Episode 113

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Overview

With 21 CVEs fixed this week we look at updates for Dnsmasq, Firefox, OpenJDK and more, plus we discuss the recent release of Ubuntu 21.04 and malicious commits in the upstream Linux kernel.

This week in Ubuntu Security Updates

21 unique CVEs addressed

[USN-4916-2] Linux kernel regression [00:48]

  • 2 CVEs addressed in Trusty ESM (14.04 ESM), Xenial (16.04 LTS), Bionic (18.04 LTS), Focal (20.04 LTS)
  • Possible memory leak introduced via fix for overlayfs priv esc vuln - so the fix effectively introduced a new vuln but only a DoS not priv esc

[USN-4924-1] Dnsmasq vulnerabilities [01:17]

  • 2 CVEs addressed in Xenial (16.04 LTS)
  • 2 DoS issues, one possible OOB read -> crash, the other a trust issue where for DNSSEC configurations could end up having dnsmasq prove the non-existence of hostnames that actually exist - so again a DoS but not in the traditional sense

[USN-4925-1] Shibboleth vulnerability [01:57]

  • 1 CVEs addressed in Focal (20.04 LTS)
  • SSO solution for InCommon Federation system
  • Possible content injection bug in error or other pages since template generation would use attacker controlled inputs

[USN-4926-1] Firefox vulnerabilities [02:19]

[USN-4927-1] File Roller vulnerability [03:46]

  • 1 CVEs addressed in Xenial (16.04 LTS), Bionic (18.04 LTS), Focal (20.04 LTS), Groovy (20.10)
  • Incomplete fix for previous CVE-2020-11736 (Episode 72) - directory traversal via symlink issue on extraction of archives

[USN-4892-1] OpenJDK vulnerability [04:15]

  • 1 CVEs addressed in Xenial (16.04 LTS), Bionic (18.04 LTS), Focal (20.04 LTS), Groovy (20.10)
  • Latest upstream point release to fix an issue where would fail to properly verify signatures on crafted JARs - could bypass security restrictions if a JAR is signed with an algorithm that is disabled

[USN-4922-2] Ruby vulnerability [04:35]

  • 1 CVEs addressed in Hirsute (21.04)
  • First USN for Hirsute \o/
  • XML deserialisation issue

[USN-4913-2] Underscore vulnerability [04:49]

  • 1 CVEs addressed in 21.04
  • Code injection via template function due to failure to properly handle untrusted input

Goings on in Ubuntu Security Community

Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo Released [05:05]

  • Standard support release, supported for 9 months
  • Private home dirs
  • Kernel 5.11
    • Stack protector for RISC-V
    • Improved performance for Spectre mitigations via static calls
    • Initial support for memory tagging for ARM64
      • Will require support in glibc etc but this is an initial start to providing improved protection against memory corruption vulns
  • OpenSSH 8.4
    • Improved support for FIDO/U2F keys for 2FA

Hypocrite commits and the upstream Linux kernel [07:38]

  • First came to light in November 2020 when one of the authors of a paper from University of Minnesota tweeted about the acceptance of their paper to IEEE S&P 2021 - this showed the first page of the paper and seemed to indicate that for the purposes of academic research a number of malicious commits (ie commits that when added to the kernel would create a vulnerability) had been introduced into the upstream kernel.
  • Lots of blowback at the time amongst both kernel devs, other researchers etc regarding both the ethics of effectively experimenting on subjects without their consent and the concept of purposely introducing vulns just for the sake of research purposes
  • The researchers claimed they followed these up with subsequent commits to fix the vulns and so none actually would have made it to end users so they thought it was effectively done
  • At this stage as a team we thought this was interesting but effectively just demonstrating something that most folks in OSS always knew was a potential reality - that once a contributor to a project builds a certain level of trust it would be relatively easy to introduce vulns like this in a stealthy manner and that the best defence would be better automated review tooling (static/dynamic analysis via CI etc) rather than trying to rely on human reviewers to detect
  • Issue again came to light recently when the paper was made available in full and it was revealed that 3 malicious commits were potentially integrated into the upstream kernel - actually only 1 was ACKed and then this was rejected and the other 2 were rejected outright. Recently, GregKH weighed in and effectively blacklisted all contributions from UMN and proposed to revert all commits that had come from umn.edu authors
  • Not surprisingly, most of these were NOT malicious and so took careful review by various developers to decide which should NOT be reverted as lots of them did actually fix legitimate issues
  • Researchers then apologised and so only a few commits actually got reverted as a result
  • In the end it highlights how OSS development is built on trust and how this can be abused in either direction - tempting to jump to technical solutions (ie better static analysis/CI etc) but this will never be foolproof - also need the ability to move fast so can get say reverts done and delivered to users, and also to build good relationships BUT in the end need to still be wary - “trust but verify” - both on a technical basis and also on a personal basis so we can better understand the provenance of code etc

Hiring [14:36]

AppArmor Security Engineer

Linux Cryptography and Security Engineer

Security Engineer - Ubuntu

Get in contact

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