Flaws in Cybersecurity Software Expose Hundreds of Networks to Cyberattacks

Cybersecurity flaws have been exposed in cybersecurity provider Cyberoam’s security products.

Flaws in Cybersecurity Software, Cyberattacks

According to a vpnMentor report, the first vulnerability was reported in late 2019, while the second was shared with vpnMentor by an anonymous ethical hacker at the beginning of 2020. After confirming their findings, the vpnMentor team discovered a third flaw, which had also gone unnoticed. These vulnerabilities, both independently and when put together, could have been potentially exploited by sending a malicious request, which would enable an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary commands, says the report.

Cyberoam, owned by Sophos since 2014, is based in Ahmedabad, India and has a truly global reach: 550 employees around the world serve a customer base of 65,000 users, along with 5,500 technology and software partners. These are all spread between 120+ countries.

This is not the first time Cyberoam has had critical vulnerabilities, according to vpnMentor:

  • July 2012: Two researchers revealed that Cyberoam was using the same SSL certificate across many of its devices. Doing so would have allowed hackers access to any affected device on Cyberoam’s network and intercept its data traffic.
  • 2018: Indian media reported that a hacker had stolen massive portions of Cyberoam databases and put them up for sale on the Dark Web. Anonymous ethical hackers estimated over 1 million files relating to Cyberoam customers, partners, and internal operations were available for purchase online.
  • 2019: Ethical hackers found another vulnerability and reported on it in online media. This is the basis for the flaw shared with the research team in January 2020 and is detailed below.

The main flaw in Cyberoam’s security involved two separate vulnerabilities in how an email is released from quarantine on a Cyberoam device, says vpnMentor. Both unrelated issues could have been used to give hackers access to Cyberoam’s devices, and, as an end result, make it easier to exploit any device which their firewalls were guarding. The first issue was discovered around the end of 2019, reported to Sophos, and resolved by Sophos and Cyberoam promptly.

The second flaw was shared with vpnMentor by an ethical hacker who wished to remain anonymous. Once the internal team at the vpnMentor Research Lab, led by Nadav Voloch, verified the vulnerability shared by the anonymous hacker, Nadav continued to review the previous vulnerability disclosure and Cyberoam server interfaces. He then discovered that Cyberoam devices support default passwords. In total, that makes two separate unauthenticated security flaws in the email quarantine feature of Cyberoam’s technology discovered within six months, in addition to supporting default passwords. vpnMentor worked with Cyberoam by coordinating a disclosure timeline and a patch workaround.

In basic terms, the vulnerabilities gave hackers indirect access to any Cyberoam security device via their centralized web-based firewall Operating System (Firewall OS) interface – this was possible due to an error in how Cyberoam had set up access to user accounts on their devices, says the report.

The vulnerabilities required no authentication to exploit – an attacker simply needed to know the IP address of the vulnerable Cyberoam device, and they could have a reliable shell without any crashes. Once hackers gained remote access to the CyberoamOS shell, they could indirectly access any server file and monitor the entire network. This is also a privileged position to pivot into other devices connected to the same network (often an entire organization), says vpnMentor.

vpnMentor’s individual simple research on the scale of the vulnerability showed at least 100,000 unique internet-connected firewalls were potentially affected by the vulnerability and each one of these was acting as a potential doorway to thousands of independent organizations across the globe. Because Cyberoam devices and VPNs are often used as a foundational security gateway protecting large networks, any vulnerability in their software would have severe implications for an affected network and hackers could then theoretically easily pivot into other devices on that network and control any connected computer, laptop, phone, tablet, or smart device, concludes vpnMentor.

The third flaw, discovered by Nadav Voloch, was made possible by Cyberoam’s default hard-coded passwords for new accounts. It seems accounts on the company’s software come with default usernames and passwords, which users are expected to change themselves.

Though the previous vulnerabilities needed no authentication, this vulnerability meant that there was an alternative way to sometimes bypass authentication, says vpnMentor. Combining the vulnerability in Cyberoam’s FirewallOS with the default login credentials like those they found, you could access any Cyberoam server still in default mode and use this to attack the wider network. Typically, says vpnMentor, security software avoids this issue by not using default login credentials and not allowing access to an account until the user creates their own. Once again, by using Shodan to find Cyberoam devices, hackers could access any account still using the default usernames and passwords mode and take it over or by using a brute-force attack targeting all Cyberoam’s servers, hackers could easily access any servers still in the default username/password mode at once, notes the report.

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(2020) Flaws in Cybersecurity Software Expose Hundreds of Networks to Cyberattacks. Recovered on 15 May 2020 from https://www.securitymagazine.com/articles/92388-flaws-in-cybersecurity-software-expose-hundreds-of-networks-to-cyberattacks