Qualys Blog

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5 posts

A Comprehensive Approach to Detect and Block the Struts Critical Vulnerability CVE-2017-5638

With hackers taking advantage of the Apache Struts vulnerability and aggressively attacking enterprises worldwide, Qualys can protect your organization from this critical bug, which is hard to detect and difficult to patch.

Recently disclosed, the Struts vulnerability is being actively attacked in the wild, as hackers jump at the chance to hit high-profile targets by exploiting this critical bug. Struts, an Apache open source framework for creating “enterprise-ready” Java web applications, is abundantly present in large Internet companies, government agencies and financial institutions.

For an informative walkthrough of the vulnerability and the Qualys detections, please view the Detect and Block Apache Struts Bug webcast recording.

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Qualys WAF 2.0 Protects Against Critical Apache Struts Jakarta Vulnerability ( CVE-2017-5638 )

On March 8, 2017, Qualys published a detailed blog to describe a critical vulnerability in Apache Struts2 Jakarta multipart parser that exposes vulnerable applications to Remote Command Execution attacks. Exploits of this vulnerability can allow attackers to steal critical data or take control of your application servers.

Qualys Web Application Firewall (WAF) 2.0 allows you to create custom security rules to detect and block attacks that try to exploit this vulnerability.

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How Policy Compliance Plays a Mitigation Role to Protect Your System

Vulnerabilities can be serious threats. Once found, system administrators try everything to restore security, such as patching and mitigating. Patching is always the first choice since it’s normally the definitive way to resolve the vulnerability. However, system administrators will sometimes need to mitigate, especially in two cases:

Case 1. A patch has not been released by the vendor.
Case 2. Patching the vulnerability isn’t a high priority in the customer’s environment but still needs to be addressed.

Many vulnerabilities can be mitigated by changing a specific configuration setting in the OS or application. In this blog post, I use HTTPoxy as an example of how Qualys Policy Compliance can play an important role in this type of mitigation by identifying and reporting on all your systems that don’t have the desired configuration.

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Protect Your Applications from Hacker Research

The prevalence of accidents, like that of vulnerabilities, tells us there is no perfect thing. And even if any given vulnerability is unexpected, we know from experience that the existence of vulnerabilities is inevitable. Hackers know this too, of course, and a determined hacker will use whatever tools are available to him to find vulnerabilities to exploit. One of the most obvious tools for a hacker is research, and simply inspecting the data your application publishes about itself can yield helpful information to a hacker. But how much data your application makes available to hacker research is within your control. It is feasible to mitigate the risk of hacker research by implementing policy compliance best practices. As a Policy Compliance signature developer, I will take Apache HTTP Server as an example to illustrate how applications can leak data that is helpful to hackers, and how you can prevent it.

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BASH Shellshock vulnerability – Update5

Update5: We have added a new profile in Qualys VM that uses the advanced crawling capabilities of Qualys WAS to detect Shellshock in CGI programs. WIth this profile you get better coverage than with the current QID 13038. There is a good explanation of how to setup the profile at our blog post: Custom Option Profile To Detect Bash Shellshock

Check it out. I am looking forward to your feedback.

Update4: Our web application scanner (WAS) has been updated with a Shellshock detection. Look for QID 150134 in your WAS scans. Differently from our VM detections, WAS has an advanced crawler with JavaScript capabilities which allows you to cover the entire website and probe for CGI scripts susceptible to Shellshock on a much wider range.

Update3: The last couple of days have been filled with new information on Shellshock. Today for example we had news on a first botnet that is using Shellshock, illustrating the speed  We are working on adding checks into other relevant areas, such as our Web Application Scanner. Stand by for more news on that. In the meantime we have collected a number of community posts on how to use QualysGuard to detect and report on Shellshock. Here is a quick run-down for your reference:

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