A security vulnerability in the massively popular SQLite database engine puts thousands of desktop and mobile applications at risk.
Discovered by Tencent’s Blade security team, the vulnerability allows an attacker to run malicious code on the victim’s computer, and in less dangerous situations, leak program memory or cause program crashes.
Because SQLite is embedded in thousands of apps, the vulnerability impacts a wide range of software, from IoT devices to desktop software, and from web browsers to Android and iOS apps.
The bad news, according to Tencent Blade researchers, is that this vulnerability can also be exploited remotely by accessing something as simple as a web page, if the underlying browser support SQLite and the Web SQL API that translates the exploit code into regular SQL syntax.
Firefox and Edge don’t support this API, but the Chromium open-source browser engine does. This means that Chromium-based browsers like Google Chrome, Vivaldi, Opera, and Brave, are all affected.
But while web browsers pose the biggest attack surface, other apps are also affected. For example, Google Home is also vulnerable.
“We successfully exploited Google Home with this vulnerability,” the Tencent Blade team said in a security advisory this week.
Tencent Blade researchers said they reported this issue to the SQLite team earlier this fall. A fix was shipped out on December 1, with the release of SQLite 3.26.0. The fix was also ported inside Chromium, and later in Google Chrome 71, released last week.
Chromium-based browsers like Vivaldi, Opera, and Brave are still one Chromium release behind, meaning they’re most likely still affected.
While it does not support Web SQL, Firefox, too, is affected, since it comes with a locally accessible SQLite database, meaning a local attacker could abuse this vulnerability to execute code and more.
But even if the SQLite team shipped a fix, many apps are likely to remain vulnerable for years to come. Updating the underlying database engine to any desktop, mobile, or web app is a dangerous process, which sometimes can result in data corruption, and most programmers avoid it as long as possible.
App developers rarely update libraries and the component parts of their apps as it is, so the chances that this vulnerability will haunt the app ecosystem for years is pretty high.
Because of this reason, the Tencent Blade team said it would refrain for the time being from releasing any proof-of-concept exploit code. Nonetheless, other security researchers have already started combing the SQLite patch to reverse engineer it and see how the vulnerability works under the hood.
This SQLite vulnerability has not yet received a CVE identification number and Tencent researchers are using the “Magellan” codename to refer to it for now.
More security coverage:
Key Criteria for Evaluating Unified Endpoint Management
Endpoint management is one of the most significant challenges in the enterprise today. An increasingly large percentage of our workforce is distributed and demands flexibility to work wherever they want, whenever they want. We must respond by giving them access to the services they require to do their jobs effectively. The alternative is that we, as a business, will suffer, lose good people, and become less competitive. However, we must achieve this essential access while maintaining security and control of our business’s data assets.
An appropriate endpoint management strategy is key to addressing these issues. Our approach should be holistic and unified, bringing together control of devices, management of applications, security of data, and access controls.
Unified endpoint management (UEM) is the approach to meeting this challenge. It has evolved from traditionally disparate solutions for endpoint management, application delivery, and security into a single platform. This single platform delivers a consistent end-user experience across all devices, applications, and locations while maintaining security and control of data assets. The leading solutions allow us to enroll devices easily into our control, provide support, and ensure constituency and compliance while managing access to our applications and data.
This GigaOM Key Criteria Report describes UEM solutions and identifies key criteria and evaluation metrics for selecting such a solution. The corresponding GigaOm Radar Report identifies vendors and products that excel in this sector. Together, these reports give decision-makers an overview of the market to help them evaluate existing platforms and decide where to invest.
How to Read this Report
This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding consider reviewing the following reports:
Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.
GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.
Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.
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Data Storage for Ever Changing Business Needs
Join GigaOm analyst Enrico Signoretti and CTERA CTO Aron Brand in this one-hour live webinar as they explore file storage trends and dynamics through the lens of IT infrastructure modernization projects.
The file and cloud experts will discuss the limitations of traditional NAS architectures in today’s corporate environments and how organizations are implementing distributed cloud file storage to solve remote collaboration, ransomware protection, and unstructured data growth challenges.
Signoretti and Brand will also examine the recently published GigaOm Radar for Distributed Cloud File Storage, in which CTERA was named the leader. They will review the report’s key criteria and evaluation metrics for choosing a distributed cloud file storage platform, helping IT leaders to understand which vendors are most aligned to their needs today as well as 12-18 months down the road.
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High Performance Application Security Testing – Cloud WAF Security Platforms
This free 1-hour webinar from GigaOm Research features analyst Jake Dolezal and will focus on comparing Web Application Firewall (WAF) security platforms in an enterprise with high performance needs.
This webinar will discuss web application security mechanisms deployed in the cloud. The cloud enables enterprises to differentiate and innovate with microservices at a rapid pace. However, the cloud is just as vulnerable, if not more so, to attacks and breaches as on-premises APIs and apps are. Our focus is specifically on approaches to securing apps, APIs, and microservices that are tuned for high performance and availability. We define “high performance” as companies that experience workloads of more than 1,000 transactions per second (tps) and require a maximum latency below 30 milliseconds across the landscape.
In this webinar, we will reveal the performance tests of security mechanisms on NGINX, AWS, and Azure, specifically: ModSecurity, NGINX App Protect WAF, AWS Web Application Firewall (WAF), and Azure WAF.
Register now to join GigaOm and NGINX for this free expert webinar.
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