Kerio Control Unified Threat Management 9.1.0 build 1087/9.1.1 build 1324 - Multiple Vulnerabilities

SEC Consult 2016-09-22 webapps php
SEC Consult has also released a blog post describing the attack scenarios
of the vulnerabilities within this advisory in detail and a video which
shows the remote attack. Exploit code has been developed as well but will
not be released for now.



SEC Consult Vulnerability Lab Security Advisory < 20160922-0 >
              title: Potential backdoor access through multiple vulnerabilities
            product: Kerio Control Unified Threat Management
 vulnerable version: <9.1.3, verified in version 9.1.0 build 1087 and 9.1.1
                     build 1324
      fixed version: 9.1.3 (partially fixed, see vendor statement below)
         CVE number: -
             impact: critical
              found: 2016-08-24
                 by: R. Freingruber (Office Vienna)
                     R. Tavakoli (Office Vienna)
                     SEC Consult Vulnerability Lab

                     An integrated part of SEC Consult
                     Bangkok - Berlin - Linz - Montreal - Moscow
                     Singapore - Vienna (HQ) - Vilnius - Zurich



Vendor description:
"Protect your network from viruses, malware and malicious activity
with Kerio Control, the easy-to-administer yet powerful all-in-one
security solution.
Kerio Control brings together next-generation firewall capabilities -
including a network firewall and router, intrusion detection and
prevention (IPS), gateway anti-virus, VPN, and web contentand
application filtering. These comprehensive capabilities and unmatched
deployment flexibility make Kerio Control the ideal choice for small
and mid-sized businesses."


Business recommendation:
By combining the vulnerabilities documented in this advisory an attacker
can fully compromise a network which uses the Kerio Control appliance for

The attacker can trick a victim to visit a malicious website which then conducts
the internal attack. The attacked victim must be logged in or weak credentials
must be configured which can be found with a bruteforce attack.

The attacker will gain a reverse root shell from the Internet to the internal
Kerio Control firewall system. Moreover, it's possible that an internal attacker
uses the described vulnerabilities to escalate his privileges (low privileged
account to full root shell) to steal credentials from other users on the UTM

Most vulnerabilities (RCE, CSRF bypasses, XSS, Heap Spraying) were found
in just two PHP scripts. Both scripts are not referenced by any other
PHP script nor by any binary on the system.
Both scripts contain a different(!), seemingly deliberate(?) CSRF bypass
which make the vulnerabilities exploitable from the Internet to obtain a
reverse root shell.

SEC Consult recommends not to use Kerio Control until a thorough security
review has been performed by security professionals and all identified
issues have been resolved.

Vulnerability overview/description:
1) Unsafe usage of the PHP unserialize function and outdated PHP version leads
   to remote-code-execution
An authenticated user (standard user or administrator) can control data, which
gets later unserialized. Kerio Control uses PHP 5.2.13 which was released on
2010-02-25. This version is more than 6 years old and several bugs were found
in the meantime within the unserialize function. The following CVE numbers
are just some examples for vulnerabilities in unserialize which lead to remote
code execution:
  -) CVE-2014-8142
  -) CVE-2014-3515
  -) CVE-2015-0231
  -) CVE-2015-6834
  -) CVE-2016-5771
  -) CVE-2016-5773

PHP 5.2.13 is especially affected by CVE-2014-3515. This vulnerability uses a
type confusion attack to trigger a use-after-free vulnerability. It can be used
to read data and get full code execution. In the case of Kerio Control the
result of unserialize is not reflected back to the attacker. It's therefore not
possible to read memory from the stack or heap (e.g. to bypass ASLR).

Nevertheless, SEC Consult developed a fully working and reliable (blind) exploit
for this vulnerability which spawns a reverse root shell to the Kerio Control
For this exploit a user account is required. However, it's also possible to
conduct the attack via the Internet because the CSRF (Cross Site Request
Forgery) check can be bypassed (see below).

An attacker can use this vulnerability to break into a company network via the
Internet by tricking a logged in user to visit a malicious website. Even if the
user is currently not logged in the attacker can start a bruteforce attack to
obtain valid credentials to conduct the attack.

2) PHP script allows heap spraying
One of the PHP scripts allows the allocation of memory inside the main binary
(winroute) of Kerio Control. Winroute contains the code of most services
(e.g. the webserver, PHP, network related functionality, ...).
The memory will not be freed after finishing the request and can therefore be
used to spray payloads to the whole memory space.

This vulnerability was used in the overall exploit to defeat ASLR.
Please bear in mind that it's very likely that an attacker can write a working
exploit without heap spraying. Fixing this vulnerability would therefore not
prevent the exploitation of the remote code execution vulnerability.
For example, the information disclosure vulnerability from this advisory can
be used to bypass ASLR as well. This would eliminate the need of heap spraying.

3) CSRF Protection Bypass
The PHP scripts contain code to protect against CSRF (Cross Site Request
Forgery) attacks. Because of the wrong usage of PHP binary
operations and comparisons it's possible to bypass this check. That means
that an attacker can trigger requests from other websites which will be handled
by Kerio Control. This vulnerability allows to exploit the remote code
execution vulnerability from the Internet to break into a network.

4) Webserver running with root privileges
The main binary (which contains the webserver and PHP) runs with root

Kerio told SEC Consult that this vulnerability will not be fixed. SEC
Consult strongly recommended otherwise.

5) Reflected Cross Site Scripting (XSS)
Kerio Control does not properly encode parameters which are reflected on the
website. This leads to cross site scripting vulnerabilities.
An attacker can abuse these vulnerabilities to modify the website or do actions
in the context of the attacked user.

6) Missing memory corruption protections
The main binary (winroute) is not compiled as position-independent executable
(PIE). This allowed the use of ROP (return-oriented-programming) code to
bypass the not executable heap. Moreover, the stack is per default marked as
executable, but the exact location of the stack is randomized by ASLR.

7) Information Disclosure leads to ASLR bypass
One of the PHP scripts leaks pointers to the stack and heap.
This can be abused by attackers to bypass ASLR.
Because stacks are marked as executable an attacker can therefore easily bypass

8) Remote Code Execution as administrator
Nearly a year ago on 2015-10-12 Raschin Tavakoli reported a remote code
execution vulnerability in the administrative web interface in the upgrade
functionality. This vulnerability is still unfixed, only the associated XSS
vulnerability was fixed. However, an attacker can still exploit it from the
Internet, e.g. by abusing the XSS vulnerability described in this advisory
(where the CSRF check can be bypassed).

With this vulnerability an attacker can gain a reverse root shell on
Kerio Control again if a logged in administrator visits a malicious website
on the Internet.
More information can also be found in the old advisory:

9) Login not protected against brute-force attacks
There are no bruteforce protections in place for the login.
If an unauthenticated victim visits an attacker's website, the attacker can
start a bruteforce attack to obtain valid credentials to execute the
remote code execution exploit. Via image-loading the attacker can detect if
the current credentials are valid (without violating SOP).

Proof of concept:
1) Unsafe usage of the PHP unserialize function and outdated PHP version leads
   to remote-code-execution
The following request can be used to set the unserialize data. In this example
a faked string is used which points to 0xffffffff (kernel memory). Unserializing
it will therefore crash the remote webserver (the winroute process).

POST /set.php HTTP/1.1
Host: $IP:4081
Accept: text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,*/*;q=0.8
Connection: close
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
Content-Length: 730


The following request will call unserialize on the injected data:

GET /contentLoader.php?k_getHistoryId=1&k_securityHash=x HTTP/1.1
Host: $IP:4081
Connection: close

In the example above only a denial of service will be conducted. However, an
attacker can change the data type to object to get full code execution on
the remote system.

SEC Consult developed a fully working exploit for this attack which spawns a
root shell. Please note that this exploit was intentionally written to just
target Kerio Control 9.1.0 Build 1087. This is because hardcoded offsets
are used which belong to the winroute binary with the SHA256 hash:
This exploit will not be released for now.

A real-world-attacker can detect the remote binary version by bruteforcing
the object handler related to CVE-2014-3515.

2) PHP script allows heap spraying
The set.php script contains the following code:
$p_variable = urldecode($_POST['k_variable']);
$p_value = urldecode($_POST['k_value']);
$p_session->setSessionVariable($p_variable, $p_value);

POST requests with the following parameters can therefore be used to allocate
space on the remote system:

During tests it was possible to spray approximately 400 MB data in 30 seconds
which is enough to control two predictable addresses on the heap.

3) CSRF Protection Bypass
Two scripts are required for the remote code execution exploit:
  -) set.php
  -) ContentLoader.php
Both scripts contain different very interesting CSRF check bypasses.

The following code can be found in set.php:
$p_postedHash = $_GET['k_securityHash'] || $_POST['k_securityHash'];
if ('' == $p_postedHash || ($p_postedHash != $p_securityHash)) {

Since the programming language is PHP (and not JavaScript), the above code code
does not work as expected. $p_postedHash can only become 0 or 1 because || is a
logical operator. The if-condition compares the valid token with the posted one
via the != operator, however, this will not check if types are the same.
If k_securityHash is set (either via GET or POST) to any value, the above code
will compare the number 1 with a string, which will always bypass the check.
It's therefore enough to set k_securityHash to any value to bypass the CSRF

The following code can be found in contentLoader.php:
$p_postedHash = $_GET['k_securityHash'];
if (!$p_session || ('' == $p_postedHash && $p_postedHash != $p_securityHash)) {
$p_page = new p_Page();
$p_page->p_jsCode(' = "index.php";');

Now the programmers only use the GET parameter, however, they changed the
logical operator in the if condition from || to && which means that the CSRF
check will only be applied if $p_postedHash is empty. It's therefore again
enough to set k_securityHash to any value to bypass the check.

4) Webserver running with root privileges
No proof of concept necessary.

5) Reflected Cross Site Scripting (XSS)
In the following request the k_historyTimestamp parameter is prone to XSS:

In the same request the id parameter can be used to inject JavaScript code.
Note that the attack can only be conducted against administrative users.
Users with standard privileges can only access pages with k_dbName set to one
of the following values:
  -) accStats
  -) prefs
  -) dialup
  -) error

In such a case Kerio Control adds code like the following
(in this example k_dbName=dialup):
var k_newDbName = "";

The " characters within the string are not correctly encoded.
This will lead to the termination of the JavaScript execution. Because the
injected payload is stored after this code, the attacker must bypass this
code to ensure that the payload gets executed. This is only possible if
the attacked user is an administrator because administrators can load any
dbName. By setting k_dbName to an invalid dbName (e.g. to 'x'), code like
the following will be added instead (which does not crash):
var k_newDbName = "";

Another XSS can be found at: