Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

Bug Hits Popular IP-PBX Apps

Asterisk PBX and IAXclient, two of the most popular open-source VOIP applications, are vulnerable to attack

Users of two popular open-source VOIP applications could come under attack if they don't patch their software quickly, a security researcher said today.

The vulnerability could enable attackers to create buffer overflows in VOIP networks, effectively creating a denial-of-service attack on networks that use the software, according to Core Security Technologies, which discovered the threat.

Asterisk PBX, a widely used open-source application that provides private branch exchange features for VOIP networks, and IAX client, an open-source library that runs VOIP protocols for several IP software phones, are the two systems at risk. The two applications are widely used in small businesses where conventional IP-PBX software is too expensive. But Asterisk also serves as the underlying software for enterprise-level and service-provider products, such as Aspect Software's contact center application and SIPphone's Gizmo Project.

The two applications contain a design flaw in which they fail to check for malformed UDP packets, according to Ivan Arce, CTO at Core Security. "An attacker can easily create a buffer overflow by sending an abundance of packets that are too short," he says.

The open-source Asterisk group and Digium, which distributes Asterisk, have both made patches available for the vulnerability. However, like most open-source organizations, they have no automated means of distributing the patches, so they are encouraging users to come to them quickly for the updates.

Unpatched, the vulnerability could be serious for VOIP environments, because it is relatively easy to exploit. "If you're supporting VOIP, you have to let these [short] packets pass or risk losing service," Arce says. The Asterisk group agrees, stating that the vulnerability could lead to "random Asterisk server crashes via a relatively trivial exploit."

The vulnerability report deals another blow to VOIP security, which was rocked last week when two men were charged with stealing and reselling VOIP service from 15 service providers. (See Two Charged in VOIP Hacking Scandal.)

"I expect we'll see a lot more vulnerabilities like this in VOIP before we're through," Arce said. "VOIP is no different from any other IP traffic, and it is still relatively new. There will be a lot of bugs to work out."

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

Organizations mentioned in this story

  • Aspect Software
  • Asterisk organization
  • Core Security Technologies
  • Digium Inc.
  • SIPphone Inc.

    Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

     

    Recommended Reading:

    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
    More Insights
  • Comments
    Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
    COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
    Dark Reading Staff 7/6/2020
    Introducing 'Secure Access Service Edge'
    Rik Turner, Principal Analyst, Infrastructure Solutions, Omdia,  7/3/2020
    Russian Cyber Gang 'Cosmic Lynx' Focuses on Email Fraud
    Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  7/7/2020
    Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
    White Papers
    Video
    Cartoon
    Current Issue
    Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
    This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
    Flash Poll
    The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
    The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
    This report describes some of the latest attacks and threats emanating from the Internet, as well as advice and tips on how your organization can mitigate those threats before they affect your business. Download it today!
    Twitter Feed
    Dark Reading - Bug Report
    Bug Report
    Enterprise Vulnerabilities
    From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
    CVE-2020-5604
    PUBLISHED: 2020-07-09
    Android App 'Mercari' (Japan version) prior to version 3.52.0 allows arbitrary method execution of a Java object by a remoto attacker via a Man-In-The-Middle attack by using Java Reflection API of JavaScript code on WebView.
    CVE-2020-5974
    PUBLISHED: 2020-07-08
    NVIDIA JetPack SDK, version 4.2 and 4.3, contains a vulnerability in its installation scripts in which permissions are incorrectly set on certain directories, which can lead to escalation of privileges.
    CVE-2020-15072
    PUBLISHED: 2020-07-08
    An issue was discovered in phpList through 3.5.4. An error-based SQL Injection vulnerability exists via the Import Administrators section.
    CVE-2020-15073
    PUBLISHED: 2020-07-08
    An issue was discovered in phpList through 3.5.4. An XSS vulnerability occurs within the Import Administrators section via upload of an edited text document. This also affects the Subscriber Lists section.
    CVE-2020-2034
    PUBLISHED: 2020-07-08
    An OS Command Injection vulnerability in the PAN-OS GlobalProtect portal allows an unauthenticated network based attacker to execute arbitrary OS commands with root privileges. An attacker requires some knowledge of the firewall to exploit this issue. This issue can not be exploited if GlobalProtect...