WebSense content filter bypass when deployed in conjunction with Cisco filtering devices

Release Date 2006-05-08
Application WebSense in Conjunction with Cisco PIX
Versions Websense 5.5.2
Cisco PIX OS / ASA < 7.0.4.12
Cisco PIX OS < 6.3.5(112)
FWSM 2.3.x
FWSM 3.x
(other versions untested)
Severity Low
Author George D. Gal <ggal_at_vsecurity.com>
Vendor Status Vendor Notified, Fix Available
CVE Candidate CVE-2006-0515
Reference Original Advisory

Product Description

From the WebSense website[1]:

"Websense Enterprise, the industry-leading web filtering solution, improves employee productivity, reduces legal liability, and optimizes the use of IT resources. Websense Enterprise integrates seamlessly with leading network infrastructure products to offer unequaled flexibility and control."

Vulnerability Overview

On August 9th, 2005 VSR has identified the ability to bypass the Websense URL filtering capabilities when used in conjunction with the Cisco PIX for web content filtering. Shortly thereafter another security researcher [sledge.hammer(a+t)sinhack.net] had published[2] a proof-of-concept for evading the URL filtering performed by Websense claiming that Websense has failed to address the issue. However, the vulnerability has been verified by Cisco as a problem which relies within its handling of filtered requests.

Vulnerability Details

The vulnerability exists primarily due to the manner in which Cisco PIX and other Cisco filtering devices handle split packets in conjunction with Websense Enterprise integration.

For each HTTP request the Cisco PIX or other Cisco device forwards individual packets to Websense to determine whether or not the request should be permitted. However, when splitting the HTTP request into two or more packets on the HTTP method it is possible to circumvent the filtering mechanism.

Additionally, requests using this fragmented approach do not appear to be logged within Websense indicating that the request is never sent to Websense for policy inspection.

The simplest form required to exploit this vulnerability is to fragment the first character of the HTTP request, followed by a single TCP packet for subsequent data (e.g. setting the PSH flag on the individual packets).

Virtual Security Research has created a utility[3] to demonstrate the ability to bypass Websense filtering for the affected versions of Cisco filtering devices enumerated in this advisory header. You may download and run this utility at your own risk from:

http://www.vsecurity.com/download/tools/WebsenseBypassProxy.java

The following Snort output demonstrates the fragmented request capable of bypassing Websense:


-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
11/04-10:06:36.260991 0:B:DB:DE:19:87 -> 0:0:C:7:AC:5 type:0x800 len:0x43
10.254.5.113:58034 -> 82.165.25.125:80 TCP TTL:64 TOS:0x0 ID:1534 IpLen:20 DgmLen:53 DF
***AP*** Seq: 0xF5B80F51  Ack: 0x21D6E47  Win: 0x8040  TcpLen: 32
TCP Options (3) => NOP NOP TS: 148674 160066961
47                                               G

=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+

11/04-10:06:36.359288 0:30:7B:93:19:4C -> 0:B:DB:DE:19:87 type:0x800 len:0x42
82.165.25.125:80 -> 10.254.5.113:58034 TCP TTL:49 TOS:0x0 ID:36972 IpLen:20 DgmLen:52 DF
***A**** Seq: 0x21D6E47  Ack: 0xF5B80F52  Win: 0x16A0  TcpLen: 32
TCP Options (3) => NOP NOP TS: 160066973 148674

=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+

11/04-10:06:36.359387 0:B:DB:DE:19:87 -> 0:0:C:7:AC:5 type:0x800 len:0x185
10.254.5.113:58034 -> 82.165.25.125:80 TCP TTL:64 TOS:0x0 ID:1535 IpLen:20 DgmLen:375 DF
***AP*** Seq: 0xF5B80F52  Ack: 0x21D6E47  Win: 0x8040  TcpLen: 32
TCP Options (3) => NOP NOP TS: 148683 160066973
45 54 20 2F 66 61 76 69 63 6F 6E 2E 69 63 6F 20  ET /favicon.ico
48 54 54 50 2F 31 2E 31 0D 0A 48 6F 73 74 3A 20  HTTP/1.1..Host:
77 77 77 2E 70 68 72 61 63 6B 2E 6F 72 67 0D 0A  www.phrack.org..
55 73 65 72 2D 41 67 65 6E 74 3A 20 4D 6F 7A 69  User-Agent: Mozi
6C 6C 61 2F 35 2E 30 20 28 58 31 31 3B 20 55 3B  lla/5.0 (X11; U;
20 46 72 65 65 42 53 44 20 69 33 38 36 3B 20 65   FreeBSD i386; e
6E 2D 55 53 3B 20 72 76 3A 31 2E 37 2E 39 29 20  n-US; rv:1.7.9)
47 65 63 6B 6F 2F 32 30 30 35 30 37 31 38 20 46  Gecko/20050718 F
69 72 65 66 6F 78 2F 31 2E 30 2E 35 0D 0A 41 63  irefox/1.0.5..Ac
63 65 70 74 3A 20 69 6D 61 67 65 2F 70 6E 67 2C  cept: image/png,
2A 2F 2A 3B 71 3D 30 2E 35 0D 0A 41 63 63 65 70  */*;q=0.5..Accep
74 2D 4C 61 6E 67 75 61 67 65 3A 20 65 6E 2D 75  t-Language: en-u
73 2C 65 6E 3B 71 3D 30 2E 35 0D 0A 41 63 63 65  s,en;q=0.5..Acce
70 74 2D 45 6E 63 6F 64 69 6E 67 3A 20 67 7A 69  pt-Encoding: gzi
70 2C 64 65 66 6C 61 74 65 0D 0A 41 63 63 65 70  p,deflate..Accep
74 2D 43 68 61 72 73 65 74 3A 20 49 53 4F 2D 38  t-Charset: ISO-8
38 35 39 2D 31 2C 75 74 66 2D 38 3B 71 3D 30 2E  859-1,utf-8;q=0.
37 2C 2A 3B 71 3D 30 2E 37 0D 0A 4B 65 65 70 2D  7,*;q=0.7..Keep-
41 6C 69 76 65 3A 20 63 6C 6F 73 65 0D 0A 43 6F  Alive: close..Co
6E 6E 65 63 74 69 6F 6E 3A 20 63 6C 6F 73 65 0D  nnection: close.
0A 0D 0A                                         ...

=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+

11/04-10:06:36.458004 0:30:7B:93:19:4C -> 0:B:DB:DE:19:87 type:0x800 len:0x42
82.165.25.125:80 -> 10.254.5.113:58034 TCP TTL:49 TOS:0x0 ID:55157 IpLen:20 DgmLen:52 DF
***A**** Seq: 0x21D6E47  Ack: 0xF5B81095  Win: 0x1920  TcpLen: 32
TCP Options (3) => NOP NOP TS: 160066982 148683

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- 

Vendor Response

WebSense and Cisco were first notified on 2005-11-04. While no responses or acknowledgments were received from Websense the following time line outlines the responses from Cisco regarding this issue:

2005-11-04 Acknowledgment of security notification
2005-12-02 Subsequent follow-up and response from Cisco to determine cause of observed behavior
2006-01-04 Subsequent follow-up and response from Cisco acknowledging issue is being addressed by development teams
2006-01-30 Estimated release of PIX code for 7.0.4 release is 2/20/2006
2006-02-17 Notified by Cisco that fix will not make estimated delivery date due to regression issues, new release date of 3/20/2006 provided
2006-03-06 Status update from vendor on new date, targets on track for 7.0 PIX OS release
2006-03-13 Confirmation from Cisco on 3/20 code release
2006-03-17 Communications from Cisco notifying VSR of other potential products affected (FWSM).
2006-03-24 Communications received from Cisco acknowledging communication with FWSM team
2006-04-04 Communication received from Cisco acknowledging FWSM vulnerability
2006-04-07 Communications from Cisco confirming fixes for FWSM 2.3.x and 3.x PSIRT awaiting release date for code
2006-04-14 Communications from Cisco providing coordination details with FWSM team
2006-04-18 Communications from Cisco providing build details incorporating fixes for FWSM products
2006-04-26 Communications from Cisco providing details and update on FWSM testing and release availability; coordination for advisory release
2006-05-04 Communications from Cisco for advisory release coordination

Recommendation

Cisco PIX/ASA and FWSM customers should apply the latest upgrades from vendor:

PIX OS 7.0.x upgrade is:

  7.0.4.12

available at:

http://www.cisco.com/cgi-bin/tablebuild.pl/pix-interim
http://www.cisco.com/cgi-bin/tablebuild.pl/asa-interim

PIX OS 6.3 upgrade is:

  6.3.5(112)

available by customer request via the Cisco TAC


FWSM 2.3.x upgrade is:

  2.3(4)

available at:

http://www.cisco.com/cgi-bin/tablebuild.pl/cat6000-fwsm

FWSM 3.x upgrade is:

  3.1(1.7)

available by customer request via the Cisco TAC

Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) Information

The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the name CVE-2006-0515 to these issues. This is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list, which standardizes names for security problems.


References

1. WebSense Enterprise
http://www.websense.com/global/en/ProductsServices/WebsenseEnterprise/
2. Sinhack.net URL Filtering Evasion
http://sinhack.net/URLFilteringEvasion/
3. Proof-of-Concept WebSense Bypass utility
http://www.vsecurity.com/download/tools/WebsenseBypassProxy.java

Vulnerability Disclosure Policy

http://www.vsecurity.com/company/disclosure


Copyright 2006 Virtual Security Research, LLC. All rights reserved.

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