ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus 9.0 - Authentication Bypass

EDB-ID: 42037
Author: ByteM3
Published: 2017-05-19
Type: Webapps
Platform: Java
Aliases: N/A
Advisory/Source: N/A
Tags: Credentials Bypass aka Admin Bypass AKA Auth Bypass (AB/CB)
Vulnerable App: N/A

 Date: 19 May 2017 
Researcher: Steven Lackey (ByteM3)
Product: ServiceDesk Plus (
Affected Version: 9.0 (Other versions could also be affected)
Fixed Version: Service Pack 9241 – Build 9.2
Vulnerability Impact: High
Published Date:
Email: bytem3 [at] <>

Product Introduction

ServiceDesk Plus is ITIL-ready help desk software with integrated Assetand
Project Management capabilities.

With advanced ITSM functionality and easy-to-use capability, ServiceDesk
Plus helps IT support teams deliver

world-class service to end users with reduced costs and complexity. It
comes in three editions and is available

in 29 different languages. Over 100,000 organizations, across 185
countries, trust ServiceDesk Plus to optimize

IT service desk performance and achieve high end user satisfaction.


Vulnerability Information

Class: Backdoor
Impact: Account and Application Compromise
Remotely Exploitable: Yes
Authentication Required: Yes
User interaction required: Yes
CVE Name: N/A

Vulnerability Description

A valid username can be used as both username/password to login and
compromise the application through the “/mc/” directory which is the
‘mobile client’ directory. This can be achieved ONLY if Active
Directory/LDAP is being used.

This flaw exists because of the lack of password randomization in the
application version 9.0 when a user is entered into the application, thus
the application assigns the password as the username. The flaw can then be
exploited by logging into the application through the “/mc” directory and
then backing out of the “/mc” directory by deleting it from the URL thus
positioning you in the main application with the authority of the user you
logged in as. (Help locating a valid username can come from another
discovered vulnerability in this same version of software here: - with credit to Muhammad Ahmed
Siddiqui for discovering how to enumerate usernames)

Proof-of-Concept Authenticated User

An attacker can use the following URL to login to the mobile client with
any workstation:


Use the discovered username in both the username and password fields.
Ensure the “Is AD Auth” box is checked and click login.

Once logged in, remove “/mc/” from the URL and you will be presented with
the full application and the authorities of the user you just logged in

You can now continue to look for usernames inside the application until a
user with administrative privileges has been discovered and can compromise
with administrative authority. Please note, ServiceDesk Plus has the
ability to ‘scan’ machines on any available network it can see, meaning,
system accounts are typically entered into the application to keep an
inventory of machines that ServiceDesk can manage. It is possible to
compromise not only the hosting machine for this application, however, the
entire network as I did on the Penetration Test where I discovered this

Vendor Response

I have contacted the vendor and they advised they have fixed this
particular issue with a new service pack ‘9241’, however, this insanely
vulnerability is still out there, as this scenario has not been published
as of yet, other than the vendors statement on their 9.2 Release readme
webpage (
and email to me here:

“FIX: PATCH *SD-61664 :* Based on Database configuration, an option to set
the LocalAuthentication password as Random or predefined, for the users
added through ActiveDirectory (AD), LDAP, Dynamic user addition, users
created via e-mail Requests has been provided. Make sure that the
notification under Admin >> Notification Rules >> Send Self-service login
details is enabled before performing the import so that LA user details
will be notified to users through email.”


18-Apr-2017 – Notification to Vendor
19-Apr-2017 – Response from Vendor
31-Jan-2017 – Vulnerability fixed by Vendor
19-May-2017 – Still no clear publication on this backdoor

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