15-Year-Old Unpatched Python Vulnerability Potentially Affects Over 350,000 Projects

15-Year-Old Unpatched Python Vulnerability Potentially Affects Over 350,000 Projects


Python Vulnerability

Up to 350,000 open source projects are believed to be potentially vulnerable to exploitation as a result of a security flaw in a Python module that has remained unpatched for 15 years.

Open source repositories span various industry sectors, including software development, artificial intelligence/machine learning, web development, media, security, and IT management.

The flaw, tracked as CVE-2007-4559 (CVSS score: 6.8), is rooted in the tarfile module, exploiting which can lead to code execution from an arbitrary file write.

Cyber ​​security

“The vulnerability is a path traversal attack on the extract and extract functions of the tarfile module that allow an attacker to overwrite arbitrary files by appending the sequence ‘…” to filenames in a TAR archive,” said l Trellix security researcher Kasimir Schulz wrote in a write-up.

Originally published in August 2007, the bug concerns how a specially crafted tar archive can be exploited to overwrite arbitrary files on a target machine only after opening the file.

Simply put, a threat actor can exploit the vulnerability by uploading a malicious tar file in a way that allows escaping the directory where a file is extracted and achieving code execution, allowing an adversary to take control of a goal device

“Never extract archives from untrusted sources without prior inspection,” says the Python documentation for the tar file. “Files may be created out of the way, for example members that have absolute filenames starting with “https://thehackernews.com/” or filenames with colons “…”.

Cyber ​​security

The vulnerability is also reminiscent of a recently disclosed vulnerability in RARlab’s UnRAR utility (CVE-2022-30333) that could lead to remote code execution.

Trellix has also released a custom utility called Creosote to search for projects vulnerable to CVE-2007-4559, using it to discover the vulnerability in the Spyder Python IDE as well as Polemarch.

“If left unchecked, this vulnerability has been inadvertently added to hundreds of thousands of open and closed source projects worldwide, creating a substantial attack surface in the software supply chain,” noted Douglas McKee .





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