Update about Weblogic CVE-2019-2725 (Exploits Used in the Wild, Patch Status)

Published: 2019-04-28
Last Updated: 2019-04-29 03:14:17 UTC
by Johannes Ullrich (Version: 1)
1 comment(s)

Late last week, news emerged about a potential new vulnerability in WebLogic [1]. The vulnerability was first reported to the Chinese National Vulnerability Database (CNVD). A proof of concept exploit labeled "CVE-2018-2628" was made available at the same time. The name of the exploit caused some confusion.  CVE-2018-2628 refers to a WebLogic vulnerability that was fixed last year in Oracle's April critical patch update.

On Friday, Oracle released a statement clarifying the issue [2]. The vulnerability is new and was not patched by any critical patch update, including the last one released this month. Oracle assigned CVE-2019-2725 to identify this new vulnerability. On Friday, Oracle released a patch for WebLogic 10.3.6. A patch for WebLogic 12.1.3 should be released on Monday (today) April 29th.

We already see active exploits of the vulnerability to install crypto coin miners in our honeypot. The proof of concept exploit released last week allows the trivial install of a shell on a WebLogic server. However, remember that our honeypots are not "special" in the sense that they are only seeing random exploits. We have to assume that at the same time, targeted attacks are underway to wreak more havoc.

[pcap file of some test runs of one of the exploits against a vulnerable server]

If you find a vulnerable server in your environment, assume that it has been compromised. Do not just remove the coin miner. There may have been additional attacks.

CVE-2019-2725 is yet another deserializing vulnerability affecting WebLogic. WebLogic's design makes it particularly prone to these types of vulnerabilities. Do not expose WebLogic to the Internet if you can help it. I doubt that this was the last such vulnerability.

A quick look at the patch shows that it includes the "validate" function that was added and later enhanced in response to similar flaws. But a quick look didn't show any obvious additions. NSFocus had a great discussion of this function following prior vulnerabilities [3]. 

On our test server, we only saw logs indicating an attack if the script the attacker attempted to execute failed. For example, in the sample below, the attacker tried to execute "wget", but "wget" was not installed on the system:

####<Apr 28, 2019 10:47:02 PM UTC> <Error> <HTTP> <0aa00a61ebfc> <AdminServer> <[ACTIVE] ExecuteThread: '0' for queue: 'weblogic.kernel.Default (self-tuning)'> <<WLS Kernel>> <> <> <1556491622309> <BEA-101019> <[ServletContext@2141998910[app:bea_wls_internal module:bea_wls_internal.war path:/bea_wls_internal spec-version:null]] Servlet failed with IOException
java.io.IOException: Cannot run program "wget": java.io.IOException: error=2, No such file or directory

I will try to update this post on Monday as we learn more.

(thanks to our handler Renato Marino to significantly contribute to this post)

[1] https://isc.sans.edu/forums/diary/Unpatched+Vulnerability+Alert+WebLogic+Zero+Day/24880/
[2] https://www.oracle.com/technetwork/security-advisory/alert-cve-2019-2725-5466295.html
[3] https://blog.nsfocusglobal.com/threats/vulnerability-analysis/technical-analysis-and-solution-of-weblogic-server-wls-component-vulnerability/

Johannes B. Ullrich, Ph.D. , Dean of Research, SANS Technology Institute

1 comment(s)


I believe what is in pcap is actually CVE-2018-2628 or maybe CVE-2018-3191 ... it is T3 protocol not HTTP.

https://github.com/brianwrf/CVE-2018-2628/exploit.py (gone already) but mirrored by https://www.exploit-db.com/exploits/44553

Michal Ambroz

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