Most Common Apache Security Vulnerabilities and Fixes

Most Common Apache Security Vulnerabilities and Fixes. Well, Apache does not need an introduction. Certainly, that this is the world’s used web server software, but it has fallen victim to known spaces in their security many times. 

Firstly, the Web Server is a important part of a web application. That is why, Apache Web Server sits on the network and can become vulnerable to attack.

The attacks that occurred we strongly influenced the various forms of attacks such as Session Management or SQL Injection attacks. They result in not safe programming code and problems with protecting web  infrastructure. Other attacks are theft and loss of information.

Due to the attacks, Apache regularly adds publications of updates, attacks and vulnerabilities. In addition, you often hear about high defamation from users regarding a significant threat. 

Basically, regardless of the size of your company, its platform, region or target audience, security affects everyone equally.

So, let’s start with Most Common Apache Security Vulnerabilities and Fixes.

What are Security Vulnerabilities?

First of all, what is a vulnerability?  An error in program code or an incorrect system configuration, such as the Log4Shell. As a result of this, an attacker directly gains unauthorized access to a system or network. Once inside, attackers exploits permissions and privileges to compromise systems and assets.

Exploits are the means hackers use to exploit vulnerabilities to launch attacks. Also, exploits are usually dedicated programs or a series of commands. For example, vulnerabilities in Microsoft IIS (Internet Information Services) and MS SQL Server have been exploited for years by worms such as CodeRed, Spida and Slammer.

Moreover, there are exploit kits (Fallout, Rig, Magnitude). The use of which is quite interesting. Concurrently, they can be placed on compromised websites in order to search for vulnerabilities

On one hand the weakness is detected. But on the other, the given kit attempts to implement the exploit as quickly as possible by injecting malware into the host system.

Remember a threat is the actual or hypothetical event. In which, one or more exploits use a vulnerability to mount an attack. Correspondingly for example the CodeRed exploits on the Microsoft IIS vulnerability has been actively used to infect more than 300,000 targets. In return, these threats have caused huge financial losses around the globe.

Is your Apache Secure?

Primarily speaking, Apache has a strong security record but quite a few vulnerabilities have been found in the web server itself. However, it is important to keep Apache updated to take advantage of the latest security, stability, and features available.

The most important components of Apache security:

  • Access control.
  • Availability.
  • Confidentiality and integrity.

Most Common Apache Security Vulnerabilities and Fixes

1. Apache Ranger Security Bypass Vulnerability

Firstly Apache Ranger is exposed to a security bypass vulnerability (CVE-2017-7676). Therefore, attackers can exploit this issue to bypass certain security restrictions and perform unauthorized operations. Generally, this can lead to further attacks. 

Secondly Apache Ranger is a widely used framework for enabling, monitoring and managing end to end data security on the Hadoop platform. Although it is considered low difficulty, it works. 

Consequently, the security bypass vulnerability affects Ranger versions 0.5.1 through 0.7. The immediate solution is to upgrade to Apache Ranger version 0.7.1, which resolves this issue.

What has been fixed in given Apache Ranger versions

  • Ranger policy resource matcher was updated to correctly handle wildcard matches. CVE-2017-7676.
  • Added logic to sanitize the user input. CVE-2016-8751.
  • UnixAuthenticationService was updated to correctly handle user input. CVE-2018-11778.
  • Ranger hive authorizer was updated to correctly handle permission check with external location. CVE-2017-7677.
  • Added logic to validate the user privilege in the backend. CVE-2016-6815.

2. Apache HTTP Server Authentication Bypass Vulnerability

Forthwith the (CVE-2017-3167) vulnerability of Apache HTTP server authentication. Bypassing authentication mechanisms and performing unauthorized operations, leads to additional attacks. Hence versions affected by this vulnerability are Apache HTTP Server 2.2.0 through 2.2.32 and Apache HTTP Server 2.4.0 to 2.4.25.

Presently, the vulnerability originates from a third party module that abuses the ap get basic auth pw. Function on the Apache HTTP server outside of the authentication stage of the affected program. Instead, third party modules should use the ap get basic auth components function.

Equally, security measures include upgrading to stable versions, allowing only trusted users to access the network. And using IP based access control lists (ACLs) to allow only trusted systems to access to the affected systems.

How to fix?

At first, if an unknown HTTP method is specified in a directive in the .htaccess file and the .htaccess file is processed by the corresponding request, then the global method table of the current workflow is corrupted, is causing erratic behaviour. 

At this point, this behaviour can be avoided by specifying all unusual HTTP methods in the public httpd.conf RegisterHttpMethod directive in httpd version 2.4.25 and later.

By all means, users are encouraged to migrate to 2.4.28 or later for this and other fixes.

3. OpenMeetings SQL Injection Vulnerability

OpenMeetings Apache version 1.0.0 is highly susceptible to SQL injection, which aids in disclosure. That is, if the vulnerability is to be exploited. The attacker must log in to the system from the web interface or the command line. 

Moreover, it is possible to modify data files or system information, but what can be modified is not affected by the attacker.

Going further, OpenMeetins is one of the most popular software for online presentations, virtual meetings, training, conferences and more. The risk associated with widespread use is that structures requested by other applications leak into the background.

The immediate fix is ​​to upgrade to Apache OpenMeetings 3.3.0.

How to fix?

  • CVE-20212-7576 – Apache OpenMeetings: Bandwidth may be overloaded by public web services. The issue was fixed in 6.0.0. All users are recommended to upgrade to Apache OpenMeetings 6.0.0.
  • CVE-2020-13951 – Apache Openmeetings: DoS via public web service. This issue has been fixed in 5.0.1.
  • CVE-2018-1325 – Wicket jQuery UI: XSS while displaying value in WYSIWYG editor. This issue has been fixed in 6.29.1, 7.10.2, 8.0.0-M9.2.

4. Text4Shell

This vulnerability (CVE-2022-42889) also affects Java products that use certain features of the Apache Commons Script Library. Furthermore, it potentially allows a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on the server.

The Apache commons script library is an alternative library to the original Java JDK functions for processing strings. Further, it focuses on specific algorithms for processing such data. Its available methods allow interpolation using prefixes, variables, and template tags.

Despite the high CVSS score for this vulnerability, it is noted that the vulnerable component of the Apache commons script library is unusual. That is when we dealing with untrusted user controlled input. 

This situation makes the probability of exploiting this vulnerability. Hence, the CVE-2022-42889 vulnerability is very low compared to Log4Shell.

This issue was discovered by Alvaro Muñoz on September 3, 2022 and reported to the Apache Commons, security team and has been fixed in version 1.10.0.

How to fix?

Well, the primary solution is to update the Apache Commons Text components to the latest available version that fixes this vulnerability as quickly as possible. Specifically, you need to upgrade to version 1.10.0 or later of the Apache Commons script.

A statement with official information and a link to an updated version that resolves the issue has been posted from the Apache Commons developer list.

5. Apache Log4j

Log4j is an immensely popular Java library. Further, it is used by countless programs for logging messages and error activity. The main vulnerability (CVE-2021-44228) concerns the current library version, Apache Log4j 2.

Additionally, Log4j will first log the messages to the program and then analyse them for errors. Due to, its logging capabilities it allows communication with other internal system functions. Such as directory services. This creates an opportunity for weakness.

A method has been discovered to generate a series of malicious codes that can be executed using Log4j. 

The main attack involves sending a message to Log4j telling the system to download and run malware from a remote server. Additionally, it gives the attacker better access to the victim’s system.

Organizations of all types and sizes should assume that a vulnerability in Log4j is somewhere in their software environment.

How to fix?

Upgrade to Log4j 2.3.2 (for Java 6), 2.12.4 (for Java 7), or 2.17.1 (for Java 8 and later).

In previous versions, check that the JDBC extension has been used and is not configured to use a protocol other than Java.

Also note that Apache Log4j is the only Logging Services subproject affected by this vulnerability. Other projects like Log4net and Log4cxx are not impacted by this.

6. Apache Pulsar

Apache Pulsar proxy and proxy creates an internal Pulsar management client that will not check peer TLS certificates. Even if tlsAllowInsecureConnection is disabled via configuration. In pool and off site replicated HTTPS connections to Pulsar Admin clients are vulnerable to man in the middle attacks

Generally, this exposes authentication data, configuration data, and other data sent by those clients. 

An attacker can exploit this vulnerability only by controlling the device “between” the client and the server. The attacker must then actively manipulate the traffic to carry out the attack. This issue affects Apache Pulsar Broker and Proxy versions 2.7.0 to 2.7.4; 2.8.0 to 2.8.3; 2.9.0 to 2.9.2; 2.10.0; 2.6.4 and earlier.

How to fix?

Indeed, security fixes will be given priority when it comes to back porting fixes to older versions that are within the supported time window. Definitely, challenging to decide which bug fixes to back port to old versions. As such, the latest versions will have the most bug fixes.

Currently, the latest version with the most patches is 2.10.x.

Secure your Apache Webserver- Security Tips

Apache security tips
  • Run as separate User & Group.
  • Keep it up to date.
  • Set permissions on ServerRoot Directories.
  • Disable Signature.
  • Restrict Access to a Specific Network or IP.
  • Use the mod_security module. If you do not have it, then install it.
  • Disable modules you do not use.
  • Enable Logging.
  • Use only TLS 1.2.

Thank you for reading Most Common Apache Security Vulnerabilities and Fixes. We shall conclude 

Most Common Apache Security Vulnerabilities and Fixes Conclusion

In summary, if you find something suspicious, get to the bottom of it. In a cyber attack, the sooner you detect it, the better. We can’t prevent unknown threats, but we can protect ourselves from known threats. Prevention is better than cure.

There are more and more vulnerability problems and various bugs. A very important aspect is the ability to deal with them in a way of identification and then updating to a newer version. Thanks to which we get rid of the problems encountered.

I hope this article helped you secure your Apache. If you have any other questions, please leave them in the comments section below.

There is loads of information about Apache in our category blog. Check it out here

Avatar for Kamil Wisniowski
Kamil Wisniowski

I love technology. I have been working with Cloud and Security technology for 5 years. I love writing about new IT tools.

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