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Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics Privilege Escalation

Critical

Synopsis

Tenable Research has discovered a privilege escalation vulnerability that allows a user to escalate privileges to that of the root user within a Spark VM in the Synapse Analytics environment. 

The flaws allowing this elevation of privilege exists in the "filesharemount.sh" script that users have access to in order to mount remote file shares in their Synapse environments. Users are able to replace the contents of this file with any arbitrary commands, which allow them to execute in the context of the root user for this environment.

For more details, please see our Tenable Techblog entry

Solution

Microsoft began patching this issue as early as April 30, 2022. At the time of this writing, the issue is considered fully resolved. No action is required by end users.

Disclosure Timeline

March 10, 2022 - Tenable discloses two issues to MSRC via researcher portal.
March 10, 2022 - MSRC sends automated acknowledgement.
March 18, 2022 - Tenable requests status update via researcher portal. No response from MSRC.
March 28, 2022 - Tenable requests status update via researcher portal. No response from MSRC.
April 4, 2022 - Tenable requests status update via researcher portal. No response from MSRC.
April 6, 2022 - MSRC requests issues be split into multiple tickets, but no status update is given. Tenable complies.
April 21, 2022 - Tenable requests status update via researcher portal. No response from MSRC.
April 25, 2022 - Tenable requests status update and reminds MSRC that the disclosure period is more than halfway through.
April 28, 2022 - Tenable requests status update via MSRC email due to lack of responses in researcher portal. MSRC does not respond.
May 2, 2022 - Tenable notices that issue has been silently patched. Tenable requests status update from MSRC via researcher portal. MSRC does not respond.
May 5, 2022 - Tenable requests status update via MSRC email due to lack of responses in researcher portal.
May 5, 2022 - Researcher reaches out to MSRC via Twitter (@MSFTSecurity).
May 5, 2022 - MSRC provides a status update stating that the fix is still being rolled out.
May 5, 2022 - MSRC confirms behavior reported.
May 11, 2022 - Tenable requests status update via email.
May 12, 2022 - MSRC requests phone call to bundle all Tenable discoveries and provide updates all at once despite all issues being unrelated and in separate tickets. Tenable declines request and states that written communication is preferred.
May 12, 2022 - MSRC provides status update on several issues (relevant update for this advisory states that the fix is still being rolled out).
May 18, 2022 - Tenable requests status update and states that all tested regions appear Fixed.
May 23, 2022 - MSRC states that this issue is bundled with another issue and they plan to close both cases together. Tenable reminds MSRC of their original request to separate split issues in the first place and requests status update.
May 31, 2022 - Tenable continues requesting status updates and additional information.
June 1, 2022 - Researcher reaches out to MSRC via Twitter due to lack of updates.
June 1, 2022 - MSRC states that although the issue is patched, they do not consider it a security related issue. MSRC requests phone call to discuss further.
June 2, 2022 - Tenable declines phone call request and states that written communication is preferred. Tenable refutes Microsoft’s claim that this issue was not security-related. Tenable declines phone call and requests communication be kept in writing.
June 2, 2022 - Researcher reaches out to MSRC via Twitter (DMs to @MSFTSecurity and @MSFTsecresponse) and obtains contact information for MSRC Community Manager. Tenable reaches out to this contact via email directly to request this case be escalated.
June 2, 2022 - MSRC rep requests further information. Tenable provides requested information.
June 3, 2022 - MSRC requests advance copy of security advisory and in a separate email provides another rebuttal.
June 6, 2022 - Tenable informs MSRC that case is considered closed due to MSRC's insistence this issue is not security-related.
June 6, 2022 - MSRC representatives contact Tenable and inform them that they believe it is indeed a security issue.
June 7, 2022 - Tenable and MSRC discuss varying opinions on severity.

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

Tenable Advisory ID
TRA-2022-20
Affected Products
Azure Synapse Analytics Spark VM
Risk Factor
Critical

Advisory Timeline

June 8, 2022 - Initial release.
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