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getPlus insufficient domain name validation vulnerability
getPlus insufficient domain name validation vulnerability
Yorick Koster, April 2009

See also
APSB10-08 [2] Security update available for Adobe Download Manager
CVE-2010-0189 [3]
02.23.10 [4] Multiple Vendor NOS Microsystems getPlus Downloader Input
Validation Vulnerability
Aviv Raff On .NET: [5] Skeletons in Adobe's security closet

Tested version
These vulnerabilities were tested on Adobe's version of getPlus
version on Windows XP SP3.

A new version of Adobe Download Manager (version was released
that resolves this issue.

getPlus [6] from  NOS Microsystems [7] is a download, upload, and
installation manager. It contains functions such as an advanced download
basket, checksum verification, automatic proxy and firewall
verification, stop/pause/restart controls, a customizable GUI, statistic
gathering tools, and incremental downloading.

getPlus comes with an ActiveX control for Internet Explorer. Adobe uses
getPlus to distribute Adobe Reader. Users that have installed Adobe
Reader from the Adobe website are likely to have this control installed
on their machine. The following example demonstrates how getPlus is
started from Internet Explorer:

<object id="GetActiveX"
type="application/x-oleobject" width="1" height="1">
<param name="Service-URL"
value="http://get.adobe.com/reader/webservices/dlm/" />
<param name="itemid" value="860;941" />
<param name="language" value="" />
<param name="os" value="" />

The Service-URL parameter specifies the URL from which additional
configuration parameters are obtained, including the URL from which the
executable can be obtained. The other parameters are appended to this
URL and are used to supply additional information about the product that
has to be downloaded. The language and os parameters are automatically
set by the ActiveX control if they are not provided. The parameter
itemid is used to specify which product is to be downloaded. Multiple
products (multiple downloads) can be supplied using semi colon
characters between identifiers.

getPlus creates a URL based on the previously supplied parameters and it
will use this URL to download additional configuration parameters. For

prodname=Smart Checker

The parameter object_url contains a link to the file that has to be
downloaded. The checksum parameter is an MD5 hash of the file content.
The checksum is used to verify the file's integrity. With the
params parameter, it is possible to supply extra command line parameters
to the executable.

The executable files shipped with getPlus are compressed using NOS'
NOSSO technology. When executed, the compressed data is loaded with in
a memory segment called .nos.

Insufficient domain name validation
Once the ActiveX control is installed, attackers might utilize this
control to install malicious software. To prevent this from happening,
getPlus verifies the URL before downloading and installing software from
this URL. In case of Adobe's version of getPlus, getPlus validates
if the domain name in the URL ends with .adobe.com. If this is not the
case getPlus shows a warning message and will refuse to download the
file from the supplied URL.

Figure 1: invalid domain name provided in URL

The code responsible for the validation of the domain name is located
(after unpacking) in the .nos segment. A fragment of this assembly code
is listed below:

.nos:033B9B71 isDomainValid   proc near
.nos:033B9B71 var_4           = dword ptr -4
.nos:033B9B71 arg_0           = dword ptr  4
.nos:033B9B71 arg_4           = dword ptr  8
.nos:033B9B71 arg_8           = byte ptr  0Ch
.nos:033B9B71                 push    ecx
.nos:033B9B72                 push    esi
.nos:033B9B73                 push    edi
.nos:033B9B74                 push    [esp+0Ch+arg_0]
.nos:033B9B78                 call    sub_33C12CC     ; strlen
.nos:033B9B7D                 inc     eax
.nos:033B9B7E                 push    eax
.nos:033B9B7F                 call    dword ptr loc_33B22FB+1 ; malloc
.nos:033B9B85                 mov     esi, eax
.nos:033B9B87                 pop     ecx
.nos:033B9B88                 test    esi, esi
.nos:033B9B8A                 pop     ecx
.nos:033B9B8B                 jz      short loc_33B9BFA
.nos:033B9B8D                 push    [esp+0Ch+arg_0]
.nos:033B9B91                 mov     [esp+10h+var_4], esi
.nos:033B9B95                 push    (offset loc_33B606B+1)
.nos:033B9B9A                 push    esi
.nos:033B9B9B                 call    dword ptr loc_33B2418+4 ;


The assembly code for this function roughly translates to the following
C code:

01: int isDomainValid(char *szUrl, char *szDomain, int bRemovePort)
02: {
03: size_t cbLen;
04: char *psBuf;
05: char *psTmp;
06: char *psTmp2;
08: cbLen = strlen(szUrl);
09: cbLen++; // wrap possible, not exploitable in real world
10: psBuf = malloc(cbLen);
11: if(psBuf == NULL)
12: {
13: return 0;
14: }
16: wsprintfA(psBuf, "%s", szUrl);
18: if(strlen(psBuf))
19: {
20: psTmp = psBuf;
21: while(*psTmp)
22: {
23: if(*psTmp == '\\')
24: {
25: *psTmp = '/';
26: }
27: psTmp++;
28: }
29: }
31: /* strip protocol from URL */
32: if((psTmp = _mbsstr(psBuf, "://")) == NULL)
33: {
34: if((psTmp = _mbsstr(psBuf, ":\\\\")) == NULL)
35: {
36: free(psBuf);
37: return 0;
38: }
39: }
40: psTmp += 3;
42: /* strip path from URL */
43: if((psTmp2 = _mbschr(psTmp, '/')) == NULL)
44: {
45: free(psBuf);
46: return 0;
47: }
48: psTmp2[0] = '\0';
50: /* remove port number from URL */
51: if(bRemovePort)
52: {
53: psTmp2 = _mbschr(psTmp, ':');
54: if(psTmp2)
55: {
56: psTmp2[0] = '\0';
57: }
58: }
60: /* validate domain name */
61: if(_mbschr(szDomain, '.'))
62: {
63: cbLen = strlen(szDomain);
64: psTmp2 = psTmp - cbLen;
65: cbLen = strlen(psTmp);
66: psTmp2 += cbLen;
67: if(_mbsicmp(psTmp2, szDomain) != 0) // lowercase comparison
68: {
69: free(psBuf);
70: return 0;
71: }
73: if(psTmp != (psTmp2 - 1))
74: {
75: if(psTmp2[-1] != '.')
76: {
77: free(psBuf);
78: return 0;
79: }
80: }
82: /* domain is accepted */
83: return 1;
84: }
85: else
86: {
87: /* unreachable in Adobe's version */
88: }
90: return 0;
91: }

The function takes the supplied URL (szUrl) and compares it with a
static domain name value (szDomain), in this case adobe.com. It start by
extracting the domain name from the URL (lines 8 up to 59). After this,
it checks whether the domain name ends with the supplied domain name
(adobe.com). If this is the case, the function checks whether the
character before this part of the URL is the dot character (line 75).
This is done to check that the supplied domain name is a sub domain of
the static domain name value.

The function does not take in account that it is possible that the URL
does not point to a sub domain. The function will fail if it receives a
URL such as http://adobe.com/invalid_url/. Specifically, this error
exists on line 73 through 75. The variable psTmp contains a pointer to
the full domain name. psTmp2 contains a pointer to the last part of the
domain name. Normally, psTmp2 - 1 points to a dot character, but in case
of http://adobe.com/invalid_url/ it points to the last slash character
of the protocol part of the URL.

The dot check is not performed if both psTmp and psTmp2 - 1 point to the
same string value. This is only possible for URLs that have the domain
name set to ?adobe.com, where ? can be almost any character. For
example, aadobe.com, badobe.com, et cetera. If the URL
http://aadobe.com/ is supplied, psTmp will point to aadobe.com, psTmp2
points to adobe.com and psTmp2 - 1 points to aadobe.com, thus psTmp ==
(psTmp2 - 1). At the time of writing, (at least) the domain xadobe.com
is still available:

$ whois xadobe.com

Whois Server Version 2.0

Domain names in the .com and .net domains can now be registered
with many different competing registrars. Go to http://www.internic.net
for detailed information.

No match for "XADOBE.COM".
>>> Last update of whois database: Fri, 10 Apr 2009 10:33:54 EDT <<<


An attacker can register a domain name such as xadobe.com and use this
domain to download and execute any arbitrary file using getPlus. For an
attack to be successful, a vulnerable user must be lured into viewing a
malicious website.

[1] http://www.akitasecurity.nl/advisory.php?id=AK20090401
[2] http://www.adobe.com/support/security/bulletins/apsb10-08.html
[3] http://cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2010-0189
[7] http://www.nosltd.com/


Akita Software Security (Kvk 37144957)
Key fingerprint = 5FC0 F50C 8B3A 4A61 7A1F  2BFF 5482 D26E D890 5A65
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