Vulnerability Note VU#662676

Digital Alert Systems DASDEC and Monroe Electronics R189 One-Net firmware exposes private root SSH key

Original Release date: 26 Jun 2013 | Last revised: 13 Nov 2013

Overview

Digital Alert Systems DASDEC and Monroe Electronics One-Net E189 Emergency Alert System (EAS) devices exposed a shared private root SSH key in publicly available firmware images. An attacker with SSH access to a device could use the key to log in with root privileges.

Description

The Digital Alert Systems DASDEC-I and DASDEC-II and Monroe Electronics R189 One-Net/R189SE One-NetSE are Linux-based EAS encoder/decoder (ENDEC) devices that are used to broadcast EAS messages over digital and analog channels. IOActive has reported several security issues affecting these devices. The most severe of these issues is the public disclosure of the default private root SSH key. The less severe issues could also contribute to an attacker's ability to compromise a vulnerable device.

Compromised root SSH key (CVE-2013-0137)
Publicly available firmware images for these devices included a private root SSH key that was authorized to log in to the devices (CWE-798, CWE-321). The fingerprint for the compromised SSH key is 0c:89:49:f7:62:d2:98:f0:27:75:ad:e9:72:2c:68:c3. Although this key is not hard-coded, it may be impractical for less technical users to manually disable or change they key prior to firmware version 2.0-2.

Predictable session ID
IOActive reports that the administrative web server uses a predictable, monotonically increasing session ID. This finding is based on running the web server in a test environment. Testing on a variety of firmware versions on devices both at the factory and in the field, Monroe Electronics could not reproduce this finding.

Log information disclosure
Logs available via the web server provide a variety of information about the configuration, operation, and status of the device (CWE-532). Some of the log information is public and may be required by regulation.

Predictable password generation
The dasdec_mkuser script generates passwords in a deterministic way (CWE-341), however these passwords are not for administrative access, and the script is not used for general user account configuration.

Default password
Like many similar devices, the DASDEC and One-Net ENDECs use default administrative credentials. Some sites fail to change the default administrative password and allow unrestricted internet access.

Impact

An attacker with the private key and SSH access can log in to a device with root privileges.

Predictable session IDs could allow an attacker to take control of an existing administrative web session.

Predictable and unchanged default passwords can allow an attacker to log in to a device, possibly with root privileges. Devices exposed to the internet are at particularly high risk, for example, see Secure EAS Codecs Prevent Zombie Attacks and US-CERT Alert TA13-175A.

Logs may disclose configuration information that can benefit an attacker.

Solution

Apply an update

On April 24, 2013, Monroe Electronics and Digital Alert Systems released firmware version 2.0-2 that allows users to disable the compromised SSH key, provides a simplified option to install new unique keys, and enforces a new password policy. Monroe Electronics has taken considerable effort to provide update information to DASDEC and One-NetSE users.

DASDEC users can obtain updated firmware and release notes by contacting <support@digitalalertsystems.com>. R189 One-Net users can contact <eas@monroe-electronics.com>.

Disable compromised SSH key

The compromised root SSH key should be disabled immediately, especially if the SSH service is exposed to untrusted networks such as the internet. If SSH connectivity is required, generate, install, and test new SSH keys before disabling the compromised key. The fingerprint for the compromised SSH key is 0c:89:49:f7:62:d2:98:f0:27:75:ad:e9:72:2c:68:c3.

Manually inspect SSH keys

To identify a compromised key, examine the authorized_keys file at /root/.ssh/authorized_keys2.dasdec and use the ssh-keygen command to show SSH key fingerprints. The following example shows the fingerprint for the compromised key:

$ ssh-keygen -l -f authorized_keys2.dasdec
1024 0c:89:49:f7:62:d2:98:f0:27:75:ad:e9:72:2c:68:c3 wood@endec1 (DSA)

Note that ssh-keygen only shows the fingerprint for the first key/line in the file. If authorized_keys2.dasdec contains multiple keys (multiple lines, one key per line), it will be necessary to extract each key (line) to a separate file and run the ssh-keygen command on each key/file. These shell scripts can be used to list and test multiple SSH keys in an authorized_keys file:


To generate new SSH keys, use ssh-kegen.

Restrict access

If for some reason you are not able to remove and replace the compromised SSH key, restrict access to the SSH service to highly trusted hosts and networks only. As a general good security practice, restrict access to all services to trusted hosts and networks.

Change default passwords

Change any default passwords, and do not deploy production systems without changing default passwords. Search engines like Shodan can index systems exposed to the internet and default passwords are usually documented and well-known. It is often trivial for an attacker to identify and access systems on the internet using default passwords.

Vendor Information (Learn More)

VendorStatusDate NotifiedDate Updated
Digital Alert SystemsAffected18 Jan 201326 Jun 2013
Monroe ElectronicsAffected18 Jan 201324 Jun 2013
If you are a vendor and your product is affected, let us know.

CVSS Metrics (Learn More)

Group Score Vector
Base 10.0 AV:N/AC:L/Au:N/C:C/I:C/A:C
Temporal 8.7 E:ND/RL:OF/RC:C
Environmental 6.8 CDP:LM/TD:M/CR:ND/IR:M/AR:ND

References

Credit

Thanks to Mike Davis and Cesar Cerrudo of IOActive for reporting these issues. Thanks also to Monroe Electronics for their efforts to contact affected users.

This document was written by Art Manion.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: CVE-2013-0137
  • Date Public: 24 Jun 2013
  • Date First Published: 26 Jun 2013
  • Date Last Updated: 13 Nov 2013
  • Document Revision: 93

Feedback

If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.