Security Experts:

Serious Flaw Found in "PL/SQL Developer" Update System

Allround Automations has released a new version of its PL/SQL Developer product to address a security flaw that allows man-in-the-middle (MitM) attackers to serve malicious files and execute arbitrary commands.

PL/SQL Developer is an Integrated Development Environment designed for developing stored program units for Oracle databases. The tool checks for updates every time it’s started and if an update is available, a file is downloaded from a specified URL and installed.

Application security consultant Adam Caudill discovered that version 11.0.4 (and likely earlier versions) uses HTTP when fetching updates and it does not validate the downloaded file’s authenticity.

An attacker who is in a privileged position can replace the legitimate URL with one that points to a malicious file, or they can ensure that a malicious file is served at the legitimate URL. Furthermore, the attacker can replace the download link with an arbitrary command that will be automatically executed in the targeted user’s context during the PL/SQL Developer update process.

“This means that a user believing that they are downloading an update, can actually be handing full control over to an attacker – this is a case where not bothering to use HTTPS to secure traffic, can provide multiple methods for an attacker to gain control of the user’s PC,” Caudill explained in a blog post on Sunday. “This is a great example of the importance of using HTTPS for all traffic – it’s not just about privacy, it’s also critical for integrity.”

Caudill has published a simple proof-of-concept that shows how an MitM attacker can exploit the vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2016-2346, to execute an arbitrary command.

According to US-CERT, Allround Automations was informed about the vulnerability in mid-March. The vendor addressed the issue in version 11.0.6 by introducing the use of HTTPS and restricting downloads to the company’s official domain. Users have been advised to update their installations.

Related: Several Vulnerabilities Patched in NTP Daemon

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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.