Attackers are probing and exploiting the ImageTragick flaws

Security companies have observed attacks trying to exploit recently disclosed remote code execution flaws in the ImageMagick Web server library

Over the past week security researchers have seen increasing attempts by hackers to find servers vulnerable to remote code execution vulnerabilities recently found in the ImageMagick Web server library.

The flaws were publicly disclosed last Tuesday by researchers who had reason to believe that malicious attackers already had knowledge about them after an initial fix from the ImageMagick developers proved to be incomplete. The flaws were collectively dubbed ImageTragick and a website with more information was set up to attract attention to them.

ImageMagick is a command-line tool that can be used to create, edit and convert images in many different formats. The tool is the base for other Web server libraries, such as PHP’s imagick, Ruby’s rmagick, papercli and Node.js’s imagemagick, which are used by millions of websites.

Attackers can easily exploit the flaws by uploading specially crafted images on websites that use ImageMagick to process user-uploaded images. So it's no wonder that attackers have rushed to exploit these vulnerabilities.

Website security and optimization firm CloudFlare started seeing ImageTragick attacks soon after adding a detection rule for them in the Web Application Firewall used by its customers.

The company has seen exploitation attempts that look like reconnaissance efforts to identify vulnerable servers, as well as attempts to use the flaws to install and execute malicious files on vulnerable servers, which would provide attackers with persistent access.

"We do not know of a website that has been successfully hacked using ImageTragick, but it is clear that hackers are actively trying this vulnerability as it is fresh and many servers are likely to not have been patched yet," CloudFlare researcher John Graham-Cumming said in a blog post.

Researchers from website security firm Sucuri have also observed ImageTragick attacks against their customers. In those cases, the attackers were trying to exploit the vulnerability in order to execute rogue commands that opened a reverse shell back to the attackers' server.

The attacks observed by Sucuri are not widespread, but that might change in the future.

"We are curious to see how this continues to evolve," Sucuri CTO Daniel Cid said in a blog post. "In the past we’ve seen different things happen. Some start with very modest targeted tests and others with more aggressive mass exploit attempts. Because this vulnerability specifically seems to be lacking a few critical elements, like accessibility, it could explain why we’re seeing a slower, more cautious, poke-and-prod like approach."

Whether the attacks are widespread or not, server admins should apply the available patches and recommended policy-based mitigation as soon as possible. According to the ImageMagick developers, versions 6.9.3-10 and 7.0.1-1, as well as all later versions, contain an improved fix for the ImageTragick vulnerabilities.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

More about

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Lucian Constantin

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place