Layer Seven Security

Security in SAP HANA

SAP HANA is now deployed by over 7,500 organizations worldwide. While this represents only a fraction of the 300,000 companies that use SAP software globally, adoption is growing rapidly, doubling in 2015 alone. As expected, the introduction of SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA (S/4HANA) has accelerated this growth by widening the use-case for SAP HANA from analytics to transactional processing for core business processes.

While the performance and administrative benefits of SAP HANA are clear-cut, the benefits for security are more questionable. Unlike conventional persistent databases, HANA does not provide any native capability for label-based access control, data discovery and classification, data redaction and masking, or database firewalls. HANA also presents an architectural challenge for security engineers since some implementation scenarios integrate application and database layers that are traditionally hosted in separate physical or virtual servers.

SAP has addressed some of these concerns in later releases of HANA. SPS 12 includes features to isolate databases in multi-tenant environments to prevent cross-database attacks. It also includes more advanced logging capabilities to support multiple log formats and fine-grained audit policies. This is discussed in the newly updated whitepaper Security in SAP HANA, available in the resources section. The whitepaper provides a framework for securing HANA systems including network security, authentication and authorization, encryption for data in transit and at rest, and OS-level security for SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLES) and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).

HANA vulnerabilities such as potential misconfigurations in database parameters or users with special privileges should be monitored using SAP Solution Manager (SolMan). In common with other SAP systems, HANA is connected to and monitored by SolMan. Security-relevant data is extracted by agents from HANA and transmitted to SolMan for analysis. SolMan analyzes the data using rulesets to identify potential vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers. The results are accessible through BW or BI including Lumira and Crystal Reports.

Rulesets benchmarked against best practices and SAP recommendations can be licensed from Layer Seven Security and imported directly into your Solution Manager platforms. To learn more, contact us.

US-CERT Issues Alert for SAP Invoker Servlet Vulnerability

US-CERT published an alert yesterday to warn SAP customers of the dangers posed by the invoker servlet vulnerability in AS Java systems. According to the alert, there is evidence to suggest that SAP systems at 36 organizations have been exploited by the vulnerability. The organizations are based in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, China, India, Japan, and South Korea, and operate in industries that include oil & gas, telecommunications, utilities, retail, automotive and the pubic sector.

The invoker servlet vulnerability arises when servlets can be called directly either by servlet name or by fully-qualified class name. This can be exploited to bypass authentication and authorization rules defined in the web.xml files of Java applications. In the cases referenced by the US-CERT alert, attackers appeared to have exploited the invoker servlet to call a Java component that enabled them to execute OS commands and create user accounts in SAP systems.

The vulnerability was patched by SAP in 2010. SAP also modified the default configuration of AS Java to disable the invoker servlet in versions 7.20 and later. Corrections were provided in Notes 1445998 and 1467771. The evidence of the active exploitation of the invoker servlet vulnerability five years after the underlying flaw was patched by SAP demonstrates that the greatest risk posed to SAP systems is the exploit of known weaknesses rather than so-called zero-day vulnerabilities.

The invoker servlet should be disabled at a global level by setting the EnableInvokerServletGlobally key to false. The key is located in the global properties of each J2EE instance. You can follow the three steps below to discover systems in your landscape vulnerable to the exploit using SAP Solution Manager.

1. Create a target system in Configuration Validation to check the value of the key for all systems using the servlet_jsp store. See below.

Invoker Servlet 2

2. Edit the target system by removing all parameters in the servlet_jsp store except EnableInvokerServletGlobally. Set the value for the key to true and maintain the weight/ info. See below.

Invoker Servlet 4

Invoker Servlet 5

3. Run the weighted validation report for all Java systems and review the results of systems with the EnableInvokerServletGlobally set to true. See below.

Invoker Servlet 6

The invoker servlet vulnerability is one of the 500+ checks performed by security rulesets provided by Layer Seven for ABAP, Java, HANA, and database systems. The rulesets can be imported into your Solution Manager systems in seconds to perform daily automated scans for vulnerabilities in SAP systems. To learn more, contact Layer Seven Security.