Exploit the possiblities

SoftMaker FreeOffice 2016 DLL Hijacking

SoftMaker FreeOffice 2016 DLL Hijacking
Posted Dec 30, 2016
Authored by Stefan Kanthak

The executable installers for SoftMaker FreeOffice 2016 suffer from a dll hijacking vulnerability.

tags | advisory
systems | windows
MD5 | 23477524d519e420cec95f91987d0ace

SoftMaker FreeOffice 2016 DLL Hijacking

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Hi @ll,

the installers of SoftMaker's FreeOffice 2016, "freeoffice2016.exe",
available from <http://www.softmaker.net/down/freeoffice2016.exe>,
and its predecessor FreeOffice 2010, "freeofficewindows.exe",
available from <http://www.softmaker.net/down/freeofficewindows.exe>,
are (surprise.-) vulnerable!

their "application directory" instead of Windows' "system directory"
%SystemRoot%\System32\, resulting in "arbitrary code execution".

For this well-known vulnerability see
<https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff919712.aspx> and
<https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms682586.aspx> plus
<http://seclists.org/fulldisclosure/2012/Aug/134> and

The "application directory" is typically the user's "Downloads"
folder, where an attacker can place these DLLs for example per
"drive-by download".

Thanks to the embedded application manifest which specifies
"requireAdministrator" the executable installer can only be run
with administrative privileges, resulting in "arbitrary code
execution" WITH "elevation of privilege".

2. The installer creates an UNPROTECTED directory "%TEMP%\<GUID>\",
writable by the unprivileged user, to extracts the files uinst.exe,
SETUP_1.CAB and SETUP_2.CAB, then extracts an .MSI from the .CABs
and calls "MSIEXEC.EXE /i ...MSI" to finally install FreeOffice.

Thanks to the unprotected directory an attacker can modify the
extracted files and is able to gain SYSTEM privilege.

For this well-known vulnerability see
<https://cwe.mitre.org/data/definitions/377.html> and

The installers are built using dotNetinstaller from dblock.org.


* Don't use executable installers! NEVER!

See <http://seclists.org/fulldisclosure/2015/Nov/101> and
<http://seclists.org/fulldisclosure/2015/Dec/86> plus
<http://home.arcor.de/skanthak/!execute.html> alias
<https://skanthak.homepage.t-online.de/!execute.html> for more

* Practice STRICT privilege separation: NEVER use the so-called
"protected" administrator account(s) created during Windows

* Add an ACE "(D;OIIO;WP;;;WD)" to the ACL of every "%USERPROFILE%";
use <https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa374928.aspx> to
decode it to "deny execution of files in this directory for
everyone, inheritable to all files in all subdirectories".

stay tuned
Stefan Kanthak


2015-11-18 sent vulnerability report for version 2010 to vendor

received an auto-generated reply: we are busy

2015-12-27 resent vulnerability report to vendor

2016-01-07 vendor replies: fixed in latest release of
FreeOffice 2010 from 2015-12-15

2016-01-07 OUCH!
The vulnerability is NOT fixed!

2016-01-19 vendor replies: loading of CABINET.DLL and MSI.DLL
should be fixed, but we can't fix WINSPOOL.DRV for now

2016-04-19 sent vulnerability report for new version 2016 to

no reply, not even an acknowledgement of receipt

2016-12-12 sent vulnerability report to vendor and author of

no reply, not even an acknowledgement of receipt

2016-12-19 resent vulnerability report to vendor and author of

no reply, not even an acknowledgement of receipt

2016-12-29 report published


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