Layer Seven Security

Protecting SAP Systems from Ransomware

The recent attack at Colonial Pipeline has demonstrated the devastating impact of ransomware on critical infrastructure. According to the Department of Homeland Security, ransomware a­ttacks have increased by 300% over the past year, impacting all industries and sectors. The average downtime from an att­ack is 21 days. Full recovery takes an average of 287 days.

Ransomware can impact SAP systems through vulnerable operating systems. However, securing SAP hosts alone does not safeguard SAP systems from ransomware. Att­ackers can exploit trust relationships between SAP applications and underlying operating systems to execute privileged OS commands that avoid detection. This can include commands that enable threat actors to transfer, install and execute ransomware tools.

The newly released guide Protecting SAP Systems from Ransomware includes actions you can take to secure your business-critical SAP systems from ransomware. It provides an integrated strategy for:

  • Identifying and prioritizing critical SAP assets and infrastructure;
  • Hardening SAP systems to reduce the attack surface;
  • Activating and monitoring SAP logs to detect suspected attacks; and
  • Backing up and restoring SAP systems to minimize the downtime from successful attacks.

The guide also discusses how to use SAP Solution Manager to support your anti-ransomware program, from identifying and removing vulnerabilities that could be exploited to attack your systems to detecting and alerting for suspected security breaches.


SAP Security Notes, April 2021

Hot news note 2999854 was updated in April for a critical code injection vulnerability in SAP Business Warehouse and SAP BW/4HANA. BW and BW/4HANA allow a low privileged attacker to inject malicious code using a remote enabled function module over the network. Due to a lack of input validation, users granted RFC access to execute the function module can inject malicious ABAP code. The code is saved persistently in a report in the ABAP repository. The report can then be executed to inject the code, leading to the loss of sensitive data, modification of critical data, or denial of service. Note 2999854 introduces input validation for the effected functions to prevent code injection.

Hot news note 3040210 patches a remote code injection vulnerability in Source Rules of SAP Commerce. SAP Commerce Backoffice allows certain authorized users to create source rules which are translated to drools rule when published to certain modules within the application. An attacker can inject malicious code in the source rules and perform remote code execution enabling them to compromise the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the application. SAP Commerce installations that do not include any extensions from the Rule Engine module are not affected. Note 3040210 addresses this vulnerability by adding validation and output encoding when processing Promotion Rules and other Source Rules.

Note 3022422 includes an updated FAQ for a critical missing authorization check in the MigrationService of SAP NetWeaver Application Server Java (AS Java). The vulnerability could be exploited by attackers to grant administrative privileges by accessing specific configuration objects. The solution included in the note requires a system restart. Note 3030298 includes a temporary workaround if a restart is not possible.

Note 3001824 patches an information disclosure vulnerability in AS Java. Attackers can invoke telnet commands to access NTLM hashes of privileged users. Possible workarounds for the vulnerability include disabling outgoing NTLM traffic by group policy, blocking outgoing SMB requests via appropriate firewall rules, and, for Linux systems, disabling the Samba protocol on all the hosts in a cluster.

Cybersecurity Extension for SAP Identifies Signatures of Active SAP Cyberattacks

Earlier this month, SAP issued a joint report with a security research firm to highlight active cyber threats targeting SAP applications. According to the report, there is conclusive evidence that attackers are actively targeting and exploiting unsecured SAP applications. The report also reveals that some SAP vulnerabilities are being weaponized in less than 72 hours from the release of SAP patches.  Unprotected cloud installations of SAP are being discovered and compromised in less than 3 hours.

The investigation performed for the report identified over 300 successful exploitations of SAP systems. This included attempts to modify users and configurations and exfiltrate business information. Most of the exploits targeted the six CVEs below. Although the vulnerabilities have been patched by SAP, many organizations have not applied the recommended mitigations to protect SAP systems.

CVE-2010-5326 (SAP Security Note 1445998)
CVE-2018-2380 (SAP Security Note 2547431)
CVE-2016-3976 (SAP Security Note 2234971)
CVE-2016-9563 (SAP Security Note 2296909)
CVE-2020-6287 (SAP Security Note 2934135)
CVE-2020-6207 (SAP Security Note 2890213)

SAP recommends customers to immediately assess vulnerable systems to identify indicators of compromise such as unauthorized privileged users. The assessment should include systems within SAP landscapes that are connected to the vulnerable targets. The related SAP security notes and recommendations should also be applied in impacted systems.

SAP also urges customers to implement appropriate cybersecurity measures to protect SAP applications. The Cybersecurity Extension for SAP is an SAP-certified solution that performs automated vulnerability management, threat detection and incident response to secure SAP systems from cyber threats. This includes exploits that target the CVEs highlighted in the report. The Extension detects misconfigured and unpatched systems. It also detects the signatures of exploits that target the CVEs, triggers alerts and notifications for suspected breaches, and provides guided procedures for investigating incidents. To learn more, contact Layer Seven Security.

SAP Security Notes, March 2021

Hot news note 3022622 patches a critical code injection vulnerability in SAP Manufacturing Integration and Intelligence (MII). SAP MII allows users to create dashboards and save them as JSP through the SSCE (Self Service Composition Environment). Attackers can target this feature to inject malicious JSP code that include OS commands. The code and commands are executed by MII when dashboards are opened by users. The solution applied via note 3022622 blocks the saving of files as JSP through SSCE. There is no workaround for the vulnerability.

Hot news note 3022422 removes a missing authorization check in the MigrationService of the SAP NetWeaver Application Server Java (AS Java). This could provide unauthorized access to configuration objects including objects that grant administrative privileges. The solution requires a system restart. The workaround in note 3030298 can be applied if a system restart is not possible.

Note 3017378 addresses a high priority authentication bypass vulnerability in SAP HANA installations using external authentication via LDAP directory services. SAP HANA systems and users configured for LDAP are only vulnerable if the connected LDAP directory server is enabled for unauthenticated binds. Some directory servers can be configured to offer an unauthenticated bind via LDAP. In these cases, the SAP HANA database’s handling of LDAP authentication can be misused. An attacker can gain access to an SAP HANA database system without proper authentication through users enabled for LDAP-based authentication.

Securing Linux Platforms for SAP HANA and S/4HANA

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) is the leading operating system for SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA solutions, supporting 85 percent of HANA deployments worldwide. SLES for SAP Applications is optimized to support high availability and persistent memory and endorsed by SAP.

Securing operating systems is a critical component of SAP system hardening. Vulnerable hosts can provide a pathway to SAP applications, databases and other components, bypassing security mechanisms applied in those layers. This can lead to the compromise of SAP systems including the corruption of critical files and tables. It can also support ransomware attacks that disrupt the availability of SAP services.

The Cybersecurity Extension for SAP performs daily automated scans to identify vulnerabilities in SAP hosts. For SLES, this includes authentication settings, firewall configurations, file and service permissions, root access, missing security patches, vulnerable packages and services, and misconfigured settings for logging and auditing. It also includes the detection of open TCP/ UDP ports that are targeted by attackers, including FTP, RPC, RDP, SSH, and Telnet.

SLES vulnerabilities are mapped to SAP systems, supporting holistic security across code, application, database and operating system layers.

The SAP-Certified extension also monitors SLES logs to identify indicators of compromise in SAP hosts. Alerts and notifications are triggered for security incidents and channeled to SIEM and service desk systems. This includes the following scenarios:

  • Changes to operating system configuration, profile, and kernel parameters
  • Firewall and other network settings
  • File system mounts and unmounts
  • Group, user and password changes
  • Cron jobs
  • Daemon and service changes
  • OS scripts
  • External connections
  • Sudo users
  • Root and sudo commands
  • Failed logon and file access attempts
  • Critical file changes
  • File permission changes
  • OS code injection
  • User locks and unlocks

Audit records from the SLES audit log are displayed in the alert details. The records include the audit event number and auid of the initial user that triggered the event.

The Cybersecurity Extension for SAP includes integrated incident response procedures to support forensic investigations. Users can select the Respond option from an alert to start an investigation and document the findings.

SAP Security Notes, February 2021

Hot News note 3014121 patches a critical remote code execution vulnerability in SAP Commerce. The Backoffice application in SAP Commerce enables certain users with required privileges to edit drools rules. An authenticated attacker with this privilege is able to inject malicious code in the drools rules, enabling the attacker to compromise the SAP host. This vulnerability affects the DroolsRule item type of the ruleengine extension. The DroolsRule item type exposes scripting facilities via its ruleContent attribute. Changing of ruleContent should normally be limited to highly privileged users, such as members of admingroup. Due to a misconfiguration of the default user permissions that are shipped with SAP Commerce, several lower-privileged users and user groups can gain permissions to change DroolsRule ruleContents and access scripting facilities.

SAP Commerce installations that do not have the ruleengine extension installed are not affected. However, the extension is a common component of SAP Commerce installations. Note 3014121 improves the default permissions that govern change access to scripting facilities of DroolsRules. Script editing facilities for DroolsRules can be disabled in the SAP Commerce Backoffice as a second line of defense.

Note 2986980 was updated for SAP Business Warehouse releases 7.0x. The note patches SQL injection and missing authorization checks in the Database Interface of SAP BW.

Notes 2743329 and 2475705 introduce switchable authorization checks for sensitive RFC-enabled modules in S/4HANA and SAP ECC.

Layer Seven Security’s Cybersecurity Extension for SAP® Solutions Achieves SAP® Certification as Integrated with SAP NetWeaver®

Toronto, Canada – March 8, 2021 – Layer Seven Security today announced its Cybersecurity Extension v3.4 for SAP® Solutions has achieved SAP®-certified integration with the SAP NetWeaver® technology platform.  The solution has been proven to integrate with SAP solutions, providing automated vulnerability management, threat detection and incident response for SAP applications and infrastructure.

“We are delighted to announce that our Cybersecurity Extension v3.4 for SAP Solutions has achieved SAP-certified integration with SAP NetWeaver,” said Ian Thomson, Chief Operating Officer at Layer Seven Security.  “The certification will support the successful integration of the extension in SAP landscapes, helping customers to protect business-critical SAP systems against the threat of cyber attacks.”

The SAP® Integration and Certification Center (SAP ICC) has certified that Cybersecurity Extension v3.4 for SAP Solutions integrates with SAP NetWeaver. Technology or infrastructure products that have SAP-certified integration with SAP NetWeaver have proven to interoperate with the technology platform.

The Cybersecurity Extension for SAP Solutions is now listed in the SAP Certified Solutions Directory.

Layer Seven Security is a partner in the SAP PartnerEdge® program. As such, it is empowered to build, market and sell software applications on top of market-leading technology platforms from SAP. The SAP PartnerEdge program provides the enablement tools, benefits, and support to facilitate building high-quality, disruptive applications focused on specific business needs – quickly and cost-effectively. The program provides access to all relevant SAP technologies in one simple framework under a single, global contract.

About Layer Seven Security

Layer Seven Security is an SAP partner, headquartered in Toronto, Canada. The company’s Cybersecurity Extension for SAP® Solutions performs advanced security diagnostics and monitoring for SAP systems. The Extension delivers real-time security intelligence for cloud and on-premise SAP systems including SAP HANA®, ABAP® and J2EE platforms. It supports security monitoring across the SAP system stack including application, database, operating system, and program layers, as well as components such as the SAProuter and SAP Web Dispatcher. 


SAP and other SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP SE in Germany and other countries. Please see for additional trademark information and notices. All other product and service names mentioned are the trademarks of their respective companies.

Any statements in this release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties described in SAP’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent annual report on Form 20-F, that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. SAP cautions readers not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements which SAP has no obligation to update and which speak only as of their dates.

Securing the Web Dispatcher with SAP Solution Manager

The SAP Web Dispatcher is an application gateway that filters Internet based traffic to SAP systems including HTTP requests. As an entry point for Web-based communications in SAP landscapes, the Web Dispatcher can help to secure remote access to SAP systems by enforcing security standards for external connections and filtering connection requests.

However, the Web Dispatcher can also be the focal point for attackers looking for an externally reachable pathway to SAP systems. Therefore, it is critical to secure the Web Dispatcher against misuse and prevent attackers from compromising SAP landscapes through poorly configured gateways.

The Web Dispatcher should be regularly patched and updated to prevent attackers from exploiting known program-level vulnerabilities. You should monitor composite note 538405 to stay up-to-date with the latest Web Dispatcher versions.  

Default error messages that disclose sensitive information to attackers should be blocked and replaced with custom messages.

The admin port for the Web Dispatcher should not be accessible from external networks. Administration should be restricted to internal hosts. Public monitoring information in the Web admin interface should be blocked.

SSL should be enforced for connections including communications between the Web Dispatcher and back-end systems and metadata exchange with message servers and application servers.

Finally, filtering should be enabled to enforce positive or negative lists for access requests. The Web Dispatcher supports multiple filtering mechanisms including ACL files and authentication handlers.  ACL files can be used if access should be filtered based on client IP address or IP range. Authentication handlers should be used if requests need to be filtered for specific URLs. Both approaches support logging of successful and unsuccessful requests.  Access to the following URLs should be blocked or restricted:


The Cybersecurity Extension for SAP monitors the security of the Web Dispatcher using the SAP Solution Manager platform. The SAP-certified addon detects vulnerable Web Dispatcher versions and patch levels, improper error handling that could lead to information disclosure, the use of insecure Web Dispatcher settings, protocols, and filters, and calls to critical URLs captured in Web Dispatcher logs.

SAP Security Notes, January 2021

Hot News note 2983367 corrects a code injection vulnerability in Master Data Management in SAP Business Warehouse and SAP BW4HANA. The vulnerability could be exploited to execute privileged OS commands. The correction introduces a hard coded report name which can only be executed by a legitimate user in release 7.30. The note removes the impacted function in BW/4HANA.

Hot news note 2999854 patches a similar code injection vulnerability in SAP Business Warehouse and SAP BW4HANA. The note improves input validation to prevent the injection and execution of malicious code through the impacted function module.

Note 3000306 removes a high-risk Denial of service (DOS) vulnerability in SAP NetWeaver Application Server ABAP (AS ABAP) and ABAP Platform. The note blocks the parallel execution of demo examples from the web version of ABAP Keyword Documentation to prevent resource exhaustion.

Finally, note 2993132 is updated for a missing authorization check impacting a RFC-enabled function module in SAP NetWeaver AS ABAP and SAP S4 HANA.

SolarWinds Attack: Lessons Learned for SAP Cyber Security

The software supply chain attack suffered by SolarWinds may have impacted as many as 425 of the US Fortune 500, the top ten US telecommunications companies, the top five US accounting firms, all branches of the US Military, the Pentagon, the State Department, the world’s largest cybersecurity firm, as well as hundreds of organizations worldwide.

The attack targeted the Orion Platform used for SolarWinds products including tools for automated patch management and security & compliance. According to SolarWinds, the initial breach is suspected to have occurred in September 2019. The attackers subsequently modified an Orion plug-in that was distributed as trojanized updates to SolarWinds customers from February 2020. The attack remained undetected until December 2020.

The trojanized component was detected and labeled as SUNBURST by FireEye. According to FireEye, “After an initial dormant period of up to two weeks, (SUNBURST) retrieves and executes commands, called ‘Jobs,’ that include the ability to transfer files, execute files, profile the system, reboot the machine, and disable system services….The malware masquerades its network traffic as the Orion Improvement Program (OIP) protocol and stores reconnaissance results within legitimate plugin configuration files allowing it to blend in with legitimate SolarWinds activity. The backdoor uses multiple obfuscated blocklists to identify forensic and anti-virus tools running as processes, services, and drivers.”

SUNBURST was used by attackers to move laterally within networks and target other servers and components. Backdoors were often created in compromised systems to install the malware dropper known as TEARDROP. This was used to deploy a version of the Cobalt Strike BEACON payload, a commercial penetration testing and post-exploitation agent.

SUNBURST is a highly sophisticated software supply-chain attack. Such attacks are difficult to detect since they exploit trust relationships between software vendors and customers that are the basis for server-to-server communications used to deliver software updates.

The attack has significant implications for SAP cyber security by dramatically increasing the risk associated with the use of third-party security platforms. Such platforms provide a direct channel to business-critical SAP applications and infrastructure. The agents, consoles and sensors installed in SAP landscapes for third party solutions could be exploited to compromise connected SAP systems. The risk is heightened when such solutions connect directly to external servers for software updates. Transport layer encryption and digitally signed certificates for delivering updates do not protect against software supply chain attacks if the updates are trojanized at source.

Open-source software packaged in third party security solutions also provide vulnerable targets for threat attackers targeting supply chain attacks. Certain cyber security solution providers include the open-source Ubuntu operating system in images powering their consoles or sensors. Ubuntu has approximately 1200 vulnerabilities disclosed in the National Vulnerability Database. SAP customers that rely on third party software are completely dependent on external vendors to ensure open-source platforms and components such as Ubuntu are hardened and patched regularly.

Finally, while third party solutions monitor the security of SAP applications, it is not clear if these solutions include capabilities to self-monitor and detect incidents and breaches that occur within the solutions.

SAP customers can avoid the risks of software supply chain attacks by using their SAP Solution Manager installations for security monitoring. Unlike third party security solutions, Solution Manager is updated through a direct connection to SAP Support. Updates for monitoring the patch level of SAP systems are therefore sourced directly from SAP rather than external sources.

SAP Solution Manager also does not include vulnerable open-source software such as Ubuntu. Solution Manager installations operate with closed-source, enterprise-level operating systems.

Finally, SAP Solution Manager performs self-monitoring. In a dual landscape, Solution Manager installations can monitor each other. Therefore, Solution Manager can detect vulnerabilities, missing patches, user anomalies, and security incidents occurring within the platform.

Overall, SAP Solution Manager provides a more robust, secure platform for protecting SAP landscapes from cyber threats than third-party solutions that are susceptible to software supply chain attacks.