Cyber Security News

Hackers Exploit Barracuda Zero-Day Flaw Since 2022 to Install Malware

Barracuda Networks, which is currently owned by KKR (Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.,) announced that they had faced a cyber attack in which a Zero Day flaw was exploited, and threat actors extracted data.

The earliest identification of this attack dates back to October 2022.

The flaw existed on their Email Security Gateway (ESG) appliance. The company worked closely with Mandiant cyber security experts to investigate this issue.

The vulnerability was identified to be CVE-2023-2868, and a patch was applied to all ESG appliances worldwide.

CVE-2023-2868: Remote Command Injection Vulnerability

This vulnerability exists due to improper processing, validation, and sanitization of the names of the files within the user-supplied .tar file.

An attacker could exploit this by sending a specially crafted file name in a specified manner, resulting in remote command execution on the system through Perl’s qx operator inside the Email Security Gateway (ESG) product.

Affected Products

Email Security Gateway Application5.1.3.001-

Malware Deployment Using Zero-Day

There were three malware deployed by the threat actors using the Barracuda Email Security Gateway Appliance.

SALTWATER – Trojanised malware for uploading or downloading arbitrary files, command execution, proxy, and tunneling.  It uses five channels for these functionalities: UploadChannel, DownloadChannel, ProxyChannel, TunnelArgs, and ShellChannel.

SEASPY Persistent backdoor which looks like a legitimate Barracuda Networks Service by establishing itself as a PCAP filter. It monitors port 25 (SMTP) traffic and contains the backdoor functionality.

Mandiant analysis stated that the code could overlap between SEASPY and cd00r, a publicly available backdoor.

SEASIDE – Lua-based module which monitors SMTP HELO/EHLO commands that are used for receiving command and control (C2) IP address and port. It creates a reverse shell by sending the information as arguments to an external library.

File Metadata of the Malware

ModuleMD5File TypeSize (Bytes)
SALTWATER827d507aa3bde0ef903ca5dec60cdec8ELF x861,879,643
SEASPY4ca4f582418b2cc0626700511a6315c0ELF x642,924,217
SEASIDEcd2813f0260d63ad5adf0446253c2172Lua module2,724

Barracuda has also provided Indicators of Compromise, Network IOCs and YARA rules for detecting this malware.

Barracuda Networks said, “We took immediate steps to investigate this vulnerability.

Our investigation revealed that the vulnerability resulted in unauthorized access to several email gateway appliances. As part of our containment strategy, all ESG appliances received a second patch on May 21, 2023.

The company also confirmed that no other Barracuda products were affected due to this vulnerability, including the SaaS email security services.

They released patches for fixing this vulnerability as part of their BNSF-36456 on May 20, 2023.

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Guru Baran

Guru is an Ex-Security Engineer at Comodo Cybersecurity. Co-Founder - Cyber Security News & GBHackers On Security.

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