IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Zero-day jQuery Exploit

A zero-day exploit in the jQuery file upload tool may have had an open secret for years. A security researcher at Akamai Security Intelligence Response Team (SIRT) by the name of Larry Cashdollar found the exploit designated CVE-20189206. The vulnerability affects the plugin authored by Sabastian Tschan commonly known as “blueimp”. The jQuery File upload is one of the most starred plugins on github next to the jQuery framework itself. The tool appears to have been forked over 7800 times and has most likely been integrated on thousands of other projects. 
The vulnerability affects Apache web servers that have the plugin and has existed since Apache 2.3.9 when Apache disabled support for .htaccess security configuration files. Unfortunately, jQuery’s file upload relied on .htaccess, and Apache made the change only five days before Sabastian’s plugin was first published. Worse yet it seems that this exploit has been an open secret in the hacker community for years. An attacker can use the vulnerability to upload files without any validation required. This would allow attackers to upload back doors, key loggers, and even execute a web shell on the server. Cashdollar was able to get in touch with Sabastion, and together they were able to work to get the vulnerability fixed in the latest version for the jQuery file upload. However, both noted that it is unlikely to get deployed in all the other projects and/or servers that use the plugin. They stated that there is no accurate way to determine how many projects that have forked from the jQuery file upload and if they are being maintained by applying changes to the master project. Additionally, there are no good ways to determine how many production environments that possibly have the plugin integrated in them.
Cashdollar has also noted that he doubts that he is the only person to find the videos that demonstrate this vulnerability. The videos on YouTube indicate that this exploit has been known and used in some circles for years, so it is possible that hackers have been able to quietly utilize this method to execute remote code on webservers that are using the plugin. However, now that the code has been patched and the exploit has been made public, there is concern that that the risk has increased. With an unknown number of potential forked projects and environments that might use the tool the likelihood that the patch will not entirely eliminate the potential threat. If you want to test your environment for this vulnerability this link will help Https://gethub.com/lcashdol/treee/Exploits/ tree/master/CVE-2018-9206. There you will find the files that will test for three of the most commonly used variations of the exploit software.
Sources:
 https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/10/22/jquery_file_flaw/
https://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/news/252451045/Zero-day-jQueryplugin-vulnerability-exploited-for-3-years
 https://www.zdnet.com/article/zero-day-in-popular-jquery-plugin-activelyexploited-for-at-least-three-years/  

About the Author

ChannelPro SMB Magazine
SUBSCRIBE FREE!

Get an edge on the competition

With each issue packed full of powerful news, reviews, analysis, and advice targeting IT channel professionals, ChannelPro-SMB will help you cultivate your SMB customers and run your business more profitably.