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Advisory ID: SYSS-2014-007
Product: FrontRange DSM
Vendor: FrontRange Solutions USA Inc. and/or its affiliates
Affected Version(s): v18.104.22.1680, v22.214.171.1241
Tested Version(s): v126.96.36.1990, v188.8.131.521
Vulnerability Type: Use of Hard-coded Cryptographic Key (CWE-321)
Insufficiently Protected Credentials (CWE-522)
Violation of Secure Design Principles (CWE-657)
Risk Level: High
Solution Status: Fixed
Vendor Notification: 2014-07-10
Solution Date: 2015-04-30
Public Disclosure: 2015-04-30
CVE Reference: Not yet assigned
Author of Advisory: Matthias Deeg (SySS GmbH)
The client management solution FrontRange Desktop & Server Management (DSM)
stores and uses sensitive user credentials for required user accounts in an
insecure manner which enables an attacker or malware with file system access to
a managed client, for example with the privileges of a limited Windows domain
user account, to recover the cleartext passwords.
The recovered passwords can be used for privilege escalation attacks and
for gaining unauthorized access to other client and/or server systems within the
corporate network as at least one FrontRange DSM user account needs local
administrative privileges on managed systems.
FrontRange DSM stores passwords for different user accounts encrypted in two
configuration files named NiCfgLcl.ncp and NiCfgSrv.ncp.
These configuration files contain encrypted password information for different
required FrontRange DSM user accounts (see ), for example
A limited Windows domain user has read access to these configuration files
that are usually stored in the following locations:
The passwords are encoded and encrypted using a hard-coded secret
(cryptographic key) contained within the FrontRange DSM executable file
The software solution FrontRange DSM insufficiently protects sensitive
user credentials and violates secure design principles as limited user accounts
have read access to the stored password information, the passwords can be
recovered as cleartext using a hard-coded cryptographic key, and due to the
software design the passwords are also used in the context of a low-privileged
user process (NIInst32.exe) which can be analyzed and controlled by an attacker
or malware running in the same low-privileged user context.
Proof of Concept (PoC):
The SySS GmbH developed a proof-of-concept software tool for recovering
cleartext passwords stored within the FrontRange configuration files
NiCfgLcl.ncp and NiCfgSrv.ncp.
The following output exemplarily shows a successful password recovery:
> fpd.exe k20A21A2EAE408E8A39GBDEF47DG93437F3E6G54D3CBA4282CE77A
FrontRange DSM Password Decryptor v1.0 by Matthias Deeg <firstname.lastname@example.org> - SySS GmbH (c) 2014
[+] Decrypted password: Three-Headed Monkey!
According to information by FrontRange, the described security issues have
been fixed in a new software release available on April 30, 2015.
Please contact the vendor for further information or support.
2014-07-10: Vulnerability reported to vendor
2014-07-15: Vendor acknowledges e-mail with SySS security advisory and asks for
2014-07-17: SySS talks about the security vulnerabilities with the vendor and
about the timeline for remedying or mitigating the found
security vulnerabilities. As agreed upon with the vendor, the
publication date is rescheduled to a later date.
2014-10-07: Rescheduling of the publication date in agreement with the vendor
2015-03-23: Rescheduling of the publication date in agreement with the vendor
2015-04-30: Vendor releases fix for the described security vulnerabilities
Public release of security advisory
 FrontRange DSM Web site
 FrontRange DSM Getting Started Guide
 SySS Security Advisory SYSS-2014-007
 SySS Paper "Privilege Escalation via Client Management Software"
 SySS Responsible Disclosure Policy
This security vulnerability was found by Matthias Deeg of the SySS GmbH.
E-Mail: matthias.deeg (at) syss.de
Public Key: https://www.syss.de/fileadmin/dokumente/Materialien/PGPKeys/Matthias_Deeg.asc
Key fingerprint = D1F0 A035 F06C E675 CDB9 0514 D9A4 BF6A 34AD 4DAB
The information provided in this security advisory is provided "as is" and
without warranty of any kind. Details of this security advisory may be updated
in order to provide as accurate information as possible. The latest version of
this security advisory is available on the SySS Web site.
Creative Commons - Attribution (by) - Version 3.0
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