August 10, 2010, 10:00 AM — by Brent Huston, Microsolved, Inc. - In continuing our research and experimentation with PHP and the threat of Remote File Inclusion (RFI), our team has been seeking out and testing various tools that have been made available to help identify web sites that are vulnerable to RFI during our penetration tests. Because we're constantly finding more tools to add to the list, we've started the evaluation this week with the release of darkjumper v5.7. This python tool prides itself on being cross platform, and at first glance, seems rather easy to use. After downloading the tarball and extracting the files, simply calling the script from the command line brings it to life.
Running again with the –help or -h switches will print the options to the menu. This tool has several helpful options that could help expedite the discovery of various attack vectors against the web site. The injection switch incorporates a full barrage of SQLi and blind SQLi attempts against every web site identified on the target server. We did not use this option for this evaluation but intend to thoroughly test it in the future.
Using the inclusion switch will test for both local file inclusion (LFI) and RFI, again on every website identified on the target. This is our main focus for the evaluation since we've seen an incredible number of RFI attacks in the recent HITME data from around the globe. Selection of the full switch will attack the target server with the previously mentioned checks, in addition to scanning cgi directories, user enumeration, port scanning, header snatching, and several other possibly useful options. While a full review of this tool will be written eventually, we're focusing on the RFI capabilities this time, so we're using this test only against our test target. The test appears quite comprehensive. Another seemingly useful function of this tool is its ability to discover virtual hosts the live on the target server. After a short wait, darkjumper works its magic and spits out several files with various information for us to review. After pouring through these files, our team was disappointed to realize that there were URLs that pointed to this server which seem to have been missed by the tools scans. Even more disappointing is the fact that of the 12 target sites identified by the tool, none were the target that we had suspected of being vulnerable to RFI.
File inclusion is a real threat in the wild today. We are seeing newly vulnerable and compromised hosts on a regular basis from the HITME data, and seeing that Apache ships with a default configuration that is vulnerable to these attacks and the fact that PHP is inherently insecure, makes the battle even more intense. It is absolutely critical in this environment that we are hardening our servers before bringing them online. Those of us developing our web applications are validating every bit of information that is submitted to us by our users! Allowing our servers to execute code from an unknown source is one of the most popular attack vectors today from SQL injection, to XSS and XSRF, to RFI. The Internet continues to be a digital equivalent to the wild, wild west, where outlaws abound. There is no guarantee that the users who interface with our sites are who they say they are or that they have the best of intentions. It is up to us to control how our applications and servers are handling this data.
Review of darkjumper v5.7 [State of Security]
Brent Huston is CEO and Security Evangelist for Microsolved, Inc., a leading provider of security assessments and penetration testing, as well as, the developer of the HoneyPoint line of security software products.