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Backdoor Vulnerability Discovered on HP MSA2000 Storage Systems

HP MSA2000 G3 “Backdoor” Vulnerability Discovered 

A hardcoded password-related security vulnerability has been discovered which apparently affects every HP MSA2000 G3 modular storage array shipped to date.

HP MSA2000 G3 “Backdoor” Vulnerability Discovered 

A hardcoded password-related security vulnerability has been discovered which apparently affects every HP MSA2000 G3 modular storage array shipped to date.

MSA2000 Backdoor Vulnerability

Apparently a hidden user exists, that is built into the system and doesn’t show up in the user manager, creating a perfect “backdoor” opportunity for an attacker to gain access to potentially sensitive information stored on the device, as well as systems it is connected to. The hard coded user and password in the HP MSA2000 is set to an embarrassingly simple:

username: admin

password: !admin

Because the password can’t be changed or deleted, it creates another serious enterprise vulnerability. Similar vulnerabilities were recently discovered in Cisco Unified Video Conferencing products, where a linux shadow password file contained three hard-coded usernames and passwords.

“The practice of embedding hardcoded passwords, as demonstrated in this most recent HP storage device example, is not only commonplace, but extremely risky. So too is the practice of attempting to ship systems with “hidden” admin users, but in this age of openness, nothing is hidden, and vendors should know that. Because the passwords are largely generic and not changed, they are relatively easy to exploit – granting complete access to a system or network through the embedded credentials on the target device,” said Shlomi Dinoor, Vice President emerging technologies at Cyber-Ark Software. “To put this threat in context, supporting infrastructures for today’s virtualized environments have become a network of access points enabling interaction between systems. Many of these access points are privileged in that they are highly powerful and suffer from relatively poor controls – leading to privileged access point vulnerabilities. Cyber criminals understand the potential of these privileged access points and are using the vulnerabilities to transform the cyber crime frontier. It’s also an indication of how the privileged identity management challenge is pervasive in an organization. In reality, organizations need to look at everything that has a microprocessor, memory or an application/process running – these all have similar embedded credentials that represent significant organizational vulnerabilities. This further proves that “faith based security” – relying on vendors to provide systems with built-in robust security- is not a good practice.”

SecurityWeek contacted HP and has received a response, and is waiting on official comment. We will update when a response is received.

Update 11:23AM EST 12/15/2010 –  SecurityWeek has received a statement from HP on the issue: “HP identified a potential security issue with the HP StorageWorks P2000 G3 only. This does not impact HP’s entire MSA line of storage solutions. HP has identified an immediate fix for this issue and is rapidly informing customers of the solution.

HP has now published a support document on the issue with instructions on how to fix it. Key point mentioned is that the password should be changed after anytime the administrator restores factory settings, as the restore defaults command will restore the services with the default password. 

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