OpenSSL Ships Patch for High-Severity Flaws


The OpenSSL Project on Tuesday shipped a major security update to cover at least eight documented security flaws that expose OpenSSL users to malicious hacker attacks.

The most serious of the bugs, a type confusion issue tracked as CVE-2023-0286, may allow an attacker to pass arbitrary pointers to a memcmp call, enabling them to read memory contents or launch denial-of-service exploits.

The OpenSSL maintainers slapped a high-severity rating on the flaw but notes that the vulnerability is most likely to only affect applications which have implemented their own functionality for retrieving CRLs over a network.

Organizations running OpenSSL versions 3.0, 1.1.1 and 1.0.2 are urged to apply available upgrades immediately.

The open-source project also documented seven moderate-severity issues that require urgent attention.

According to an OpenSSL advisory, these include:

  • A timing based side channel vulnerability (CVE-2022-4304) exists in the OpenSSL RSA Decryption implementation which could be sufficient to recover a plaintext across a network in a Bleichenbacher style attack. To achieve a successful decryption an attacker would have to be able to send a very large number of trial messages for decryption. The vulnerability affects all RSA padding modes: PKCS#1 v1.5, RSA-OEAP and RSASVE.  “An attacker that had observed a genuine connection between a client and a server could use this flaw to send trial messages to the server and record the time taken to process them.”
  • A read buffer overrun can be triggered in X.509 certificate verification, specifically in name constraint checking. The read buffer overrun (CVE-2022-4203) might result in a crash which could lead to a denial of service attack. “In theory it could also result in the disclosure of private memory contents (such as private keys, or sensitive plaintext) although we are not aware of any working exploit leading to memory contents disclosure as of the time of release of this advisory,” the group said.

The group also patched multiple memory corruption issues that exposes OpenSSL users to denial-of-service conditions.

Related: OpenSSL Flaw Severity Downgraded From Critical to High

Related: OpenSSL Vulnerability Can Be Exploited to Change Application Data

Related: High-Severity DoS Vulnerability Patched in OpenSSL

Related: OpenSSL Patches Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

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New Open Source OT Security Tool Helps Address Impact of Upcoming Microsoft Patch 


Industrial cybersecurity firm Otorio has released an open source tool designed to help organizations detect and address issues related to an upcoming update from Microsoft.

Otorio’s DCOM Hardening Toolkit, which is available for free on GitHub, is a PowerShell script that lists weak DCOM authentication applications installed on the tested workstation and provides functionality to address associated security issues.

The tool is useful for organizations that use the OPC Data Access (DA) protocol for communications between PLCs and software within OT networks. OPC DA relies on Microsoft’s Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) technology, which can introduce serious vulnerabilities.

The newer OPC Unified Architecture (UA) protocol does not rely on DCOM so it’s not affected by the same security issues, but many industrial organizations still rely on OPC DA.

The problems that the Otorio tool aims to address are related to some changes that Microsoft has been making. 

In 2021, Microsoft informed customers about CVE-2021-26414, a Windows server security feature bypass flaw. Addressing CVE-2021-26414 requires hardening DCOM, which could cause problems for some organizations using it and that is why Microsoft is gradually implementing changes. The goal is to give users enough time to check and resolve any compatibility issues. 

The first updates were released by Microsoft in June 2021, with the DCOM hardening disabled by default. The second updates, released in June 2022, enabled the hardening by default, but allowed users to disable the changes manually. 

The last updates, scheduled for March 2023, will keep the hardening enabled and users will not be able to disable it. 

Otorio’s DCOM Hardening Toolkit can be used to learn whether an OT network includes unsecured DCOM that will become inoperable after the new update is rolled out in March, and it also provides remediation instructions. 

“If a company applies the March patch and loses critical visibility and communication between nodes in its network, it could experience significant financial losses. Our goal is to prevent that kind of catastrophe,” said Yair Attar, CTO and co-founder of Otorio.

Otorio has also implemented the open source tool’s capabilities in its RAM² cybersecurity and digital risk management platform for OT. 

Related: New Dragos OT-CERT Provides Free Industrial Cybersecurity Resources

Related: Open Source Tool Helps Organizations Secure GE CIMPLICITY HMI/SCADA Systems

Related: Open Source Tool Helps Secure Siemens PCS 7 Control Systems

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