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Security Encryption

Heartbleed Used To Bypass 2-Factor Authentication, Hijack User Sessions 59

Posted by timothy
from the bleeding-from-the-ears dept.
wiredmikey (1824622) writes "Security nightmares sparked by the Heartbleed OpenSSL vulnerability continue. According to Mandiant, now a unit of FireEye, an attacker was able to leverage the Heartbleed vulnerability against the VPN appliance of a customer and hijack multiple active user sessions. The attack bypassed both the organization's multifactor authentication and the VPN client software used to validate that systems connecting to the VPN were owned by the organization and running specific security software.

"Specifically, the attacker repeatedly sent malformed heartbeat requests to the HTTPS web server running on the VPN device, which was compiled with a vulnerable version of OpenSSL, to obtain active session tokens for currently authenticated users," Mandiant's Christopher Glyer explained. "With an active session token, the attacker successfully hijacked multiple active user sessions and convinced the VPN concentrator that he/she was legitimately authenticated."

After connecting to the VPN, the attacker attempted to move laterally and escalate his/her privileges within the victim organization, Mandiant said."
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Heartbleed Used To Bypass 2-Factor Authentication, Hijack User Sessions

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 19, 2014 @01:05PM (#46795477)

    That guy RS is not a professor, but has a PhD in applied informatics.

    We here in Germany no longer believe it was unintentional though, because the particular department where he works at T-Systems (the IT daughter of Deutsche Telekom), also did the remote maintenance for DLR, the German Aerospace Center, that coincidentally reported [washingtonpost.com] it's been hacked.

  • by SethJohnson (112166) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @01:17PM (#46795553) Homepage Journal
    I'm not convinced this wasn't an intentional effort to backdoor OpenSSL.

    Code was submitted on new year's eve. A moment when the fewest people would be available to review it. Many people are on vacation and likely to gloss over the pile of code submitted while they were gone.

    Just because he's a professor doesn't mean he wasn't compromised. A common page out of spycraft textbook would be to get an agent to seduce the professor and then document his infidelity. With this hanging over his head, he'll plant the requested vulnerability and even after it's discovered, he'll stick to the cover story to prevent those photos from being sent to his wife. For further reading on this topic, see the wikipedia page on Julian Assange.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 19, 2014 @01:30PM (#46795633)

    Didn't the problem come about by OpenSSL doing it's own memory handling because some people's OS had slow memory management? Sounds like an excuse to have mistakes that bypass other kinds of checks.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 19, 2014 @01:33PM (#46795649)

    On Windows, there are probably three billion apps each with their own copy of openssl.dll, many of which will never be updated. I remember when some serious zlib bug was announced years ago, I found about 30 copies of zlib.dll on my Windows machine, all of which had to be independently replaced with a patched version.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @02:01PM (#46795809)

    Lots of people scoffed at Bruce Schneier for saying Heartbleed is an 11 on the 1-10 scale... I agree that sometimes he goes overboard but this is not one of those times, and the attack mentioned in the article demonstrates this.

    The summary is a little muddled on what happened here, but if you follow the link you'll find this is not a security test or a research group showing something could theoretically be done. This is a real live company somewhere just using a VPN many other companies probably use, that had over the course of many hours multiple VPN session hijacked and made use of. That is a huge deal, if one person can do this you can almost bet there is a script somewhere that even the great unwashed hacker masses can make use of.

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