usd-2021-0021 | Microsoft Exchange Server OWA
Advisory ID: usd20210021
Affected Product: Microsoft Exchange Server
Affected Version: Latest (Exchange Server 2016, Version 15.1 (Build 2242.4))
Vulnerability Type: CWE-918: Server-Side Request Forgery (SSRF)
Security Risk: Medium
Vendor URL: https://microsoft.com
Vendor Status: Not fixed / Disputed
The following behavior was reported to Microsoft in May 2021. After finishing their investigations, Microsoft informed us that this issue does not meet their bar for servicing in a security update. However, they will be fixing it in a future version.
The application can be made to perform requests to other services. From the perspective of those other services it looks like the requests originated from the vulnerable application. By issuing such server-side requests, an attacker may be able to access services that are bound to the local interface of the vulnerable system and would therefore normally not be reachable over the network. In addition, an SSRF attack can provide access to the local network in which the server is located.
The Exchange Server’s OWA component allows to manage Add-Ins. In doing so, users may install Add-ins using multiple mechanisms, including installation by URL. The Exchange Server does not sufficiently validate the provided URL, resulting in SSRF to localhost.
Proof of Concept (PoC)
The following request aims to add a new Add-In by URL:
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/90.0.4430.85 Safari/537.36
Content-Type: application/json; charset=UTF-8
The X-OWA-UrlPostData header could be decoded to the following:
By testing multiple ports at localhost as Url parameter, clear timing differences can be observed:
It is recommended to evaluate the need to make server-side requests. If server-side requests are absolutely necessary, the corresponding function should be restricted by a whitelisting approach.
- 2021-05-03: This vulnerability was identified by Lauritz Holtmann.
- 2021-05-07: Advisory submitted to vendor via e-mail.
- 2021-05-25: Vendor states that they will be fixing this issue in a future version.
- 2021-06-30: Security advisory released by usd AG.
This security vulnerability was found by Lauritz Holtmann of usd AG.