Improper minification of non-boolean comparisons

Affecting uglify-js package, versions >=2.2.0 <2.4.24

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Overview

uglify-js is a JavaScript parser, minifier, compressor and beautifier toolkit.

Tom MacWright discovered that UglifyJS versions 2.4.23 and earlier are affected by a vulnerability which allows a specially crafted Javascript file to have altered functionality after minification. This bug was demonstrated by Yan to allow potentially malicious code to be hidden within secure code, activated by minification.

Details

In Boolean algebra, DeMorgan's laws describe the relationships between conjunctions (&&), disjunctions (||) and negations (!). In Javascript form, they state that:

 !(a && b) === (!a) || (!b)
 !(a || b) === (!a) && (!b)

The law does not hold true when one of the values is not a boolean however.

Vulnerable versions of UglifyJS do not account for this restriction, and erroneously apply the laws to a statement if it can be reduced in length by it.

Consider this authentication function:

function isTokenValid(user) {
    var timeLeft =
        !!config && // config object exists
        !!user.token && // user object has a token
        !user.token.invalidated && // token is not explicitly invalidated
        !config.uninitialized && // config is initialized
        !config.ignoreTimestamps && // don't ignore timestamps
        getTimeLeft(user.token.expiry); // > 0 if expiration is in the future

    // The token must not be expired
    return timeLeft > 0;
}

function getTimeLeft(expiry) {
  return expiry - getSystemTime();
}

When minified with a vulnerable version of UglifyJS, it will produce the following insecure output, where a token will never expire:

( Formatted for readability )

function isTokenValid(user) {
    var timeLeft = !(                       // negation
        !config                             // config object does not exist
        || !user.token                      // user object does not have a token
        || user.token.invalidated           // token is explicitly invalidated
        || config.uninitialized             // config isn't initialized
        || config.ignoreTimestamps          // ignore timestamps
        || !getTimeLeft(user.token.expiry)  // > 0 if expiration is in the future
    );
    return timeLeft > 0
}

function getTimeLeft(expiry) {
    return expiry - getSystemTime()
}

Remediation

Upgrade UglifyJS to version 2.4.24 or higher.

References

Snyk patch available for versions:

CVSS Score

8.3
high severity
  • Attack Vector
    Network
  • Attack Complexity
    Low
  • Privileges Required
    None
  • User Interaction
    None
  • Scope
    Changed
  • Confidentiality
    Low
  • Integrity
    Low
  • Availability
    Low
CVSS:3.0/AV:N/AC:L/PR:N/UI:N/S:C/C:L/I:L/A:L
Credit
Tom MacWright
CVE
CVE-2015-8857
CWE
CWE-95
Snyk ID
npm:uglify-js:20150824
Disclosed
24 Aug, 2015
Published
24 Aug, 2015