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National Instruments Linux Driver Remote Code Injection

National Instruments Linux Driver Remote Code Injection
Posted Jul 20, 2018
Authored by Enrico Weigelt

The National Instruments Linux driver package suffers from a remote code injection (software update) vulnerability.

tags | advisory, remote
systems | linux
SHA-256 | 583aba1c966b02f9bbfab9bc9ac711477ba3f166b683c8f6625e88147c6c15d7

National Instruments Linux Driver Remote Code Injection

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Hello folks,

i've recently discovered a critical vulnerability in the National
Instruments Linux driver package, which opens up an remote code
injection (software update) vulnerability.


CRITICAL / 0day - easily exploitable


Complete takeover of the OS itself
Takeover of (potentially critical) industrial machinery

Affected product(s):

NI Linux Device Drivers / July 2018

Affected platforms(s):

GNU/Linux - RHEL, SLES (other distros aren't supported anyways)


The product adds additional package repositories to the OS'es package
manager, but disables signature checks and uses plain (unencrypted)
HTTP for software downloads.

Further details can be easily seen in the deployed package repository
configuration file (ni-software-2018.repo).

Attack vectors:

The victim can be tricked to download/install manipulated updates, eg.
via MITM, dns spoofing, etc - so the attacker can abuse software
updates for direct malware deployment and also take over the whole
operating system (eg. kernel) itself.


#1: remove the package 'ni-software-2018'
#2: make sure, the repo description files are removed:



#3: refresh the package manager index

This removes the NI repository from the OS'es package manager - the NI
software now can't be automatically installed/updated via package
manager anymore.

In case the operator still trusts the vendor enough to deploy it's
software, this now has to be done manually (note: the packages can
only be downloaded via insecure plain HTTP !). It's strongly adviced
not to install any software from untrusted sources / via untrusted

If an system update (even a minor patch) via package manager was done
in the meantime, it's *highly* adviced to carefully check all
installed packages against the original repositories - the system
easily could be compromised by now !


The vendor (NI) needs to setup proper package signing infrastructure,
add it's public key to the repo configuration and enable gpgcheck.

Final notes:

Since NI is one of few vendors with special certifications, eg. ATEX,
railway, etc, it's likely this hardware can be found in very critical
infrastructure (eg. power plants, factories, etc) and those
potentially could already be compromised by now via driver update.

About the author:

GNU/Linux veteran with strong background in software engineering,
embedded systems, industrial automation, IT infrastructure.

email: info@metux.net
phone: +49-151-27565287

Enrico Weigelt, metux IT consult
Free software and Linux embedded engineering
info@metux.net -- +49-151-27565287

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