XML External Entity (XXE) Injection

Affecting org.elasticsearch:elasticsearch artifact, versions [6.5.0, 6.5.2)

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Overview

org.elasticsearch:elasticsearch is a Distributed, RESTful Search Engine.

Affected versions of this package are vulnerable to XML External Entity (XXE) Injection via the Machine Learning's find_file_structure API. If a policy allowing external network access has been added to Elasticsearch's Java Security Manager then an attacker could send a specially crafted request capable of leaking content of local files on the Elasticsearch node. This could allow a user to access information that they should not have access to.

Details

XXE Injection is a type of attack against an application that parses XML input. XML is a markup language that defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format that is both human-readable and machine-readable. By default, many XML processors allow specification of an external entity, a URI that is dereferenced and evaluated during XML processing. When an XML document is being parsed, the parser can make a request and include the content at the specified URI inside of the XML document.

Attacks can include disclosing local files, which may contain sensitive data such as passwords or private user data, using file: schemes or relative paths in the system identifier.

For example, below is a sample XML document, containing an XML element- username.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
   <username>John</username>
</xml>

An external XML entity - xxe, is defined using a system identifier and present within a DOCTYPE header. These entities can access local or remote content. For example the below code contains an external XML entity that would fetch the content of /etc/passwd and display it to the user rendered by username.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
<!DOCTYPE foo [
   <!ENTITY xxe SYSTEM "file:///etc/passwd" >]>
   <username>&xxe;</username>
</xml>

Other XXE Injection attacks can access local resources that may not stop returning data, possibly impacting application availability and leading to Denial of Service.

Remediation

Upgrade org.elasticsearch:elasticsearch to version 6.5.2 or higher.

References

CVSS Score

5.9
medium severity
  • Attack Vector
    Network
  • Attack Complexity
    High
  • Privileges Required
    None
  • User Interaction
    None
  • Scope
    Unchanged
  • Confidentiality
    High
  • Integrity
    None
  • Availability
    None
CVSS:3.0/AV:N/AC:H/PR:N/UI:N/S:U/C:H/I:N/A:N
Credit
Unknown
CVE
CVE-2018-17247
CWE
CWE-611
Snyk ID
SNYK-JAVA-ORGELASTICSEARCH-460547
Disclosed
20 Dec, 2018
Published
02 Sep, 2019