Attackers are probing and exploiting the ImageTragick flaws

Security companies have observed attacks trying to exploit recently disclosed remote code execution flaws in the ImageMagick Web server library

Over the past week security researchers have seen increasing attempts by hackers to find servers vulnerable to remote code execution vulnerabilities recently found in the ImageMagick Web server library.

The flaws were publicly disclosed last Tuesday by researchers who had reason to believe that malicious attackers already had knowledge about them after an initial fix from the ImageMagick developers proved to be incomplete. The flaws were collectively dubbed ImageTragick and a website with more information was set up to attract attention to them.

ImageMagick is a command-line tool that can be used to create, edit and convert images in many different formats. The tool is the base for other Web server libraries, such as PHP’s imagick, Ruby’s rmagick, papercli and Node.js’s imagemagick, which are used by millions of websites.

Attackers can easily exploit the flaws by uploading specially crafted images on websites that use ImageMagick to process user-uploaded images. So it's no wonder that attackers have rushed to exploit these vulnerabilities.

Website security and optimization firm CloudFlare started seeing ImageTragick attacks soon after adding a detection rule for them in the Web Application Firewall used by its customers.

The company has seen exploitation attempts that look like reconnaissance efforts to identify vulnerable servers, as well as attempts to use the flaws to install and execute malicious files on vulnerable servers, which would provide attackers with persistent access.

"We do not know of a website that has been successfully hacked using ImageTragick, but it is clear that hackers are actively trying this vulnerability as it is fresh and many servers are likely to not have been patched yet," CloudFlare researcher John Graham-Cumming said in a blog post.

Researchers from website security firm Sucuri have also observed ImageTragick attacks against their customers. In those cases, the attackers were trying to exploit the vulnerability in order to execute rogue commands that opened a reverse shell back to the attackers' server.

The attacks observed by Sucuri are not widespread, but that might change in the future.

"We are curious to see how this continues to evolve," Sucuri CTO Daniel Cid said in a blog post. "In the past we’ve seen different things happen. Some start with very modest targeted tests and others with more aggressive mass exploit attempts. Because this vulnerability specifically seems to be lacking a few critical elements, like accessibility, it could explain why we’re seeing a slower, more cautious, poke-and-prod like approach."

Whether the attacks are widespread or not, server admins should apply the available patches and recommended policy-based mitigation as soon as possible. According to the ImageMagick developers, versions 6.9.3-10 and 7.0.1-1, as well as all later versions, contain an improved fix for the ImageTragick vulnerabilities.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?