Hackers Exploiting Old Ruby on Rails Vulnerability To Compromise Web Servers & Create Botnet

Hackers Exploiting Old Ruby on Rails Vulnerability (CVE-2013-0156) To Compromise Web Servers & Create IRC Botnet
A critical vulnerability on Ruby on Rails spotted in January this year which was deemed “critical” at the same time yet again found in the wild. The vulnerability known as CVE-2013-0156 that affected versions 3.0.20 and 2.3.16 again rises it's hand. Though a security patch was released by the Rails developers. But as we all know that many server administrator used to be unaware of these events have not patched their systems. As a result hackers and cyber criminals are actively exploiting a critical vulnerability in the Ruby on Rails Web application development framework in order to compromise Web servers and create a dangerous botnet. This major security issue was first discovered by a security consultant Mr. Jeff Jarmoc of research firm Matasano Security. In his blog Jarmoc said "It’s pretty surprising that it’s taken this long to surface in the wild, but less surprising that people are still running vulnerable installations of Rails. It also appears to be affecting some web hosts." According to his blog post -the exploit that's currently being used by attackers adds a custom cron job -- a scheduled task on Linux machines that executes a sequence of commands. Those commands download a malicious C source file from a remote server, compile it locally and execute it. The resulting malware is a bot that connects to an IRC (Internet Relay Chat) server and joins a predefined channel where it waits for commands from the attackers. A pre-compiled version of the malware is also downloaded in case the compilation procedure fails on the compromised systems.
"Functionality is limited, but includes the ability to download and execute files as commanded, as well as changing servers," Jarmoc said. "There's no authentication performed, so an enterprising individual could hijack these bots fairly easily by joining the IRC server and issuing the appropriate commands." But the matter of relief is that Jarmoc concluded while saying "this is a pretty straightforward skiddy exploit of a vulnerability that has been publicly known, and warned about, for months."

But still administrators who have not yet patched their Rails version should immediately should update the Ruby on Rails installations on their servers to at least versions 3.2.11, 3.1.10, 3.0.19 or 2.3.15 which contain the patch for this vulnerability. However, the best course of action is probably to update to the latest available Rails versions, depending on the branch used, since other critical vulnerabilities have been addressed since then. 

Brief About RoR:- Ruby on Rails is a popular framework for developing Web applications based on the Ruby programming language and is used by major websites including Hulu, GroupOn, GitHub and Scribd.


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