HPE Warns of JNDI Java Injection Flaws
You've heard of SQL injection, but HPE has new research into Java server injection flaws that could represent an entirely new attack surface. Here's a deep dive with the lead researcher.There is a pair of new exploit attack vectors in commonly used enterprise technologies that could be exposing organizations to risks they aren't aware of, according to Hewlett Packard Enterprise. One of the new vectors is a Java Naming and Directory Interface (JNDI) injection risk; the other is a Lightweight Directory Address Protocol (LDAP) entry poisoning risk. JNDI is widely used by enterprises that have Java middleware servers for enterprise application deployment, while LDAP is used for user roles and access. In a session at the Black Hat USA conference last week, Alvaro Munoz, principal security researcher at HPE, detailed ways in which someone could abuse JNDI and LDAP to gain remote code execution access. In an interview with eWEEK, Munoz explained what the real issues are and what can be done to help limit risks. He noted that hackers involved in the so-called "Pawn Storm" attack in 2015 that targeted NATO made use of a zero-day flaw in Java that enabled them to bypass the "click-to-play" feature for Java applets. With such an attack, a drive-by attack was possible, such that users don't need to click on anything to be infected. The attack also made use of what he called JNDI trickery. "While analyzing the Pawn Storm Java zero-day, we realized that the same tricks could be used in an injection attack against applications that are evaluating or passing data through the JNDI interface," Munoz said.
The JNDI injection attack vector is an attack that in some respects is similar to a SQL injection (SQLi) attack against a database. In SQLi, which is a very common attack vector, unfiltered data queries are passed to a database, which can potentially then enable unauthorized access.