December 11, 2023

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Specialists in technology

RubyGems fixes unauthorized package takeover bug



The RubyGems package repository has fastened a crucial vulnerability that would make it possible for everyone to unpublish (“yank”) selected Ruby packages from the repository and republish their tainted or destructive versions with the very same file names and version numbers.

Assigned CVE-2022-29176, the essential flaw existed on, which is the Ruby-equal of, and hosts over 170,000 Ruby deals (gems) with almost 100 billion downloads served around its life span.

An first audit from RubyGems reveals that the vulnerability has not been exploited in just the last 18 months to change any gems, but a further audit is however in development with final results but to be declared.

Hijacking a gem: yank, alter, republish

This 7 days, RubyGems announced that a significant bug could’ve enabled any consumer to yank versions of a gem that they did not have authorization for, and replace the gem’s contents with more recent files.

Comparable to npm for NodeJS packages, RubyGems is a deal manager for the Ruby programming language and presents a standardized structure for distributing completed Ruby artifacts (referred to as “gems”). The registry is the community’s gem internet hosting services allowing developers to promptly publish or install gems and use a set of specialized APIs.

Need to a threat actor come to be knowledgeable of these types of a flaw, they could quietly change the contents of legitimate Ruby offers with malware—something which has echoes of npm’s popular ua-parser-js, coa, and rc libraries that were hijacked last year to distribute crypto miners and password stealers.

Though the npm hijacking incidents stemmed from maintainer account compromises relatively than a vulnerability exploit, they wreaked havoc as libraries like ‘ua-parser-js’ have been used by around a thousand assignments, which include all those used by Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Instagram, Google, Slack, Mozilla, Discord, Elastic, Intuit, Reddit, and many extra perfectly-known providers.

In Ruby’s scenario, mass exploitation of these types of an exploit could bring about widespread damage to the Ruby ecosystem and all round software package provide chain security.

To exploit the vulnerability, RubyGems clarifies, the subsequent ailments need to be satisfied:

  • The gem being qualified has one or far more dashes in its name, e.g. some thing-company.
  • The word that will come right before the 1st dash signifies an attacker-managed gem that exists on
  • The gem becoming yanked/altered was either created within the previous 30 times or had not been updated in over 100 days.

“For example, the gem something-provider could have been taken around by the owner of the gem a little something,” explains RubyGems.

“Organizations with many gems were being not susceptible as long as they owned the gem with the title in advance of the dash, for case in point owning the gem orgname secured all gems with names like orgname-provider.”

This vulnerability, assigned CVE-2022-29176, lurked in the “yank action” of RubyGems code and has now been fastened.

Unbiased developer and pentester, Greg Molnar has explained the flaw in a tiny additional technological depth.

At this time, maintainers do not feel the vulnerability has been exploited, in accordance to the success of an audit that analyzed gem modifications produced in excess of the last 18 months on the platform.

But the registry homeowners condition that a further audit is ongoing and its outcomes will stick to in the stability advisory revealed for this vulnerability, which also consists of some mitigations.

“ sends an e-mail to all gem proprietors when a gem variation is released or yanked. We have not gained any help e-mails from gem owners indicating that their gem has been yanked with out authorization,” states the advisory.

RubyGem developers can audit their software background for possible earlier exploits by reviewing their Gemfile.lock and looking for gems that had their platform changed with variation numbers remaining unchanged.

For illustration, viewing your gemname-3.1.2 gem renamed to gemname-3.1.2-java is one possible signal of the vulnerability having been exploited.

User laursisask has been credited with reporting the vulnerability by way of HackerOne.


May possibly 8th, 5:17 PM ET: Extra information on how to look at if your gem has been exploited through this flaw. 

May possibly 8th, 5:35 PM ET: Included hyperlink to Molnar’s specialized investigation of the flaw.


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