Jan 21 2022

Google Project Zero discloses details of two Zoom zero-day flaws

Category: Zero dayDISC @ 10:43 am

Google Project Zero researchers Natalie Silvanovich disclosed details of two zero-day vulnerabilities in Zoom clients and Multimedia Router (MMR) servers. An attacker could have exploited the now-fixed issues to crash the service, execute malicious code, and even leak the content of portions of the memory.

The researcher focused its search for bugs in the Zoom client software, including zero-day issues that allowed her to take over the victim’s system without requiring any user interaction.

The two vulnerabilities have been fixed on November 24, 2021, they are a buffer overflow information leakage issue tracked as CVE-2021-34423 and CVE-2021-34424 respectively.

The CVE-2021-34423 vulnerability, is a buffer overflow issue that received a CVSS score of 9.8. An attacker can trigger the vulnerability to execute arbitrary code or crash the service or application.

The experts focused the analysis on the RTP (Real-time Transport Protocol) traffic used for audio and video communications. Silvanovich discovered that manipulating the contents of a buffer that supports reading different data types by sending a malformed chat message, could trigger the flaw causing the client and the MMR server to crash.

“Note that the string buffer is allocated based on a length read from the msg_db_t buffer, but then a second length is read from the buffer and used as the length of the string that is read. This means that if an attacker could manipulate the contents of the msg_db_t buffer, they could specify the length of the buffer allocated, and overwrite it with any length of data (up to a limit of 0x1FFF bytes, not shown in the code snippet above).” reads the analysis published by Project Zero. “I tested this bug by hooking SSL_write with Frida, and sending the malformed packet, and it caused the Zoom client to crash on a variety of platforms.”

The CVE-2021-34424 is a process memory exposure flaw that received a CVSS score of 7.5. An attacker can trigger the flaw to potentially gain insight into arbitrary areas of the product’s memory.

The second flaw is caused by the lack of a NULL check that allows to leak data from the memory by joining a Zoom meeting via a web browser.

“This bug allows the attacker to provide a string of any size, which then gets copied out of bounds up until a null character is encountered in memory, and then returned. It is possible for CVE-2021-34424 to return a heap pointer, as the MMR maps the heap that gets corrupted at a low address that does not usually contain null bytes, however, I could not find a way to force a specific heap pointer to be allocated next to the string buffer that gets copied out of bounds. C++ objects used by the MMR tend to be virtual objects, so the first 64 bits of most object allocations are a vtable which contains null bytes, ending the copy.” continues the analysis.

The researcher pointed out that lack of ASLR in the Zoom MMR process exposed users to the risk of attacks, the good news it that Zoom has recently enabled it.

Project Zero experts also pointed out that the closed nature of Zoom also heavily impacted the analysis. Unlike most video conferencing systems, Zoom use a proprietary protocol that make it hard to analyze it.

“Closed-source software presents unique security challenges, and Zoom could do more to make their platform accessible to security researchers and others who wish to evaluate it,” Silvanovich concludes. “While the Zoom Security Team helped me access and configure server software, it is not clear that support is available to other researchers, and licensing the software was still expensive.”

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Tags: Google Project Zero