JVM Vulnerabilites and SAP Systems

In January, Oracle published a Critical Patch Update (CPU) with 19 vulnerabilities affecting JAVA SE (among other products): http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/topics/security/cpujan2015-1972971.html#AppendixJAVA

SAP has its own specific JAVA virtual machine implementation called SAPJVM, which according to SAP documentation:  “…is derived from Sun’s HotSpot VM and JDK implementation …  the SAP JVM is only targeting server-side applications. Certain features related to client environments are intentionally omitted or are not supported for general use.”.[1]

This information could be important to identify whether or not the vulnerabilities are affecting the SAP JVM because only 4 out of the 19 are affecting the server-side functionality of the Oracle JVM: CVE-2015-0383, CVE-2015-0410, CVE-2014-3566 and CVE-2014-6593. However, that information is not conclusive.

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Dealing with Authorization Groups: Part 1

Authorization groups are a difficult topic to tackle in SAP as they can be considered a double-edged sword. With proper implementation it’s possible to take security to the next level, however if not properly implemented, authorization groups can lead to usage issues and can create a false sense of security. These problems arise due to different reasons:

  • Lack of understanding on the usage of an authorization group.
  • Finding where to set the authorization groups for each function.
  • Link with the proper authorization object. And finally,
  • Assign the correct values to the right users.

In this post, we will go through some of the most critical and technical authorization groups:

  • For RFC Destinations.
  • For Tables.
  • For Programs.
  • For ICF services.

Authorization Groups For RFC Destinations

RFC destinations are very sensitive since they can be used to jump from one system to another. By using this type of authorization group, we can limit each user only to the destinations he requires.

The creation of authorization groups for RFC Destinations can be done using transaction SM59 by assigning a value in field “Authorization for Destination”.

 

 

There are two objectives for assigning an authorization to an RFC destination:

  • Limit the users who can maintain the RFC Destination: which is related to the authorization object S_RFC_ADM – field ICF_VALUE
  • Limit the users who can use the RFC destinations: which is related to the authorization object S_ICF – field ICF_VALUE

In this case, we need to check the systems in which users are responsible for maintaining the RFC destinations, and who those users are. Then, we must group the destinations in a way that is suitable for both, and assign the corresponding values to their roles.

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Analyzing SAP Security Notes February 2015 Edition

SAP is a complex and ever changing system, whether because of changes introduced to SAP implementation to better suit the business, or through the application of Security Notes (Patches) to ensure that newly disclosed vulnerabilities are mitigated.

In order to provide a predictable and scheduled flow of vulnerability mitigation information and security patches, SAP releases the major part of their latest Security Notes information on the second Tuesday of every month. Due to this regular disclosure of new security issues that could potentially weaken the security of SAP systems within an organization, it’s highly recommended to carry out periodic assessments on a monthly basis at the very least.

At Onapsis, we are very concerned about our client’s SAP system security and the state of SAP security in general. To assist our customers, we perform a detailed analysis of the monthly SAP Security Notes as soon as they are published. The goal of this is to provide SAP clients with detailed information about the newly released notes and vulnerabilities affecting their SAP systems, and to help guide their testing of these systems within their organization.

On this Patch Day (second Tuesday of each month) SAP published 16 Security Notes (taking into account 2 Support Packages and 14 Patch Day Notes). There were notes published by external security researchers from which, Onapsis Research Labs reported SAP Security Note 2109818 discovered by security researchers Nahuel D. Sánchez and Fernando Russ.

The plot graph illustrates the distribution of CVSS scores across the Security Notes released. The only notes taken into account were the ones for which SAP set a CVSS (12 out of the 16 SAP Security Notes). As it’s represented in the graph, the SAP Security Notes range values go from 3.5 to 7.5 with a median of 5.25.

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Prevent the next Anthem breach by protecting your data warehouses

Each year companies dedicate millions of dollars for IT and security budgets to prevent cyber security breaches. However, these budgets are only effective if part of the budget is allocated to preventing new and advanced threats, closing security gaps in your business infrastructure and monitoring the systems for intrusions and malicious activities.

We have all seen recent  headlines and publications about the Anthem breach and its unprecedented number of 80 million affected customers. According to Anthem’s own FAQ page… “Anthem is doing everything it can to ensure there is no further vulnerability to its database warehouses” [1], and despite the magnitude of the situation, there are no additional details about the products that were compromised during the breach. The Onapsis Research Labs and Incident Response Teams have seen this type of breach before and most often we see that the database warehouses are compromised. This is not hard to do on an SAP system and typically, when organizations do not have the right security measures or controls in place, we have had to assist organizations on a massive scale clean up project.

SAP provides many solutions that are widely adopted for data warehousing, the most famous being SAP BW or SAP Business Warehouse. If you are an SAP customer, you are most likely running some type of SAP BI, BO or BW.

These solutions hold a centralized database of business data, as they receive information from many different business solutions, such as the ERP, CRM, SCM, HCM and SRM, to name a few. Therefore the information stored on these databases represents a high value asset, not only for the company, but also for potential attackers such as state-sponsored, competitors, former employees, criminal organizations, and more. Onapsis continuosly holds presentations about vulnerabilities and mitigations to attacks affecting SAP solutions, and last year we presented on vulnerabilities and attacks affecting business warehousing solutions [2].

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Oracle CPU – January 2015 Focus on Business Applications

As a company, Onapsis is focused on the security of business-critical applications such as SAP and Oracle. While our focus has been on SAP applications, we have also been actively researching, identifying and reporting critical vulnerabilities facing Oracle business applications. In this sense, Oracle is different from SAP, specifically in the way and timing that security patches are released and available to end users.

In this post, I will go through an analysis of Oracle’s January 2015 Critical Patch Update (aka CPU). The goal is to provide Oracle customers with detailed information about the newly released vulnerabilities affecting their business critical applications, and to help them to better understand and prioritize the testing for vulnerabilities on these systems within their organization.

In January 2015, Oracle published 169 vulnerabilities affecting 48 different Oracle products. Oracle uses the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures standard (CVE) to uniquely identify the vulnerability and Common Vulnerability Scoring System V2 (CVSS) to measure the risk implied by the vulnerability in terms of different aspects such as exploitability, complexity and impact, to name a few.

An important aspect of this month’s CPU is the fact that more than 59% of these vulnerabilities are affecting business-critical applications. This means that companies have to be aware of these vulnerabilities and take immediate actions to mitigate the risks implied by them.
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SAP and GHOST vulnerability (CVE-2015-0235)

UPDATE (02-04-2015): It is important to note that all SAP HANA Appliances are shipped by default with Operating Systems containing vulnerable versions of the library, therefore the base OS of the appliances must be updated. One example of this is the SAP HANA One hosted in Amazon AWS, as this image is delivered with the vulnerable library.

Last week a new vulnerability was reported, affecting the GNU C library (glibc). This vulnerability affects a wide range of Linux distributions, among which are some supported by SAP products as stated in SAP Note 171356.

It’s important to understand that even though this vulnerability does not directly affect any SAP application, it affects a lower layer, the operating system, allowing any application to potentially use the vulnerable function.

The following list details the OS that were reported as vulnerable and are supported by SAP, therefore there could be SAP applications running on top of the following vulnerable operating systems
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Profile parameters… the never ending story

The world of profile parameters in SAP is vast and complicated as a user can change the entire behavior of the SAP by modifying some of these parameters.

But just when we thought that we knew everything about profile parameters, we recently discovered something very interesting.

SAP Security Note 1979454 is related to a vulnerability in transaction SHDB (a very sensitive transaction since it’s used to create recordings) which introduced a new profile parameter called “bdc/shdb/auth_check”.

The problem with SHDB is that it wasn’t checking any authorization object besides from the S_TCODE, and a user with access only to the transaction could see any recording made by any user. If the user recorded a user creation the password would be shown in plain text. To mitigate this risk an authority check was introduced inside the programs, which would check for the authorization object S_BDC_MONI. However to enable this check, the parameter bdc/shdb/auth_check needs to be set to TRUE.

While going through the correction instructions for this note, we noticed that there wasn’t an update for the SAP Kernel (whenever a new profile parameter is introduced, there should be an update to the Kernel), so we decided to test the correction instructions to see how this parameter worked.

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2014 – The Year of Milestones

As we enter the New Year, there is a lot to look back on that has gotten Onapsis to where it is today.

Mariano Nunez, CEO and co-Founder of OnapsisThe security industry has never been more complex, and as the need for reliable business-critical application security solutions increases, Fortune 500 companies are looking for a reliable solution they can trust to protect their processes and data running on SAP. In 2014, Onapsis established itself as the defacto solution to solve the most pressing SAP security and compliance challenges. After receiving funding in June from .406 Ventures and Endeavor, we have been able to double-down our  investment in R&D to enhance our product offerings and launch the Onapsis Security Platform. We were also able to expand our global sales and marketing efforts to drive rapid growth. Fast forward 6 months later and we are well positioned and ready to see what 2015 has in store for the Onapsis team and the market we serve!

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Analyzing SAP Security Notes January 2015 Edition

NEW NOTE (January 21, 2015): Note 2120370 has been released after the official SAP post of January 12nd. The note extends the security note 2001109, covering further affected releases (BI 4.1 SP04 & BI 3.1 Patch 6.5).
UPDATE (January 19, 2015): Note 1951171 has been rereleased translated into English, since it was originally published in German.
NEW NOTE (January 14, 2015): Note 1964201 has been released after the official SAP post of January 12nd. The note fixes a directory traversal in INTRASTAT module.

SAP is a complex and ever changing system, whether because of changes introduced to SAP implementation to better suit the business, or through the application of Security Notes (Patches) to ensure that newly disclosed vulnerabilities are mitigated.

In order to provide a predictable and scheduled flow of vulnerability mitigation information and security patches, SAP releases the major part of their latest Security Notes information on the second Tuesday of every month. Due to this regular disclosure of new security issues that could potentially weaken the security of SAP systems within an organization, it’s highly recommended to carry out periodic assessments on a monthly basis at the very least.

At Onapsis we are very concerned about our client’s SAP system security and the state of SAP security in general. To assist our customers, we perform a detailed analysis of the monthly SAP Security Notes as soon as they are published. The goal of this is to provide SAP clients with detailed information about the newly released notes and vulnerabilities affecting their SAP systems, and to help guide their testing of these systems within their organization.

Box-Plot image - January 2015Between the last SAP Security Tuesday and the notes published in January, there were 19 SAP Security notes (taking into account 7 Support Packages and 12 Patch Day Notes). There were notes published by external security researchers from which, Onapsis Research Labs reported SAP Security Note 2109565 by researchers Sergio Abraham, Nahuel D. Sánchez and Fernando Russ.

The plot graph illustrates the distribution of CVSS scores across the Security Notes released. The only notes taken into account were the ones for which SAP set a CVSS (6 out of the 19 SAP Security Notes). As it’s represented in the graph, the SAP Security Notes range values go from 4.9 to 8.5 with a median of 6.0.

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Four Reasons to Look Closer at Business-Critical Application Security

As cyber-threats become more advanced, organizations face a constant dilemma: how to best implement a comprehensive security strategy that covers all areas of the business including critical infrastructure and applications. We hear from many security professionals that their SAP applications and systems are “covered” because they have a firewall and SAP systems sit inside the perimeter. After all, anything inside the firewall is safe from attacks right?

Wrong.

Security professionals that are true thought leaders have long abandoned this notion. In fact, most thought leaders have been able to connect the dots on the reasons why they have to include SAP applications into their security strategy. This type of thought leadership can be summed up in a quote from one of our newly appointed Board of Advisors, Renee Guttmann, Office of the CISO from Accuvant:

“There is a profound transformation taking place in application security right now …..Enterprises across the globe are committing to invest in, and protect, mission-critical applications, and this commitment needs to go beyond technology alone.”

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