QRadar Community Edition Authorization Bypass

Type packetstorm
Reporter Yorick Koster
Modified 2020-04-21T00:00:00


Authorization bypass in QRadar Forensics web application  
Yorick Koster, September 2019  
It was found that any authenticated user can access & use the QRadar  
Forensics web application, regardless whether they are granted  
permission to use the Forensics application. This bypass only requires  
that the user manually sets a cookie named QRIF with the same value as  
the user's session cookie.  
See also  
CVE-2020-4274 [2]  
6189705 [3] - IBM QRadar SIEM is vulenrable to Authorization bypass  
Tested versions  
This issue was successfully verified on QRadar Community Edition [4]  
version (7.3.1 Build 20180723171558).  
IBM has released the following versions of QRader in which this issue  
has been resolved:  
- QRadar / QRM / QVM / QNI 7.4.0 GA [5] (SFS)  
- QRadar / QRM / QVM / QRIF / QNI 7.3.3 Patch 3 [6] (SFS)  
- QRadar / QRM / QVM / QRIF / QNI 7.3.2 Patch 7 [7] (SFS)  
- QRadar Incident Forensics 7.4.0 [8] (ISO)  
- QRadar Incident Forensics 7.4.0 [9] (SFS)  
QRadar [10] is IBM's enterprise SIEM [11] solution. A free version of  
QRadar is available that is known as QRadar Community Edition [4]. This  
version is limited to 50 events per second and 5,000 network flows a  
minute, supports apps, but is based on a smaller footprint for  
non-enterprise use.  
The QRadar Forensics web application is normally only accessible for  
users that are granted permission to use this application. A centralized  
control that checks if the user has permission is implemented in an  
include file that is included in most pages. This check can be bypassed  
by sending a QRIF cookie to the application. If this cookie is present  
and has the same value as the SEC cookie, the permission check is not  
performed. Consequently, any authenticated user can access & use the  
Forensics web application.  
Most PHP pages of the Forensics application (directly or indirectly)  
include the PHP file includes/functions.inc.php. A number of checks have  
been implemented in this file, including a check to validate the user's  
session, a check to detect Cross-Site Request Forgery attacks, and a  
permission check to validate if the user has permission to use the  
Forensics application. This last check is implemented in the LoginUser()  
method of the QRadarHelper class.  
public function LoginUser($sessionToken, &$errorInfo)  
global $s, $u, $QR_HELPER_CODES;  
$qrUserHasForensicsAccess = $this->GetQRuserHasForensics($qr_user_info['username']);  
The call to LoginUser() is executed from the LoginCurrentUser() method,  
which in turn is called form the functions.inc.php include file.  
if (!isset($qrh))  
$qrh = new QRadarHelper();  
$errorMessage = "";  
$userLoggedIn = $qrh->LoginCurrentUser(true, $errorMessage);  
Before the call to LoginUser() is made, the LoginCurrentUser() method  
first checks if it has received a QRIF cookie. If the cookie is present  
and it has the same value of the SEC cookie (the session cookie) the  
call to LoginUser() is not made. Not calling LoginUser() also means that  
no check is made to validate of the user has permission to use the  
Forensics application.  
public function LoginCurrentUser ($remember, &$errorInfo)  
//if the current cookie is the same as the session token that means user hasn't changed  
//just update the expiry time  
if ($_COOKIE['QRIF'] === $this->session_token)  
//if cookie is available that means it hasn't expired yet so we need to update it's expiry time  
//if cookie expiry time is set to 0 (expire with browser) then we don't update it  
if($cookieExpiryTime > 0)  
setcookie("QRIF", $this->session_token, $cookieExpiryTime, "/", $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'], true, true);  
return true;  
//first time through, login the user and set the cookie  
$loginSuccess = $this->LoginUser($this->session_token, $errorInfo);  
if ($loginSuccess && $remember) {  
setcookie("QRIF", $this->session_token, $cookieExpiryTime, "/", $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'], true, true);  
return $loginSuccess;  
By manually setting a QRIF cookie, it is possible for an authenticated  
user without Forensics permissions to access and use most parts of the  
Forensics application. It should be noted that after passing the  
LoginCurrentUser() method, another method is called that checks if the  
user's session is still valid. Meaning that this bypass effectively only  
bypasses the Forensics permission check.  
[1] https://www.securify.nl/advisory/SFY20200408/authorization-bypass-in-qradar-forensics-web-application.html  
[2] https://cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2020-4274  
[3] https://www.ibm.com/support/pages/node/6189705  
[4] https://developer.ibm.com/qradar/ce/  
[5] https://www.ibm.com/support/fixcentral/swg/downloadFixes?parent=IBM%20Security&product=ibm/Other+software/IBM+Security+QRadar+SIEM&release=7.4.0&platform=Linux&function=fixId&fixids=7.4.0-QRADAR-QRSIEM-20200304205308&includeRequisites=1&includeSupersedes=0&downloadMethod=http  
[6] https://www.ibm.com/support/fixcentral/swg/downloadFixes?parent=IBM%20Security&product=ibm/Other+software/IBM+Security+QRadar+SIEM&release=7.3.0&platform=Linux&function=fixId&fixids=7.3.3-QRADAR-QRSIEM-20200409085709&includeRequisites=1&includeSupersedes=0&downloadMethod=http  
[7] https://www.ibm.com/support/fixcentral/swg/downloadFixes?parent=IBM%20Security&product=ibm/Other+software/IBM+Security+QRadar+SIEM&release=7.3.0&platform=Linux&function=fixId&fixids=7.3.2-QRADAR-QRSIEM-20200406171249&includeRequisites=1&includeSupersedes=0&downloadMethod=http  
[8] https://www.ibm.com/support/fixcentral/swg/downloadFixes?parent=IBM%20Security&product=ibm/Other+software/IBM+Security+QRadar+Incident+Forensics&release=7.4.0&platform=Linux&function=fixId&fixids=7.4.0-QRADAR-QIFFULL-2019.18.0.20200304205308&includeRequisites=1&includeSupersedes=0&downloadMethod=http  
[9] https://www.ibm.com/support/fixcentral/swg/downloadFixes?parent=IBM%20Security&product=ibm/Other+software/IBM+Security+QRadar+Incident+Forensics&release=7.4.0&platform=Linux&function=fixId&fixids=7.4.0-QRADAR-QIFSFS-2019.18.0.20200304205308&includeRequisites=1&includeSupersedes=0&downloadMethod=http  
[10] https://www.ibm.com/security/security-intelligence/qradar  
[11] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Security_information_and_event_management