Spring Framework Security Vulnerability Part 1


Spring Source recently published CVE-2010-1622. The advisory describes a vulnerability that affects Spring Framework prior to 3.0.3 and allows attackers to execute arbitrary code.

What could SpringSource have done better?

When Spring Source announced the release of 3.0.3 they reported to have fixed “more than a hundred minor issues” — no indication of the security fix. This could be understandable as they have released the fix 2 days prior to publishing the advisory. I do not understand why they did not announce it later however. The advisory was published as silently as possible although the vulnerability is rated critical, can be exploited remotely and probably affects a large number of applications.
I would have preferred receiving the security advisory through the usual channels used for announcements in addition to the security team page.

Having a look at cve.mitre.org reveals another interesting fact. The CVE id was assigned on April, 29th. That is almost 2 months before the advisory was published. The bug was fixed on May, 27th.
Why does it take more than 4 weeks for a 3 line fix? Why does it take almost 3 additional weeks after the fix to announce the vulnerability?
I would have preferred a priority fix as soon as possible after discovery and a release following short time after that.

Finally SpringSource dicided not to provide a fixed release for dm Server, a product based on Spring Framework, which is also vulnerable. Users are advised to manually patch it instead. SpringSource also continues to provide the vulnerable dm Server 2.0.2 for download without any warning.
I would have preferred to receive a fixed release of dm Server instead of seeing SpringSource continue to ship products containing known security issues.

What can you learn from CVE-2010-1622?

I will follow up with the lessons learned for application developers and system administrators in the next days. Stay tuned.

There is also an interesting analysis of the issue at blog.o0o.nu.

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