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

    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
    More Insights
  • Comments
    Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
    Why Cyber-Risk Is a C-Suite Issue
    Marc Wilczek, Digital Strategist & CIO Advisor,  11/12/2019
    DevSecOps: The Answer to the Cloud Security Skills Gap
    Lamont Orange, Chief Information Security Officer at Netskope,  11/15/2019
    Attackers' Costs Increasing as Businesses Focus on Security
    Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  11/15/2019
    Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
    White Papers
    Video
    Cartoon Contest
    Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
    Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
    Current Issue
    Navigating the Deluge of Security Data
    In this Tech Digest, Dark Reading shares the experiences of some top security practitioners as they navigate volumes of security data. We examine some examples of how enterprises can cull this data to find the clues they need.
    Flash Poll
    Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
    Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
    Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
    Twitter Feed
    Dark Reading - Bug Report
    Bug Report
    Enterprise Vulnerabilities
    From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
    CVE-2014-5118
    PUBLISHED: 2019-11-18
    A Security Bypass Vulnerability exists in TBOOT before 1.8.2 in the boot loader module when measuring commandline parameters.
    CVE-2019-12422
    PUBLISHED: 2019-11-18
    Apache Shiro before 1.4.2, when using the default "remember me" configuration, cookies could be susceptible to a padding attack.
    CVE-2012-4441
    PUBLISHED: 2019-11-18
    Cross-site Scripting (XSS) in Jenkins main before 1.482 and LTS before 1.466.2 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML in the CI game plugin.
    CVE-2019-10764
    PUBLISHED: 2019-11-18
    In elliptic-php versions priot to 1.0.6, Timing attacks might be possible which can result in practical recovery of the long-term private key generated by the library under certain conditions. Leakage of a bit-length of the scalar during scalar multiplication is possible on an elliptic curve which m...
    CVE-2019-19117
    PUBLISHED: 2019-11-18
    /usr/lib/lua/luci/controller/admin/autoupgrade.lua on PHICOMM K2(PSG1218) V22.5.9.163 devices allows remote authenticated users to execute any command via shell metacharacters in the cgi-bin/luci autoUpTime parameter.