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SEC Consult SA-20130308-0 :: Multiple critical vulnerabilities in GroundWork Monitor Enterprise (part 1)

SEC Consult Vulnerability Lab Security Advisory < 20130308-0 >
              title: Multiple critical vulnerabilities (part 1)
            product: GroundWork Monitor Enterprise
 vulnerable version: 6.7.0
      fixed version: none - optional technical bulletin released
             impact: Critical
           homepage: http://www.gwos.com
 vulnerability note: VU#345260
              found: 2013-01-11
                 by: Johannes Greil
                     SEC Consult Vulnerability Lab

Vendor/product description:
"GroundWork Monitor is the leading open platform for monitoring the
availability and performance of enterprise business services, applications and
infrastructure. It can live and monitor both on premises and in the cloud. As
an open platform, it is easily integrated with common IT service management
processes and tools and is competitively and simply priced."

URL: http://www.gwos.com/features/

Business recommendation:
SEC Consult identified multiple critical vulnerabilities within the components
of the "GroundWork Monitor Enterprise" solution. The scope of the test, where
the vulnerabilities have been identified, was a very short evaluation
crash-test (~1 PD) which the software utterly failed. Some components have
been spot-checked, others have not been tested at all (e.g. cloud components).

The recommendation of SEC Consult is to immediately switch off
existing GroundWork systems until further security measures and thorough
follow-up security tests have been implemented and performed.

Vulnerability overview/description:
The following vulnerability description has been categorized into the
components where the vulnerabilities have been identified.

1) Insufficient authentication in many components:
Many components of GroundWork are only "secured" by Referer header checks.
An attacker who uses a specific, known Referer header of the GroundWork
Apache configuration file is able to access parts of the administration
interface without prior authentication. Only few components are additionally
secured by the JOSSO Single-Sign-On system.

2) Foundation webapp admin interface:
2.1) Referer-check
The webapp is only "secured" by a referer check, an unauthenticated attacker is
able to access the admin interface. The attacker also has write access and is
able to manipulate settings as admin user and he can further exploit other

2.2) Unauthenticated file disclosure & file write/modification
An unauthenticated attacker is able to read arbitrary files of the operating
system with the access rights of the operating system user "nagios" (the only
"security protection" is the weak Referer-check from 2.1). He is able to gain
sensitive information such as cleartext passwords of monitored systems.

Furthermore, it is possible to alter those files if they are owned and writable
by the "nagios" user, which nearly all "GroundWork" files under
"/usr/local/groundwork" are.

Affected script:

2.3) Multiple permanent XSS vulnerabilities
An unauthenticated attacker is able to store malicious JavaScript/HTML code in
many places within the admin interface and hence further attack / take over
admin users of GroundWork! If an administrator e.g. clicks on the "Administration"
/"Foundation" menu within GroundWork, the JavaScript code will be executed

Affected scripts:

3) MONARCH component
In order to exploit the following vulnerabilities an attacker has to have 
low privileged "user" access level rights within GroundWork (+Referer check).
He is then able to elevate privileges and get admin rights or completely take
over the whole monitoring operating system.

3.1) Direct OS command injection
An attacker with a valid cookie (JOSSO SSO) with at least low-privileged "user"
access rights is able to execute arbitary operating system commands. He is able
to gain access to sensitive configuration files, e.g.  passwords of Nagios (and
hence of many services within the monitored network) in cleartext.

Affected script:
/monarch/monarch_scan.cgi (side note: the script also allows to perform portscans
within the network as a feature)

3.2) XML external entity injection & arbitrary XML file (over-)write
The Monarch components suffer from XXE attacks where an attacker e.g. is able
to read arbitrary files of the operating system (sensitive configuration files,
The vulnerability can be exploited by uploading a malicious XML file within the
"Profile Importer" component and then view this uploaded file within the same

Furthermore it has to be noted, that an attacker is able to write arbitrary XML
files anywhere within the operating system, where the "nagios" operating
system user has write access. This allows an attacker to e.g. overwrite
configuration files of JBoss or other components.

Affected script:

4) Nagios-App component
In order to exploit the following vulnerabilities an attacker has to have 
low privileged "user" access level rights.

4.1) Access to sensitive files
A low privileged user is able to gain access to log files or nagios configuration
files (e.g. clear text passwords) just by entering the corresponding URL and
including the Referer-header from 1).

5) Performance component
The context "performance" is only "secured" by Referer checks, see 1) An attacker
is able to exploit critical vulnerabilities without any authentication.

5.1) Write files & execute operating system commands
An unauthenticated attacker is able to write files (filename & path can be
chosen arbitrarily) with pre-given XML content with the access rights of the
"nagios" operating system user. The XML content is partially given by the
application, but can be modified by the attacker for further injection
attacks.  In the end it is possible to execute operating system commands, e.g.
by using SSI (server-side includes) injection.

One could also alter the pre-given XML file contents and exploit XML parser

Affected script:

Proof of concept:

Detailed proof of concept URLs and exploits have been removed from this
advisory as the underlying security issues will not be fixed by GroundWork and
only be addressed by authentication and authorization changes.

1) Insufficient authentication in many components:
The following contexts are "secured" by Referer-header checks:


E.g. if an attacker sets the Referer-header to:
he is able to access the "foundation" administration interface of GroundWork
without any prior authentication.

Some parts of those contexts, e.g. "birtviewer", are additionally secured by
JOSSO SSO and require "user"-level access rights.

2) Foundation webapp admin interface:
2.1) Referer check
     See 1) for Referer

     An attacker is able to access and manipulate the following settings
     without prior authentication:
      Manage Configuration
      Manage Application Types
      Manage Properties
      Manage Host Groups
      Manage Performance Data
      Manage Consolidation Criteria

    Unauthenticated access to & manipulation of configuration data, e.g.:
      adapter.properties, cacti.properties, console.properties, db.properties,
      foundation.properties, jndi.properties, nedi.properties,
      network-service.properties, ntop.properties, perfdata.properties,
      register_agent.properties, report-viewer.properties,
      status-feeder.properties, status-viewer.properties, viewer.properties, 
      weathermap.properties, ws_client.properties

2.2) Unauthenticated file disclosure & arbitary file write/modification
    (Referer from 2.1)
    An attacker is also able to alter or save the file with new entries. Keep in
    mind though that the original file will be modified in a way that it may not
    work properly afterwards because "property/value" entries are generated.

2.3) Multiple permanent XSS vulnerabilities
    Many input fields/parameters are affected, the following list may not be

    (+ Referer from 2.1)

3) MONARCH component
3.1) Direct OS command injection

3.2) XML external entity injection & arbitrary XML file (over) write

Module "Profile Importer"
Step a) Access URL

Step b) Upload file: secconsult_xxe.xml

The file will be uploaded to path "[...]" by default.

Side note: An attacker can choose arbitrary paths and arbitrary XML contents within
the upload request, hence further attacks are possible.

Step c) View uploaded profile:

The uploaded malicious secconsult_xxe.xml file will show up and it shows the
executed XXE payload, e.g. the output of the Nagios configuration file
"resource.cfg" which includes the plain text passwords of the Nagios
configuration (arbitrary other files can be read).

4) Nagios-App component
4.1) Access to sensitive files
Clear text passwords of Nagios:

Log files:

5) Performance component
5.1) Write files & execute operating system commands
Step a) Write .shtml file

Step b) Execute command example "ls" from above:

One could also alter the XML file and exploit XML parser issues by
retrieving the manipulated XML file again through this request:
    Write XML file:

    XML result/file will look like:

    Read (XML) file again:

Vulnerable / tested versions:
The vulnerabilities have been tested in the currently latest available version

SEC Consult tested the pre-installed Ubuntu image 6.7.0-br287-gw157 with a
GroundWork Monitor Core test license.

SEC Consult strongly assumes that many further vulnerabilities exist and previous
GroundWork versions are affected too.

Vendor contact timeline:
2013-01-14: Contacting vendor via email support@xxxxxxxx, asking for security
2013-01-16: No reply from vendor, resending email to support@xxxxxxxx &
            including info@xxxxxxxx, mentioning deadline according to attached
            responsible disclosure policy
2013-01-21: Still no reply, resending email support@xxxxxxxx & info@xxxxxxxx,
            setting deadline for advisory publication to 5th March 2013
2013-01-22: Contacting US-CERT for further coordination, receiving VU#345260,
            alerting mutual customers
2013-01-29: Asking US-CERT for status update: no security contact at
            GroundWork yet
2013-02-05: Trying to contact another GroundWork email address of Roger
            Ruttimann, VP of Engineering
2013-02-06: First answer of GroundWork (Director of Marketing), sending
            detailed advisory information
            Informing US-CERT about contact
2013-02-09: Vendor: Detailed info from engineering by next week            
2013-02-12: Sending vulnerabilities from a second crash test, requesting
            conference call for discussion of next steps
2013-02-13: Vendor, info from engineering: patch for 27th February planned;
            Patch only addresses few issues (Referer checks) and not critical
            SEC Consult: proper fixes needed, not a "workaround patch"
2013-02-26: Vendor: Email reply regarding conference call
2013-02-28: Conference call
2013-03-04: GroundWork provides optional technical bulletin for review
2013-03-05: SEC Consult states that the optional technical bulletin is not
            enough and does not fix the underlying issues within source code
            Informing US-CERT about the status and pending release
2013-03-06: Contacting local CERT teams
2013-03-06: GroundWork informs their customers
2013-03-07: Release of optional technical bulletin by GroundWork
2013-03-08: SEC Consult releases coordinated security advisory without proof
            of concept

GroundWork does not offer patches for the identified security vulnerabilities.

An optional technical bulletin is available by GroundWork that restricts
access to GroundWork components by adding a SSO authentication layer for the
affected components. Furthermore, configuration changes are suggested by
GroundWork that disable "user" privilege access for some applications and
require "admin" access rights in the future:


This recommendation by GroundWork is not sufficient and therefore not
suggested by SEC Consult. In order to mitigate the risk, the vulnerabilities
have to be fixed within the source code too.

In secure environments, such as operating centers where this software is
for instance used, it is highly undesirable to use insecure applications.

Implement the suggestions of the technical bulletin. Keep in mind that the
underlying security issues are not being addressed by the bulletin.

Furthermore, use additional measures to secure the application, e.g. but not
limited to strict network segmentation. Only allow administrators to access
the server. Secure all accounts with strong passwords & disable standard

Advisory URL:

SEC Consult Unternehmensberatung GmbH

Office Vienna
Mooslackengasse 17
A-1190 Vienna

Tel.: +43 / 1 / 890 30 43 - 0
Fax.: +43 / 1 / 890 30 43 - 25
Mail: research at sec-consult dot com

EOF Johannes Greil / @2013