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Bugzilla Vulnerability Exposes Undisclosed Bugs

The development team behind the Bugzilla bug-tracking software has released an update that addresses several security issues, including a critical flaw that could lead to privilege escalation.

The vulnerability, which has been assigned CVE-2014-1572, was reported to Bugzilla on September 30 by researchers at Check Point Software Technologies. The issue appears to be caused by a security flaw that's specific to the Perl programming language.

An attacker can exploit the vulnerability to create an account on the Bugzilla platform for an email address they don't own. In some cases, this could expose sensitive information on undisclosed flaws.

"The successful exploitation of the vulnerability allows the manipulation of any DB field at the user creation procedure, including the 'login_name' field. This breaks the email validation process, and allows an attacker to create accounts which match the groups regex policies, effectively becoming a privileged user," explained Netanel Rubin, the Check Point researcher who uncovered the vulnerability.

 Rubin created a series of test accounts, such as [email protected] and [email protected], to demonstrate his findings.

The vulnerability can be dangerous on Bugzilla installations where users are added to a certain group based on their email address domain.

Bugzilla lead developer Gervase Markham clarified in a blog post that not all unfixed vulnerabilities reported through Bugzilla were exposed by the vulnerability. For example, in the case of Mozilla, employees are added to a particular group based on their email addresses, but this only gives them access to certain bugs, such as the ones affecting human resources. However, the Mozilla security group, which has access to unfixed vulnerabilities, is not affected by this issue because its members are added individually.

Roughly 150 organizations and projects run public Bugzilla installations, including Mozilla, Gnome, KDE, the Apache Project, LibreOffice, Open Office, OpenSSH, the Linux Kernel and various Linux distributions.

The vulnerability affects all Bugzilla versions after 2.23.3, which was released in 2006. However, Mozilla says there is no evidence that the vulnerability has been exploited by malicious actors.

On Monday, Bugzilla released a software update that addresses the unauthorized account creation issue, along with three other security vulnerabilities. OpenSSH, Red Hat, Wikimedia and Apache also announced patching their installations.

This isn't the only security incident affecting Bugzilla in the past months. In August, Mozilla revealed that the email addresses and encrypted passwords of 97,000 users who had created test installations on were inadvertently dumped on a public Web server.


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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.