ScriptAlias, Backdooring Apache, and the Plesk Remote Code Execution Exploit. (Also a free 0day :P)

/* WARNING: This post is slightly “rambling” as it is written without my usual proofreading and checking over for errors due to being my “field notes” of sorts, and due to current affairs leading to incredible time constraints. For those looking for the “Free 0day” mentioned in the title, read carefully ;) */

So, while experimenting with kingcope’s shiny Plesk RCE exploit – http://seclists.org/fulldisclosure/2013/Jun/21 – I decided to implement my own exploit for it in Python. Thanks to previously writing an exploit for the PHP-CGI vulnerability, this proved to be trivial.

The exploit is here: http://packetstormsecurity.com/files/122163/Plesk-PHP-Code-Injection.html

Now, that is nice and all, but lets take a look at why this vulnerability occurs.

Basically, the Apache config shipped with the vulnerable versions of Plesk, contains the directive ‘ScriptAlias /phppath/ “/usr/bin/”‘. This means that you can call any binary in the /usr/bin directory as a CGI script by passing it, and its arguments, in a URL, like so: host/phppath/php?-h

This allows you to directly call the PHP binary, have it executed as a CGI program, and the “-h” argument would be passed to it. What makes the exploit work, is we call the PHP binary and send it some arguments that allow us to send it PHP code to execute. You can, in fact, call *any* binary in /usr/bin/ and pass it args, the PHP interpreter being the easiest to abuse*

Basically, the vulnerability is caused by using the ScriptAlias directive to point at a directory, allowing one to call arbitrary binaries and use those to execute code.

Now, this is where it gets interesting.

I found it was trivial to “introduce” this vulnerability to an Apache webserver with one line, simply appending ScriptAlias /backdoor/ “/usr/bin/” to the httpd.conf file, or any file included by httpd.conf. This allows for a very sneaky PHP code execution backdoor to be “injected”, leaving no tell-tale files in the webroot, however, it does mean modifying a (often root owned) file. Still an interesting way to “add another way in”.

I then wondered if this line was a common thing to find in Apache config files, and if it could reliably allow remote code execution.

A few google queries later, and I was facedesking. And asking for a VPS to run some tests on.

First off, here is a well ranked guide on google for installing PHP in CGI mode on Ubuntu, which leads to a vulnerable configuration.
http://www.binarytides.com/setup-apache-php-cgi-ubuntu/

Next, we have OpenWRT Wiki showing us how to set up PHP… And leave ourselves open for the pwning.
http://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/howto/http.apache

There were a few others, which I will leave locating up to the reader.

Anyway, there was enough hideous code to make me consider writing an exploit/remote testing utility in Python for this bug, which is in my github repo for exploits at https://github.com/infodox/exploits
Running lolapache.py <site> will begin the process of probing and owning. Check out paths.txt, which contains the paths to probe for.

Demo:

Anyways, now for the TL;DR: If you are gonna be using Apache, and ScriptAlias’ing PHP, you are gonna have a bad time.
As for the free 0day, well. A whole load of boxes use these crappy configs, which means a whole load of boxes are ripe for getting owned by any moron with half a brain.

* I had a hit-and-miss series of tests passing an oneline reverse shell directly to Python interpreter and Perl interpreter, but it was unreliable. Some guys on rdot showed a method of using curl and python to pull down code and execute it.

Tool Release: phpkit 1.0 Web Backdoor

This is the (about bloody time too) release of the “PHPKit” PHP backdooring tool I was working on in my free time over the past while.

phpkit

phpkit

While not as advanced as “proper” web backdoors such as “weevely”, or “webhandler”, I feel PHPkit is something “interesting” to say the least.

Unlike most PHP backdoors, phpkit’s trojan contains no unusual function calls like “System” or “eval”. The only things it does are an ini_set and “include”. All “suspicious” PHP calls are made at runtime in-memory :D
This, I feel, makes it have a far smaller footprint on the target server. All payloads are sent as raw PHP in raw POST requests, where php://input passes them to the “include” function. It uses ini_set to attempt to enable allow_url_include if such is disabled, but I am working on a better workaround at the moment than this.
Likely something to do with fopen and suchlike… Will figure it out for the next version ;)

I actually got the idea to write this from when I was writing an exploit for the PHP-CGI bug, as shown here: http://insecurety.net/?p=705

This tools “shell” is somewhat rudimentary, in that it (unlike Weevely), does not store CWD, etc. It simply executes commands, which is what I designed it to do. It does, however, have a rather nice file upload stager, which I was rather happy with.
It is reasonably reliable for an experiment, and certainly is interesting in that the evil code is ran entirely in memory ;)

Anyways, enough talking about how awesome it is (it really is not that awesome :( ), time for some demos and useage.

So, obviously you have placed odd.php on the target server somewhere, somehow. What next?

Well, the only mandatory argument is –url=’URL’, where the URL is the URL to the odd.php file (or whatever you called it). By default, the tool will attempt code execution and pop you a shell if possible.
If not possible, it simply exits.

The –mode operator allows you to choose what mode you want to use. By default, the “SHELL” mode is chosen, however “UPLOAD” is another option. If you choose “UPLOAD”, you must specify a local and remote file.
To specify the local file (File to upload), use –lfile=”PATH TO FILE”
To specify where to write the file, use –rfile=”PATH TO PLACE FILE”

This should upload the file cleanly and rapidly, allowing you to move on with the pwning of things.

Here is a screenshot of it in shell mode

phpkit shell mode

Shell Mode

And here is a screenshot of file uploading.

phpkit upload mode

phpkit upload mode

Well, that’s all for now. As you can see, it is more of an experiment than a real software by any stretch of the imagination, however, if you find it useful let me know :)

You may download it here: phpkit-1.0.tar.gz :)

Web Exploitation Engine 0.1 Release

So, you might remember my short writeup on exploiting command injection vulnerabilities – http://insecurety.net/?p=403 – and note that the tool used, GWEE, was a bit outdated and often would not compile correctly on modern versions of Linux using GCC.

Had you ever messed with the tool, you might also notice one of the authors was Sabu, so as a matter of principle, I was going to avoid using it whenever possible.

So, many attempts were made at re-implementing the tool in Python, most of them absolute failures, totally rubbish, or otherwise “clunky” and inelegant.

Anyways, much messing about later, I stumbled across a piece of code by @LaNMaSteR53 named “rce.py”. You can download it here: rce.py (the original one).

My main problem when writing my implementations (prior to seeing LaNMaSteR53’s implementation) was handling the POST data. How the hell would I get it from the commandline to the tool itself without having the user editing some config file of some kind. To me, this was a major stumbling block.

So, when I saw Tim’s implementation, passing it “just like a GET, but telling the parser it was POST”, I had to borrow it. A quick bit of replacing the urllib stuff with requests.get and requests.post, and I had a decent base to build from.

While the retooled version of rce.py itself was pretty cool as it was, I felt it could be taken a lot further. The original beta had built in reverse shells (12 or so varieties), however it tended to crash and such a lot. No error handling whatsoever, and some of the payloads simply failed to function at all.

Eventually, I wrote the “payloads” module. A slimmed down version of it is included in the wee.tar.bz2 archive, as I have not finished the thing yet. Currently the public release contains only a python reverse shell, however it is extremely easy to expand upon.

Anyway, on with the show.

we.py has only one mandatory arguement, the –url arg. You simply (for a GET request, the default), put in –url=’http://victim.com/vuln?vuln=<rce>&otherparams=otherparams’
For a POST request, you put them in just like a GET request, and specify –method=post as an argument to tell the tool to parse them as POST parameters.

By default, it gives you the “rce.py” style inline shell prompt. However, using the –shell argument, you can specify it to use a reverse shell instead like so: –shell=reverse.

By default, the reverse shell will use 127.0.0.1 and 4444 as its lhost and lport, so you can change this with –lhost=LHOST and –lport=LPORT.

So, here is a screenshot of it in action:

Poppin' shells

Poppin’ shells

This tool is still being developed, so report any bugs you find in it and make suggestions :)

You may download it here: wee.tar.bz2 :)

Remember, use with care, etc.

Back… With exploits!

So, sovaldi finally my DNS issues and suchlike got sorted out, and the server has been migrated to a new host. Email is back as of a few hours ago (few issues with MX records and mailboxes or something and emails being delivered 10 times to me, but I think that will fix itself after a few days. I hope so anyway, because being bombed with 100 messages 10 times each is getting plenty bloody annoying).

Everything is upgraded to the new wordpress, no more nasty hacking the config files to get WP to work on a server not designed to run it.

So, while the site was “inactive”, I was working on a whole bunch of new content (and finishing old articles) to publish. Seeing as I have exams, I shall just leave a few gifts here for you to look at until they are over. dietrich may have something for you also :)

So, in order to keep everyone entertained for the next few days, check out the following piece of exploit engineering.

D-LINK DIR-300 and DIR-600 routers have a hilarious preauth remote root flaw in their web interface. A webpage called “command.php” that accepts a “cmd=$cmd” and executes it as root. EPIC FAIL. Why was that there? Ask D-LINK.

It was discovered by a German researcher, @s3cur1ty_de and you can read his original advisory here: http://www.s3cur1ty.de/m1adv2013-003

I had some free time in college, so I knocked up a quick PoC tool to exploit the flaw, and even managed to test the exploit on a friends router after class.

PoC Code: http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=yPDKP86n

Remote Root

Remote Root

It delivers my customary user friendly shell interface, exploiting command injection. It can also autoenable TELNET and grant Telnet access, though this is seemingly less reliable, it hung when I tried it after rebooting the router.

Will be writing some more exploits, and maybe publishing them soon, so stay tuned ;)

Using PHP’s data:// stream and File Inclusion to execute code

This is a reasonably old remote code execution trick that I was actually unaware of until recently, illness when I stumbled across it by accident. I have been heavily researching various ways to go from a file inclusion bug to a remote code execution bug, and this one really got me interested.

As we previously mentioned in the I expect:// a shell post, medical you can use certain PHP streams to execute code via a file inclusion vulnerability. This one does not require any PHP extensions to be installed, unlike the expect:// trick, and relies solely on allow_url_include to be enabled, which sadly is becoming a rarity these days.

How this works is simple. PHP has a data:// stream, which can decode and accept data. If you insert some PHP code into this stream and include() it, the code will be executed. Rather simple, and rather effective too. I will cover php://input in a follow up post, and then post my findings on abusing FindFirstFile.

Essentially, instead of including /etc/passwd or a remote file, you simply include the following. data://text/plain;base64,PAYLOAD_GOES_HERE
Where the payload is base64 encoded PHP code to be executed. I choose to base64 encode the payload to avoid some problems I ran into with whitespace and longer payloads.

Now, obviously this would be no fun without a simple proof of concept tool to demonstrate the vulnerability. The following tool is under serious redevelopment at the moment, so it only spawns a bind shell at the moment. Next version will offer several payloads (I am working on a generic payload library for this kind of thing).

Data:// shell to bindshell :)

You can download the current version of the tool here: PHP data include exploit

I will update that code later, might do a video once there is something worth watching.

I expect:// a shell!

This blog post covers a fascinating method of leveraging Local File Inclusion to gain Remote Code Execution on a vulnerable host. It has several downfalls, but overall is one of the more interesting methods I have found, and I have not found any references to it anywhere that I looked online.

PHP has many “wrappers” to parse certain types of things. For example, the php://input or php://filter wrappers, which have been used in the past for both code execution and information disclosure – notably the PHP-CGI Arguement Injection exploit, which uses the php://input wrapper to inject code after making modifications to PHP.ini directives.

One of the more entertaining ones I stumbled across is how PHP handles the expect:// “wrapper”. For those who do not know, “expect” is a program/scripting language of sorts that one can use to interact with other interactive programs. Some of you may be familiar with pexpect from Python, which is used to interact with SSH sessions for automation. It is a rather powerful utility, and is often used by sysadmins to automate procedures which would normally require human interaction.

As it happens, amongst PHP’s many wrappers, there is an “expect://” wrapper. I stumbled across it by accident while looking up the correct way to use php://filter to read files via LFI (I will document that method later, it deserves a post of its own). I knew expect looked familiar, so when I looked more into it, I found examples of people using it in PHP scripts to automate things like ssh-ing to remote boxes, etc.

After a while it dawned on me that something interesting might just happen if I passed expect://ls to an include() call in a PHP script, so I decided to see what would happen.

I used the following vulnerable (to LFI) PHP script, and called test.php?hax=expect://ls

<?php
$code = $_GET[‘hax’];
include($code);
?>

It provided me with a directory listing of my webroot.

expecting shell

remote code execution

After a few minutes of thinking “oh, this is interesting”, I decided to see if I could knock up an interactive shell in Python to automate the whole procedure.

First off, I decided to see could I get it all to work out using Pythons “requests” module…

Seeing as it worked, now it was time to write a “shell”.

Gotshell?

got shell :)

Yes, I now had a somewhat interactive “shell” on the vulnerable host (localhost…). I considered releasing the proof of concept right there, however further messing about was warranted first, obviously. I needed to see how far I could “push” this vuln, and how cool I could possibly make the PoC tool before releasing it to the wild, where someone would doubtlessly give me much abuse about my python :P

So, without further ado, here is the video demo of it. It now checks if the host is vuln (very rudimentary check), and offers the “inline shell” or a reverse shell :) Download links at bottom :)

// Err, the video is on its way, I did not have time to clean it up sadly. I will edit this post in a day or so with the finished video, I promise :)

download link

Exploit Development: PHP-CGI Remote Code Execution – CVE-2012-1823

The CVE-2012-1823 PHP-CGI exploit was, quite possibly, one of the most groundbreaking exploits of 2012. In a year that brought us MS-12-020 (the most hyped bug in my recollection), multiple Java 0day exploits, and several MySQL exploits, the PHP-CGI bug still stands out as one of the most hilariously brilliant bugs to show up for several reasons. Primarily the massive misunderstanding of how it worked.

For this exploit to work, PHP had to be running in CGI mode. A fairly obscure configuration not seen all too often in the wild. Essentially, with this vulnerability, you could inject arguements into the PHP-CGI binary and make changes to php.ini directives, allowing for remote code execution.

Developing an exploit for this bug is trivial. In order to gain remote code execution, you tell PHP.ini that it is to allow URL inclusion ( allow_url_include = 1 ), and to automatically prepend the “file” php://input. This means whatever we send in the POST request is parsed as PHP, and executed.

One way to exploit this (targetting example.com), using the lwp-request’s “POST” utility, is as follows.
echo “<?php system(‘id’);die(); ?>” | POST “http://example.com/?-d+allow_url_include%3d1+-d+auto_prepend_file%3dphp://input”

As you will see in the video, we can easily use this to execute commands remotely from a BASH shell.

The HTTP request sent, looks something similar to this:

“””
POST /?-d+allow_url_include%3d1+-d+auto_prepend_file%3dphp://input HTTP/1.1
TE: deflate,gzip;q=0.3
Connection: TE, close
Host: example.com
User-Agent: lwp-request/6.03 libwww-perl/6.04
Content-Length: 29
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded

<?php system(‘id’);die(); ?>

“””

The response to that was the server sending back the result of our command (id), so we know it works.

So now we have a somewhat reliable “commandline” RCE method, however, we like to automate things… Let’s see how hard it is to write a reliable exploit in Python.

The following screenshot shows exploitation using Python.

PHP CGI Exploitation

Exploiting PHP-CGI bug with Python

So, we know now that using Python’s requests library (a mainstay of all my exploits, as I guess you noticed).

Now that we have reliable exploitation using Python, I decided to go a step further and write an actual exploit in Python to automate the whole thing. It simply drops you into a shell of sorts, giving you the ability to run commands as the web-user.

Exploit code available here: Google Code – Insecurety Research

So, along comes the demo, as usual in video format. This time, with additional tunes by Blackmail House who gave me permission to use their music in demo videos the other day in the pub :)

Remember, play nice out there.