Security

Fortinet's security appliances hit by remote code execution vulnerability

Cure worse than the disease for anyone with the 'fgfmsd' daemon activated


Security appliance slinger Fortinet has warned of a critical vulnerability in its software that can be exploited to grant unauthenticated attackers full control over a targeted system, providing a particular daemon is enabled.

The flaw, discovered by Orange Group security researcher Cyrille Chatras and sent to Fortinet privately for responsible disclosure, lies in FortiManager and FortiAnalyzer's fgfmsd daemon, which if running and vulnerable can be exploited over the network.

"A Use After Free (CWE-416) vulnerability in [the] FortiManager and FortiAnalyzer fgfmsd daemon may allow a remote, non-authenticated attacker to execute unauthorised code as root via sending a specifically crafted request to the FGFM port of the targeted device," the vendor warned customers.

Note that the FGFM service is disabled by default in FortiAnalyzer and can only be enabled on 1000E, 2000E, 3000D, 3000E, 3000F, 3500E, 3500F, 3700F, and 3900E appliances.

Those with affected FortiManager and FortiAnalyzer installations are advised to upgrade to the most recently released version – 5.6.11, 6.0.11, 6.2.8, 6.4.6, or 7.0.1 or above, depending on which major release of the software you're running – to close the hole.

Should that be impossible, and you're using a FortiAnalyzer box, a workaround is to disable the FortiManager features on the FortiAnalyzer unit manually with the following commands at the management console:

config system global  
set fmg-status disable
end

"Memory related vulnerabilities are a common problem which can often have severe impact, such as is the case here," application security expert Sean Wright told The Register. "Ensuring appropriate checks are performed to identify these flaws is crucial, for example by using static code scanners which will detect and prevent their presence.

"Alternatively, educating developers about their existence early in the development cycle will ensure code is built securely and without such flaws in the first place. A more drastic approach, which is not always possible, is to move to a language which performs automatic memory management, such as Go or Java."

The vulnerability is the biggest to hit Fortinet products since October last year, when the US Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) warned that flaws in the FortiOS SSL virtual private network (VPN) had been used to gain access to supposedly private networks in "multiple cases."

More information is available in the FortiGuard Labs security bulletin. Fortinet did not respond to a request for additional comment by the time of publication. ®

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Ubuntu 21.10: Plan to do yourself an Indri? Here's what's inside... including a bit of GNOME schooling

Plus: Rounded corners make GNOME 40 look like Windows 11

Review Canonical has released Ubuntu 21.10, or "Impish Indri" as this one is known. This is the last major version before next year's long-term support release of Ubuntu 22.04, and serves as a good preview of some of the changes coming for those who stick with LTS releases.

If you prefer to run the latest and greatest, 21.10 is a solid release with a new kernel, a major GNOME update, and some theming changes. As a short-term support release, Ubuntu 21.10 will be supported for nine months, which covers you until July 2022, by which point 22.04 will already be out.

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Heart FM's borkfast show – a fine way to start your day

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Think your phone is snooping on you? Hold my beer, says basic physics

Information wants to be free, and it's making its escape

Opinion Forget the Singularity. That modern myth where AI learns to improve itself in an exponential feedback loop towards evil godhood ain't gonna happen. Spacetime itself sets hard limits on how fast information can be gathered and processed, no matter how clever you are.

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What do you mean you gave the boss THAT version of the report? Oh, ****ing ****balls

Say what you mean

NSFW Who, Me? Ever written that angry email and accidentally hit send instead of delete? Take a trip back to the 1990s equivalent with a slightly NSFW Who, Me?

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Chinese tech minister says he's 'dealt with' 73,000 sites that breached the law

Ongoing crackdown saw apps 1.83 million apps tested, 4,200 told to clean up their act, pop-up ads popped

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The nation investigated 1.83 million apps to ensure they don't infringe users' rights. Some 4,200 illegal apps found to require "rectification".

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Whatever sort of disaster we’re talking about, if your backups are fried, you’re not going to recover

Here’s how zero trust and immutability can save you

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That’s why a zero trust approach to security is a given, as is a focus on how quickly you can recover your data if an attack does hit home, and that means immutable backups and rock solid data management.

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Chinese developers rebel against long working hours with crowdsourced tell-all on employers

Despite modern labour laws, 72-hour work weeks are still common

Chinese software developers have crowdsourced a spreadsheet that dishes the dirt on working conditions at hundreds of employers.

Dubbed WorkingTime, the protest aims to offer transparency regarding how many work hours are expected. Many organisations expect 72-hour working weeks - an arrangement dubbed "996" after the 9am to 9pm, six days a week culture in place at many Chinese companies.

The practice has sometimes been promoted by the rich and famous: Alibaba's Jack Ma publicly stated that employees should actually want to work long hours and a job you love enough to spend that much time doing is a "blessing".

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US gov claims ransomware 'earned' $590m in the first half of 2021 alone – mostly in Bitcoin

Names and bars crypto exchange SUEX, warns paying ransoms could spell trouble

Ransomware extracted at least $590 million for the miscreants who create and distribute it in the first half of 2021 alone – more than the $416 million tracked in all of 2020, according to the US government’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Total ransomware-related financial activity may have reached $5.2 billion.

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FinCEN analysed 635 SARs, of which 458 described transactions reported between 1 January 2021 and 30 June 2021 and the remainder reported older transactions later found to be suspicious. In full-year 2020, the agency saw 487 SARs filed.

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Oops, they did it again – rogue Soyuz spurt gave ISS an attitude problem

Crew successfully de-orbited on Sunday carrying vital payload: footage for a movie shot in space

The International Space Station has again had to compensate for unexpected thrusting by a Russian spacecraft.

Readers may remember that Russia's Nauka module unexpectedly fired its thrusters upon arrival at the ISS in July 2021.

The space station tilted 45 degrees and required restorative action to resume its intended attitude.

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NFTs not annoying enough? Now they come with wallet-emptying malware

Plus rifle-toting robot dogs, but makers insist they're really dumb

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People were receiving free NFTs from an unknown benefactor, but when they accepted the gift the attackers got access to their wallet information in OpenSea's storage systems. The code generated a pop-up, that if clicked, allowed wallets to be emptied.

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Bank manager tricked into handing $35m to scammers using fake 'deep voice' tech

Plus: Microsoft Translator machine learning software now supports over 100 languages

In brief Authorities in the United Arab Emirates have requested the US Department of Justice's help in probing a case involving a bank manager who was swindled into transferring $35m to criminals by someone using a fake AI-generated voice.

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