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.

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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.

Securing OS Platforms with the Cybersecurity Extension for SAP

Securing SAP hosts is a critical component of SAP system hardening. Vulnerable operating systems can provide a pathway to SAP applications, databases and other components, bypassing security mechanisms applied in such 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 Solution Manager performs daily automated scans to identify vulnerabilities in SAP hosts. For Linux operating systems, 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.

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

The Extension also monitors OS 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
  • Changes to audit settings and records

Audit records from the Linux 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 Solution Manager 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.

The Extension currently supports monitoring for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES). Support for IBM AIX and Microsoft Windows Server is expected in 2021.

Secure Your Custom Code with the Cybersecurity Extension for SAP

The Cybersecurity Extension for SAP Solution Manager now supports static code analysis for custom SAP programs. Released in September, version 3.3 performs code vulnerability detection for hard coded users, passwords, hosts, systems, and clients, SQL injection, cross-site scripting, missing or insufficient authorization checks, directory traversal, sensitive table reads and writes, OS command injection, and insecure communication methods and passwords.

The ABAP checks are integrated with SAP Code Inspector (SCI) and ABAP Test Cockpit (ATC). They can be applied for new developments and existing custom programs. For existing programs, periodic scans are scheduled in the ATC. Scan results are also viewed using ATC. The results below are displayed in SAP Eclipse.

The details of vulnerabilities including the impacted lines of code in the relevant objects can viewed by clicking on each error.

Findings are integrated with the Vulnerability Report in SAP Solution Manager. Remediation plans can be recorded and tracked using action plans in Solution Manager. Alternatively, exemptions can be requested for vulnerabilities in the ATC.

Automatic blocking for transport requests containing security-related errors can be enforced in the Change and Transport System (CTS). Furthermore, the SAP BAdI CTS_REQUEST_CHECK can be implemented to trigger security checks during the release of a transport request.

Checks can be applied from central systems for remote systems. The procedures are outlined in SAP Note 2364916 and a Technical Article in the SAP Community.

Prevent and Detect Ransomware Attacks with SAP Solution Manager

Ransomware attacks accounted for one third of malware-based cyber attacks in the first quarter of 2020. Successful attacks encrypt and block access to files in compromised systems. Decryption keys for recovery of the files are typically only released after ransom demands are paid, usually in the form of untraceable cryptocurrencies. The impact of ransomware includes not only ransoms but also recovery costs. The cost of the ransomware attack experienced by Demant in 2019 is estimated at $95M. Costs at Norsk Hydro are expected to reach $70M.

Based on an analysis of telemetry records, there are several early indicators of ransomware operations performed by threat actors. Attackers often use legitimate administrative tools to prepare ransomware attacks. This includes network scanners to identify vulnerable targets and software removal tools to disable antivirus software. Threat actors also often install tools for credential theft on compromised systems.

Ransomware is usually packaged in zip files distributed through emails, trojans, and infected web sites. The ransomware WastedLocker, for example, is often disguised as zip files for legitimate software updates. WastedLocker infected digital infrastructure at Garmin in July, leading to a $10M ransom. Ransomware payloads can also be delivered through compromised SAP systems. Attackers can target remote code execution vulnerabilities in SAP GUI for client-side attacks. Ransomware can be installed directly in SAP servers using external operating system commands. OS commands performed by SAP users are executed by the operating system user <SID>ADM. The user has full administrative privileges for local SAP resources.

The wget command can be used to download ransomware from remote hosts to a target directory in the SAP host. Ransomware payloads can also be loaded directly in servers using transactions CG3Z or CACS_FILE_COPY. Once loaded, the payloads can be extracted and then executed using bash commands in Linux systems. This method for delivering, installing and executing ransomware will encrypt files in folders accessible by the <SID>ADM user and crash SAP applications and services. It may also impact other files and services in the host if the ransomware successfully elevates privileges.

Such exploits can be mitigated or detected in several ways. Access to perform OS commands should be restricted. This includes authorization object S_LOG_COM, transactions SM49 and SM69, program RSBDCOS0, and function modules such as SXPG_COMMAND_EXECUTE. Successful execution of the transactions, programs and function modules should also be monitored, as well as OS commands and changes to custom commands. Refer to SAP Note 1612730 for enabling detailed logging for external commands.

The Cybersecurity Extension for SAP Solution Manager performs automated scans to detect users with OS command privileges. It also monitors SAP logs to alert for the execution of OS commands, new custom commands, and changes to existing commands. The extension also detects and alerts for the execution of transactions SM49, SM69, CG3Z and CACS_FILE_COPY, program RSBDCOS0, and relevant function modules. Alerts are automatically forwarded to SIEM systems with event details. To learn more, contact Layer Seven Security

RECON: Secure Your Systems with SAP Solution Manager

US-CERT issued Alert AA20-195A on Monday for the so-called RECON (Remotely Exploitable Code On NetWeaver) vulnerability in SAP NetWeaver Application Server Java (AS Java). RECON impacts versions 7.3 and higher of AS Java including an estimated 40,000 SAP systems. Based on a BinaryEdge search, 4,000 of the impacted systems are internet-facing. The vulnerability is rated 10/10 using the Common Vulnerability Scoring System and can be exploited remotely by unauthenticated attackers to fully compromise SAP systems.

RECON targets a missing authentication flaw in the LM Configuration Wizard of AS Java to execute malicious code that creates administrative users in compromised systems. Attackers can exploit RECON to compromise not only AS Java systems but also connected systems including SAP ERP, CRM, SCM, and BW.

CISA strongly recommends SAP customers to apply SAP Note 2934135 to mitigate RECON. The note introduces authentication and authorization for the LM Configuration Wizard and therefore secures against RECON attacks. As a workaround, the application tc~lm~ctc~cul~startup_app can be disabled if the note cannot be applied. The LM Configuration Wizard is required by SAP Landscape Management. According to SAP, “This application is used by a few SAP Lifecycle procedures only, such as the initial technical setup. It is not needed for a day-to-day operations. You can temporarily activate or enable this application for executing the SAP lifecycle procedures.” Procedures for disabling the LM Configuration Wizard are detailed in SAP Note 2939665.

The implementation status of Notes 2934135 and 2939665 for impacted systems should be tracked using System Recommendations (SysRec) in SAP Solution Manager. SysRec connects directly to SAP Support to discover relevant notes for SAP applications, databases and components.

Users can create custom tiles in SysRec to track the implementation status of RECON notes in their SAP landscape from the Fiori launchpad.

The Cybersecurity Extension for SAP Solution Manager monitors Java application logs to detect the signature of RECON exploits. This includes enabling and executing the vulnerable application. The Extension also detects the creation of new administrative users and connections by new users or source IP addresses using anomaly detection. RECON alerts can be investigated using the incident response procedures Preventing RECON Attacks and Investigating Suspected RECON Attacks.

Email and SMS notifications are triggered for RECON alerts. The alerts can also be monitored in Solution Manager using the Alert Inbox, System Monitoring, and other applications. They can also be integrated with SIEM solutions for cross-platform monitoring. Custom alarms can be added to the Fiori launchpad to notify users of suspected RECON exploits.

SAP Discloses Critical Vulnerabilities in ASE Databases

SAP customers are urged to apply a series of recent patches released by SAP for the Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE).  SAP ASE, previously known as Sybase SQL Server and Sybase ASE, is a widely deployed database platform used for both SAP and non-SAP applications. According to SAP, ASE is used by over 30,000 customers worldwide, including 90 percent of the top 50 banks.

Four of the patches released by SAP are for critical or high-risk vulnerabilities in multiple components of ASE. The vulnerabilities impact ASE versions 15.7 and 16.0 and carry CVSS scores ranging between 7.2 and 9.1.

Note 2917275 patches the most severe of the vulnerabilities by applying input validation for DUMP and LOAD commands that could be exploited to overwrite critical configuration files during database backup operations. Attackers can run DUMP commands to overwrite database configuration files with corrupted versions that will replace the default configuration. This can be exploited to install backdoors to ASE using credentials stored in the corrupted configuration files. It can also be exploited to execute arbitrary commands and executables using local system privileges by modifying the sybmultbuf_binary Backup Server setting.

Note 2917090 impacts Windows installations of the SAP ASE 16. Credentials for SQL Anywhere packaged in ASE can be read by any Windows user. SQL Anywhere supports database creation and version management. The credentials can be used to perform code execution with local privileges.

Notes 2916927 and 2917273 deal with high-risk SQL injection vulnerabilities in global temporary tables and ASE Web Services. Both vulnerabilities can be exploited to escalate privileges in ASE.

Database security notes including patches for ASE should be regularly monitored and applied using System Recommendations in SAP Solution Manager. Solution Manager connects directly to SAP Support for patch updates and monitor the patch status of SAP applications and databases. SAP Solution Manager also supports comprehensive vulnerability management for SAP ASE. Automated, daily security scans for ASE should be configured using Solution Manager to check for vulnerabilities related to the database configuration, administrative privileges, stored procedures, and other areas. The ASE audit log can be monitored by the Monitoring and Alerting Infrastructure (MAI) in Solution Manager to detect and alert for suspected malicious commands. To learn more, contact Layer Seven Security.

SAP Discloses Security Gaps in Cloud Solutions

SAP issued a statement last week to disclose security lapses in several cloud products including SAP Cloud Platform, SAP Analytics Cloud, SuccessFactors, and Concur. According to the statement, the disclosure was prompted by an internal security review. SAP does not believe customer data has been compromised as a result of the issues. The lapses impact 9% of the company’s 440,000 customers.

The announcement is expected to dampen customer support for digital transformation initiatives intended to shift the hosting of SAP applications from on-premise data centers to cloud providers.

SAP also announced that the organization is updating security-related terms and conditions for its cloud solutions.  In response to concerns that such changes may be intended to reduce SAP’s legal risk for security issues and shift more responsibility for security to customers, SAP declared that the terms and conditions will “remain in line with market peers”.

Furthermore, SAP denied any link between the announcement and security breaches attributed to the Cloud Hopper hacking campaign. Cloud Hopper successfully exfiltrated sensitive data from multiple organizations by penetrating HPE’s cloud computing service. The campaign is suspected to be sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of State Security.

Webinar Playback: SIEM Integration for SAP

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems support centralized security monitoring across networks. They ingest and analyze data from hosts, routers, switches, firewalls and other components to identify and respond to security threats.

SIEM systems can ingest data directly from SAP application logs. However, direct integration is complex and laborious. It also requires high maintenance and may substantially increase costs if SIEM licensing is tied to log size or events per second.

This challenge can be overcome by integrating SAP logs with SIEM systems using SAP Solution Manager, a management server in SAP landscapes. Solution Manager filters, structures and enriches security event data in SAP logs to support fast, seamless integration with SIEM systems.

This webinar recording discusses the challenges of direct ingestion of SAP logs and the benefits of integration using Solution Manager. It also provides recommendations for configuring audit settings and policies for the following data sources in SAP:

Security Audit Log
System Log
ICM Log
Business Transaction Analysis
Gateway Log
Change Documents
Read Access Log
Java Security Log
HANA Audit Log
SAProuter Log

The webinar is a digest of the whitepaper SIEM Integration for SAP.

You can download the whitepaper here.

Prevent Configuration Drift with SAP Solution Manager

Maintaining system security in dynamic SAP environments is a constant challenge. New users are added every day. Permissions for existing users are constantly updated to keep up with changing requirements. Software updates, transports and other changes introduce new components or developments and often necessitate changes to system settings. With each change, even hardened systems can become less secure and more vulnerable to intrusion.  

To some extent, the risk of configuration drift can be managed through regular vulnerability scanning. However, scan results only identify the consequences of changes, not the root cause. Periodic audits of system and user changes can also help to address the risk. Audits can uncover compliance gaps against change management protocols, but are limited in scope since they are usually performed manually.

Change Analysis in SAP Solution Manager provides an automated response to the risk of configuration drift in SAP systems. The application tracks changes in systems including ABAP, HANA, Java parameters, database and operating system settings, user privileges, notes, software updates, and transport requests. The tool maintains a history of changes performed in each system for two years.

Change Analysis is accessed from the Root Cause Analysis work center in the Fiori launchpad for SAP Solution Manager.

Scope selection supports filtering of changes by system, type or environment.

Results can be filtered further to focus on changes within a specific time frame.

The filtered results are summarized in the dashboard below.

The dashboard supports drilldown from summarized results by system and category into detailed changes. In the example below, the results reveal that the value of parameter gw/accept_timeout was modified in system AS2 at 3.00PM on February 11, 2020.

In another example, the results reveal that the profile SAP_ALL was assigned to the user ATTACKER9 on the same day in the identical system.

Notifications for changes to critical areas can be configured using the monitoring and alerting framework within Solution Manager. The notification below is an alert for changes to RFC destinations. Email and SMS notifications for changes are also supported. Alerts can be integrated with SIEM systems or incident management systems for automated ticketing.

Change Reporting can be used to compare the configuration of different systems.

It can also be used to compare the configuration of the same system using different timestamps. In the example below, we are comparing the configuration of system ECP on February 6 with January 22 to identify changes that occurred in the system during the interval.

The comparison tool is useful for identifying not only changes that may lead to configuration drift within systems but also differences between settings in production environments and other environments such as quality or development. The comparison results are displayed in the Result Details and can be exported for analysis. According to the results below, the SAP_UI component was upgraded in ECP from version 751 to 753 during the interval.