Big Blue's BigInsights has big-ish bugs

Guests gain XSSive privileges in IBM's Hadoopery


IBM has patched twin cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in its Hadoop-probing InfoSphere BigInsights platform.

The patches released last week shutter the bugs (CVE-2016-2924, CVE-2016-2992) that could compromise users of the big data analytics software.

Fortinet researcher Honggang Ren quietly reported the flaws to Big Blue last year and offered proof-of-concepts how to reproduce the vulnerabilities on unpatched BigInsights installations.

The bugs allow guest users to own administrators, stealing their credentials and session data, and to then execute various malicious code through stored XSS.

"The data that the user ‘guest’ inputs into the ‘name’ field is stored on the server," Ren says of the stored XSS bug.

"When the [admin] views the alert list, the value of the relevant alert type is retrieved from the stored data on the server. Its label field value is not correctly checked and special characters are not escaped so that the generated web page contains the malicious code."

Next, "... the injected code is permanently stored on the vulnerable server [so] when a victim navigates to the affected web page in a browser, the injected XSS code will be served as part of the web page."

The vulnerability class is notably dangerous in that it does not require victims to be phished by clicking XSS links. Stored XSS mean an attacker's malcode is plonked into storage and resurfaces as part of web applications, executing in a victim's browser with the app's permissions.

It can allow hackers to hijack a victim's browser, steal app data, run internal port scans, and ship browser-based exploits.

Ren urged all users of the platform to immediately upgrade to the patched version. ®

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