Cisco Jabber Bug Could Let Hackers Target Windows Systems Remotely

Networking equipment maker Cisco has launched a new version of its Jabber movie conferencing and messaging app for Windows that consists of patches for various vulnerabilities—which, if exploited, could allow an authenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code.

The flaws, which have been uncovered by Norwegian cybersecurity company Watchcom all through a pentest, affect all now supported versions of the Jabber shopper (12.1-12.9) and has since been preset by the enterprise.

Two of the four flaws can be exploited to attain remote code execution (RCE) on concentrate on programs by sending specially crafted chat messages in team discussions or particular people today.

The most significant of the great deal is a flaw (CVE-2020-3495, CVSS score 9.9) which is brought about by inappropriate validation of message contents, which could be leveraged by an attacker by sending maliciously-crafted Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) messages to the influenced computer software.


“A effective exploit could permit the attacker to bring about the application to execute arbitrary plans on the specific method with the privileges of the user account that is jogging the Cisco Jabber client program, maybe resulting in arbitrary code execution,” Cisco stated in an advisory posted yesterday.

The progress arrives times right after Cisco warned of an actively exploited zero-working day flaw in its IOS XR router application.

An XSS Flaw to an RCE Flaw

XMPP (originally termed Jabber) is an XML-dependent communications protocol made use of for facilitating quick messaging among any two or more community entities.

It’s also created to be extensible so as to accommodate supplemental performance, one of which is XEP-0071: XHTML-IM — a specification that lays down the rules for exchanging HTML articles working with the XMPP protocol.

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The flaw in Cisco Jabber arises from cross-web-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability when parsing XHTML-IM messages.

“The application does not effectively sanitize incoming HTML messages and alternatively passes them by means of a flawed XSS filter,” Watchcom researchers stated.

As a consequence, a reputable XMPP message can be intercepted and modified, thereby resulting in the software to operate an arbitrary executable that presently exists in the community file path of the application.

To accomplish this, it normally takes benefit of a separate susceptible functionality in Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF) — an open-resource framework that’s used to embed a Chromium net browser in just other apps — that could be abused by a poor actor to execute rogue “.exe” information on the victim’s equipment.

Attackers, on the other hand, are expected to have access to their victims’ XMPP domains to send out the malicious XMPP messages required to exploit the vulnerability successfully.

On top of that, a few other flaws in Jabber (CVE-2020-3430, CVE-2020-3498, CVE-2020-3537) could be exploited to inject destructive commands and result in data disclosure, which includes the probability of stealthily amassing users’ NTLM password hashes.

With online video conferencing applications getting common in the wake of the pandemic, it’s critical that Jabber consumers update to the newest version of the program to mitigate the danger.

“Provided their newfound prevalence in organizations of all dimensions, these applications are getting an progressively desirable focus on for attackers,” Watchcom explained. “A ton of delicate details is shared by way of movie phone calls or prompt messages and the applications are used by the greater part of workforce, including all those with privileged obtain to other IT programs.”

“The stability of these purposes is therefore paramount, and it is essential to be certain that both the programs on their own, and the infrastructure they are utilizing, are regularly audited for safety gaps.”

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