Qualys Research Nominated for Pwnie Awards 2020

Animesh Jain

Table of Contents

The Qualys Security Advisory team has been nominated for five Pwnie Awards this year in three different categories. In addition to nominations for Best Privilege Escalation Bug and Best Server-Side Bug (3 nominations), we are proud to be nominated for Epic Achievement.

The Pwnie Awards are an annual recognition celebrating the achievements of security researchers and the security community. Nominations are taken from the security community at large, and a panel of respected security researchers will review the Active Nominations and announce winners in each category at Black Hat Europe on December 9, 2020.

The Qualys Security Advisory Team is a nominee in these categories: 

Epic Achievement

In 2005, three vulnerabilities were discovered in qmail but were never fixed because they were believed to be unexploitable in a default installation. We recently re-discovered these vulnerabilities and were able to exploit one of them remotely in a default installation.

Best Privilege Escalation Bug

OpenBSD through 6.6 allows local users to escalate to root because a check for LD_LIBRARY_PATH in setuid programs can be defeated by setting a very small RLIMIT_DATA resource limit. When executing chpass or passwd (which are setuid root), _dl_setup_env in ld.so tries to strip LD_LIBRARY_PATH from the environment, but fails when it cannot allocate memory. Thus, the attacker is able to execute their own library code as root.

Best Server-Side Bug

smtp_mailaddr in smtp_session.c in OpenSMTPD 6.6, as used in OpenBSD 6.6 and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands as root via a crafted SMTP session, as demonstrated by shell metacharacters in a MAIL FROM field. This affects the “uncommented” default configuration. The issue exists because of an incorrect return value upon failure of input validation.

OpenSMTPD before 6.6.4 allows remote code execution because of an out-of-bounds read in mta_io in mta_session.c for multi-line replies. Although this vulnerability affects the client side of OpenSMTPD, it is possible to attack a server because the server code launches the client code during bounce handling.

Integer overflow in the stralloc_readyplus function in qmail, when running on 64 bit platforms with a large amount of virtual memory, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code. Remote Code Execution in qmail, CVE-2005-1513

About Pwnie Awards

The Pwnie Awards recognize both excellence and incompetence in the field of information security.  

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