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Date: Wed, 26 May 2021 16:09:18 -0500
From: KoreLogic Disclosures via Fulldisclosure <>
Subject: [FD] KL-001-2021-006: CommScope Ruckus IoT Controller Web
 Application Arbitrary Read/Write

KL-001-2021-006: CommScope Ruckus IoT Controller Web Application Arbitrary Read/Write

Title: CommScope Ruckus IoT Controller Web Application Arbitrary Read/Write
Advisory ID: KL-001-2021-006
Publication Date: 2021.05.26
Publication URL:

1. Vulnerability Details

     Affected Vendor: CommScope
     Affected Product: Ruckus IoT Controller
     Affected Version: and earlier
     Platform: Linux
     CWE Classification: CWE-250: Execution with Unnecessary Privileges
     CVE ID: CVE-2021-33217

2. Vulnerability Description

     The IoT Controller web application includes a NodeJS module,
     node-red, which has the capability for users to read or write to
     local files on the IoT Controller. With the elevated privileges
     the web application runs as, this allowed for reading and
     writing to any file on the IoT Controller filesystem.

3. Technical Description

     The Ruckus IoT Controller contains the node-red NodeJS
     Module. The node-red module has the built in functionality
     to read and write to files on the local filesystem of the
     IoT Controller.

     An authentication token is required. But a token is easily
     obtained due to hard-coded, default, unchangeable web application
     credentials (CVE-2021-33219).

     With the web application (and the node-red NodeJS module)
     running as root, this functionality can be leveraged to
     read or write to any file on the filesystem of the Ruckus
     IoT Controller.

     This condition was leveraged to add an account to the
     /etc/passwd file, then used to add a password hash to
     /etc/shadow. Additionally, the SSH daemon configuration was
     modified to ensure that the newly added account would be able
     to SSH in to the device. And to complete the escalation to
     root-level privileges, the newly added account was added to
     the /etc/sudoers configuration file.

     None of these steps would have been possible if the web
     application (and the node-red module as a result) had not been
     running as the 'root' user.

4. Mitigation and Remediation Recommendation

     The vendor has released an updated firmware ( which
     remediates the described vulnerability. Firmware and release
     notes are available at:

5. Credit

     This vulnerability was discovered by Jim Becher (@jimbecher)
     of KoreLogic, Inc.

6. Disclosure Timeline

     2021.03.30 - KoreLogic submits vulnerability details to
     2021.03.30 - CommScope acknowledges receipt and the intention
                  to investigate.
     2021.04.06 - CommScope notifies KoreLogic that this issue,
                  along with several others reported by KoreLogic,
                  will require more than the standard 45 business
                  day remediation timeline.
     2021.04.06 - KoreLogic agrees to extend disclosure embargo if
     2021.04.30 - CommScope informs KoreLogic that remediation for
                  this vulnerability will be available inside of the
                  standard 45 business day timeline. Requests
                  KoreLogic acquire CVE number for this
     2021.05.14 - 30 business days have elapsed since the
                  vulnerability was reported to CommScope.
     2021.05.17 - CommScope notifies KoreLogic that the patched
                  version of the firmware will be available the week
                  of 2021.05.24.
     2021.05.19 - KoreLogic requests CVE from MITRE.
     2021.05.19 - MITRE issues CVE-2021-33217.
     2021.05.25 - CommScope releases firmware and associated
     2021.05.26 - KoreLogic public disclosure.

7. Proof of Concept

     An excerpt of one of the POSTs, which is 16000+ bytes in length, is

     POST /node-red/flows HTTP/1.1

     and then there is a subsequent POST to inject/trigger the flow.

     root@...ot:~# tail -1 /etc/passwd
     jbecher2:x:18626:18626:Jim Becher,,,:/tmp:/bin/bash

     root@...ot:~# tail -1 /etc/shadow
     Note: the above hash is the same as the hash of the vriotha user,
     whose password is known to be 'nplus1user' (CVE-2021-33218).

     root@...ot:~# tail -2 /etc/ssh/sshd_config
     Match User jbecher2
     PasswordAuthentication yes

     root@...ot:~# tail -1 /etc/sudoers
     jbecher2  ALL=(ALL:ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL

The contents of this advisory are copyright(c) 2021
KoreLogic, Inc. and are licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution Share-Alike 4.0 (United States) License:

KoreLogic, Inc. is a founder-owned and operated company with a
proven track record of providing security services to entities
ranging from Fortune 500 to small and mid-sized companies. We
are a highly skilled team of senior security consultants doing
by-hand security assessments for the most important networks in
the U.S. and around the world. We are also developers of various
tools and resources aimed at helping the security community.

Our public vulnerability disclosure policy is available at:

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