Wildcard and SAN SSL with CFHTTP in ColdFusion

Here at CF Webtools are getting a lot of companies coming to us with various CFHTTP issues. Lately this has been happening even more as SSL has been in the news more and certain SSL protocols and encryption levels have gone away or are on the way out. Most recently Wildcard and Subject Alternative Name certificates have been a concern for those running older ColdFusion servers with older versions of Java.

What is a Wildcard SSL certificates versus a Subject Alternative Name (SAN) certificates?

A wildcard SSL certificate allows for unlimited subdomains to be protected with a single certificate. For example if you owned "example.com" a wildcard would allow you to secure www.example.com, mail.example.com, or admin.example.com. Such a certificate would be issued to *.example.com and it could secure any subdomain of example.com for the device on which it was installed.

A SAN cert allows for multiple domain names to be protected with a single certificate. For example the SSL certificate issued to multiple fully qualified domains such as www.domain.com, www.domain2.com, www.domain3.com. This allows for the SAN SSL to be used for multiple sites on the same server all bound to the same IP Address. This does relate back to Server Name Indication (SNI) for web serves that I talked about a while back. In addition, this article by Thawte is a good primer. Let's take them each in turn.


ColdFusion 8 & 9 CFHTTP still works with Authorize.net

Authorize.net as of May 26th, 2015 upgraded their SSL to SHA-2 (256bit) encryption. See this post. At CF Webtools some of our clients have received this or similar notice.

Important: Security Certificate Upgrades on May 26th

Authorize.Net is upgrading our infrastructure to enhance system performance and security. On May 26, 2015, we are upgrading to new security certificates, which are signed using Security Hash Algorithm 2 (SHA-2) and 2048-bit signatures. Most modern operating systems and web servers support certificates that use SHA-2, however, there is a concern that older software--especially software based on outdated versions of Java--may not.

If any updates are necessary, please refer your web developer to this blog post in our Developer Community, which has all of the certificate information they will need for this update. Our sandbox environment has already been updated so that your developer can validate that your solution will continue to work using SHA-2 signed certificates, prior to May 26th.

After the update is complete on May 26th, any website or payment solution that cannot validate SHA-2 signed certificates will fail to connect to Authorize.Net's servers.

Some have been saying that your ColdFusion 8 CFHTTP using Java 1.6.0_nn will no longer work with Authorize.net. We've found this to not be the case. We have a crack team of ColdFusion Guru's here at CF Webtools and we've been testing for the potential fall out of these and other SSL upgrades for a few months. Personally, I have a testbed system here with ColdFusion versions 8, 9, 10 and 11 and that is setup for testing CFHTTP and SSL issues and I can easily test the same CFHTTP code on each ColdFusion version with each version of Java from 1.6 to 1.8. Another member of our team has been working with support at Authorize.net to ensure the upgrade to their SSL will work with existing ColdFusion 8 on Java 1.6 installations.


Did you code ColdFusion in 2014

The Hybrid Group is doing a survey via Twitter called #Code2014 asking which languages you've used in 2014. They have a nice graphic there. So Tweet it out if you've done #ColdFusion #CFML to #Code2014!

Preventing SSLv3 Fallback in ColdFusion

We've all been taking steps lately to protect our computers and servers from the POODLE flaw in SSLv3. At CF Webtools we've been updating our servers in various hosting facilities to prevent the use of SSLv3. Perhaps you never think about it, but as a ColdFusion developer you make frequent use SSL via various ColdFusion tags or cfscript. For example, CFHTTP lets you access a remote server (such as a web service) with a URL via ColdFusion server and it most often uses SSL in the process.

POODLE and ColdFusion

In case you missed why this is a trending topic (and why security folks like myself and Mark Kruger, aka. ColdFusion Muse are so riled up about it), here is a quick refresher as to what POODLE is according to US-CERT From this article they describe what is affected

"All systems and applications utilizing the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) 3.0 with cipher-block chaining (CBC) mode ciphers may be vulnerable. However, the POODLE (Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption) attack demonstrates this vulnerability using web browsers and web servers, which is one of the most likely exploitation scenarios. "
"This affects most current browsers and websites, but also includes any software that either references a vulnerable SSL/TLS library (e.g. OpenSSL) or implements the SSL/TLS protocol suite itself."


ColdFusion 9 Reaches End Of Life, Long Live ColdFusion!


It has been a long known fact that for the ColdFusion 9 series, End of Core Support was coming. Here is the Adobe Support Matrix. According to this article at Adobe's Support Lifecycle Policy this is what Core Support means.

Core Enterprise Maintenance and Support Programs
The existing Platinum Maintenance and Support and legacy Standard Support, Premium Maintenance and Support programs will now provide five years of product support from the general availability date of a product, starting with the release of a ".0" product version (a "root release"). Support for all derivatives -- localized versions, minor upgrades, additional operating systems, etc. -- of a root release terminates with support for the root release. This includes dot and double-dot releases and connector products.
The essence of this is that Adobe will no longer provide updates for the ColdFusion 9 series. Any new bugs or security issues will remain unresolved.

Adobe will still offer "Extended Maintenance and Support" via their Platinum Maintenance and Support services.

Extended Maintenance and Support
This new program option gives your organization an additional two years of Platinum Maintenance and Support services after the five years provided. Extended Maintenance and Support provides your organization the valuable extra time you may need to plan your migration to Adobe's latest technology.

So this is yet another case for upgrading.

Please consider upgrading to a newer version of ColdFusion!


We ran into this when a company contacted us at CF Webtools with the problem of ColdFusion was suddenly no longer able to connect to their email providers mail servers. The complaint was that ColdFusion was sending emails to their clients just fine the day before but today it can't. These issues are usually best resolved by asking "What changed?". As far as the client knew, nothing had changed.

After doing some investigations on the server we deeded to do some very simple testing. Does it connect to any mail server? Yes, it connected to our mail server without TLS just fine. But it would not with TLS. That's the big clue! I also noted they were on JVM 1.7.0_15 which I know is about two years old. During this time there have been mandated changes to SSL encryption levels to stronger encryption. If the CA Root Certificates on your system are old they may/will not work with new SSL Certs that use the stronger encryption. We upgraded the JVM version 1.7.0_67 and the problems were resolved. ColdFusion was once again send email through their email providers mail server over a secure connection.

So what happened?


ColdFusion Exploits in the News Again

ColdFusion is taking a bashing in the news this week. I think this is rather typical of the news because they can blame an actual company. Whereas the massive numbers of PHP exploits go unreported in the regular news. There's no company to blame for PHP failures. Just my humble opinion on the motives of the news media.

The truth:
The "New Exploits" are not new, but just newly reported servers that were hit by the same exploit from a year ago. In some cases it was not discovered until recently.

The "ColdFusion BotNet" that is being talked about in the news was taken down last year. The FBI has the person and servers that were collecting data. I have not been able to get any FBI agent to say that exactly, but I have read news reports alluding to the fact. That and the fact that the FBI has been notifying people whose servers have been found listed on the "Botnet control panel". Was there more than one Botnet? Could be?

Most blog posts on this subject are full of hype and lack details. The only blog post that has the details is mine that Mark Kruger, aka. ColdFusion Muse published on his blog. The hack referenced above is two fold. One involving ColdFusion and the other involving IIS.

One of the servers being discussed is currently a client of ours at CF Webtools. They came to us with a compromised server seeking help. We took care of them.

The reminders to make sure your ColdFusion servers are patched just keep coming in! Either patch them yourself, have your hosting provider patch them or if they are not familiar or knowledgeable with ColdFusion contact us at CF Webtools to patch your servers.

Fellow ColdFusion Guru David C. Epler posted a detailed article on the origins of this exploit in ColdFusion and when it was introduced.

Who Patches Your ColdFusion Servers?

BUSINESS OWNERS: Who is responsible for patching your ColdFusion Servers?

This isn't a trick question. Do you know who is responsible for patching your CF servers?

Do you host your own servers? If so, then you have a Systems Administrator that keeps them patched. Right?

Are you using a Hosting Provider? Are they keeping your servers up to date? Are they keeping ColdFusion patched? Or, is that still the responsibility of your IT team? If you are using a hosting provider, make sure to check your service level agreement (SLA) to see whose job it is to keep your servers patched. In many cases (such as having VPS(s) or Co-located servers) the hosting provider may not do any maintenance. To say that it's better to find this out before you sign an SLA is an understatement. Seriously.

If you're running a company and you don't know the answers to these questions, you owe it to yourself (and your investors) to find out - NOW.

Here's why.
ColdFusion servers are under attack. These are not new attacks. They are ongoing attacks against unpatched ColdFusion servers and it's been going on for well over a year. There are patches for ColdFusion 9, 10 and 11, but versions 8 and previous can be vulnerable, and in fact, are vulnerable. If you're running ColdFusion 8 or older then there is a chance that these patches are not installed according to the Adobe Lockdown Guides (CF9 CF10 CF11).

At CF Webtools we've been receiving calls from companies that have had their servers breached; and, while we like the business - $$$ - we'd rather be called before your servers are breached and not after. Patching and securing a server is far easier than trying to repair one that has already been breached. In worst cases, we've had to either replace or reinstall the entire server from scratch.

So back to my opening question... Who is responsible for patching your servers? I'm not trying to scare you or create a panic, but, I am trying to make you AWARE. Servers that get attacked is nothing new – unfortunately, it happens all the time.

But these attacks are something we know about. We know how they're being done, and even more importantly, we know how to prevent them from getting in.

If no one on your IT team is responsible for patching the servers and/or your hosting company isn't patching the servers then, who will? Who will make sure they are secure? We will.

* UPDATE: This article was updated to include information for ColdFusion 11

ColdFusion Vulnerability Used to Install IIS Malware

First let me point out that the vulnerability that was found has a patch that has been available since January of 2013. So patch your servers!

While working on servers for our clients at CF Webtools, I found a nasty little Trojan that was slipped onto a client server that was stealing credit card information. I first read back about this type of attack in December 2013 from PCWorld - Attackers exploited ColdFusion vulnerability to install Microsoft IIS malware. The quick rundown is that an unpatched ColdFusion server allowed an attacker to slip a hidden IIS module onto the server and install it in IIS. This IIS Module then steals the credit card data as it passes through IIS. I have the full details posted over on Mark Kruger's, aka. ColdFusion Muse blog.

Yet one more reminder to make sure your ColdFusion servers are patched! Either patch them yourself, have your hosting provider patch them or if they are not familiar or knowledgeable with ColdFusion contact us at CF Webtools to patch your servers.

Mura CMS Vulnerability

Last night Mark Kruger, aka. ColdFusion Muse alerted me to something he found about a Mura CMS take over vulnerability. This is the link that I was sent http://www.securatary.com/vulnerabilities. There's a link to a PDF with exact steps to take over and control any Mura CMS site and server. (Note: At the time I was working on this post there wasn't a fix and the above site wasn't updated with a link pointing to the fix.)

A Quick Summary:
Essentially the attacker knows how Mura CMS works and knows the various URL variables. By appending "?display=editprofile" to the URL they can force Mura to show the user registration form. The attacker needs a proxy that can catch the POST of this form so they can edit the form that is submitted. This can be done with many proxy plugins in FireFox or Google Chrome. Again this attack requires knowing the Mura CMS form values that are passed to create an Admin account.

They alter the form fields like this:

ADD - "s2" value 1
ADD - "type" value 2
ADD - "isPrimary" value 1
CHANGE - "isPublic" value 0

Now they have a Mura CMS System Administrator account. Now all they have to do is login by appending this to the URL "?display=login". From here its up to the attacker as to how much mayhem they want to cause. The mayhem can include uploading a "web shell" which then can allow and and all arbitrary file uploads/downloads.

A Quick and Dirty Fix:
So after figuring out we had Mura CMS sites and the above method would work I took the fastest most direct route to prevent the attack from gaining access to the front door. Using IIS 7+ RequestFiltering I added a DENY Filter for the query string "EditProfile". This prevents anyone from gaining access to the form. I did check the source of the form and it does appear to post to with a "doaction" of "createprofile". It might be a good idea to restrict "createprofile" too in order to prevent a remote form posting or to prevent the attacker using another form via proxy to create a new user profile. As I see it if the form fields can be altered via a proxy and the form action is defined in the form fields then any form post can be hijacked and altered to create a new profile with admin privileges.

If your Mura CMS site regularly allows new users to sign up then this quick fix will break that functionality. If this isn't needed then you should be okay. Otherwise there isn't a fix if a site regularly needs to use the EditProfile feature. Mura would need a fix under the hood that would restrict creating admin accounts to admin users that are logged in.

For IIS versions 5.1 and 6.0 you can use the Microsoft UrlScan Extension for IIS to apply the same RequestFilter on the query string.

With Apache the fastest way may be with "mod_rewite" to detect the query strings and redirect to the home page without any query strings.

Mura CMS just released a security fix as I was writing this post.

Even after applying the Mura CMS patch you may want to still restrict access to the "editProfile" page via requestFiltering. If there is no need to create new users then there's no need to have that option available. It would be nice if that was a feature you could turn off in Mura.

And I do agree with blueRiver that it would have been really nice if the security researcher had NOTIFIED blueRiver about the flaw BEFORE releasing it to the world. And blueRiver only "wasted" 2 hours getting this fixed from the time they were notified. That's a phenomenal response time! Congrats on that!

More Entries