vulnerable devices, Cisco has released updates and a workaround. Install the updates, or disable support for jumbo Ethernet to mitigate this issue.

SNMP Scans

We have noticed, and noticed around the net that there has been a sharp increase in SNMP port scans. No doubt this is due to the recent vulnerability and exploit code released. If you happen to be running SNMP exposed on your external network (something that should be discouraged), it would be a very good idea to update those devices, and also block those ports or restrict access if they do not absolutely need to be exposed.

Web App Security

Over the past few days more than 30 exploits have been released focusing on web applications. The exploits focus on SQL injection attacks, which are a major vulnerability lately, and that’s just for published web applications. Many more are being discovered in privately developed websites. It still seems that some developers out there are still not embracing secure coding practices.

Bot activity has still been seen spreading through websites also using these vulnerabilities. Causing normally trustable websites to deliver malware to unsuspecting users. Until all developers change their coding processes, we can expect these exploits and bot activity to keep increasing. In the mean time, we recommend that any applications you are developing undergo testing, and any web applications (such as CMS) you are using stay patched.