Thursday, December 8, 2016

RCE in JXBrowser JavaScript/Java bridge

I recently found myself prototyping an experimental scanning technique using JXBrowser, a library for using a PhantomJS-like browser in Java applications. Whilst creating a JavaScript to Java bridge using the JXBrowser library, I wondered if it was possible to achieve remote code execution from a web page attacking the JXBrowser client by calling different classes than the one I supplied. My JavaScript to Java bridge looked something like this:

browser.addScriptContextListener(new ScriptContextAdapter() {
    public void onScriptContextCreated(ScriptContextEvent event) {
        Browser browser = event.getBrowser();
        JSValue window = browser.executeJavaScriptAndReturnValue("window");
        window.asObject().setProperty("someObj", new someJavaClass());

This example was taken from the JXBrowser web site, basically the code injects a script into the browser instance, retrieves the window object and converts it into a Java JSValue object, then it sets “someObj” on the window and passes the Java object to the JavaScript window object and we have a bridge! The docs said that only public classes could be used. Once we have created a bridge we need some JavaScript to interact with it.

setTimeout(function f(){
    if(window.someObj && typeof window.someObj.javaFunction === 'function') {
      window.someObj.javaFunction("Called Java function from JavaScript");
    } else {

We have a setTimeout that checks to see if we have “someObj”, if not it calls itself until we do. My first attempt was to use getRuntime() to see if I could get an instance of the runtime object and execute calc. I called:


I got the following error back:
Neither public field nor method named 'getRuntime' exists in the java.lang.Class Java object.

Maybe it wasn’t possible to call getRuntime? I tried to do something simpler:


This seemed to work. I tried enumerating the methods too.

methods = window.someObj.getClass().getSuperclass().getMethods();
for(i=0;i<methods.length();i++) {

So I could successfully enumerate the methods. I decided to try ProcessBuilder next and see what would happen. But every time I tried to call the constructor it failed. It seems the constructor was expecting a Java Array. Somehow I needed to create a Java array of strings so I could pass it to the ProcessBuilder constructor.

window.someObj.getClass().forName("java.lang.ProcessBuilder").newInstance("open","-a Calculator");

window.someObj.getClass().forName("java.lang.ProcessBuilder").newInstance(["open","-a Calculator"]);
//Failed too 

Leaving this problem for a second I tried to create another object that would prove this is vulnerable. I could successfully create an instance of the class.


I tried calling “connect” on this object but again I had the problem of incorrect types for the arguments. This did prove however that I could create socket objects, I couldn’t use them but I could at least create them. It’s worth noting here that I wasn’t passing any arguments for this to work. Next I tried the class but again it failed, I had no option but to use reflection but any time a function was expecting arguments I couldn’t supply it with the correct type. newInstance didn’t work and invoke didn’t work.

I needed help, I needed Java expert help. Fortunately working at Portswigger you are never the smartest one in the room :) I asked Mike and Patrick for their help. I explained the problem that I needed a Java array in order to pass arguments to a function and so we began looking for ways to create arrays in our bridge.

Mike thought maybe using an arraylist was the answer because we could convert it to an array with it’s convenient toArray method.

list = window.someObj.getClass().forName("java.util.ArrayList").newInstance(); 
a = list.toArray();

The call threw a no such method exception and stated that our argument passed was in fact a JSObject. So even though we created an ArrayList the toArray was being converted to a js object by the bridge so the incorrect argument type was being sent to process builder.

We then tried to create an Array instead. Using reflection again we called new instance on the java.lang.reflect.Array but it complained that again we had incorrect argument types, we were sending a double but it was expecting an int. Then we tried to create an int using java.lang.Integer. But again we had the damn argument type problem. Patrick thought we could use the MAX_INT property and create a huge array :) but at least we’d have our int but no, the bridge of course was converting the integer from java into a double.

This is what we tried:

But we got a null pointer exception and without arguments didn’t work either but this is JavaScript remember I thought why not send 123 and see if it will be accepted as an argument and we thought it wouldn’t work but it did in fact print out our max int. We continued trying to call the Array constructor with our max int value but it of course failed. Then we decided to look at the runtime object and see if we could use the same technique. Mike suggested using getDeclaredField and get the current runtime property and making it accessible because it was a private property and to our great delight we popped the calculator.

field = window.someObj.getClass().forName('java.lang.Runtime').getDeclaredField("currentRuntime");
runtime = field.get(123);
runtime.exec("open -a Calculator");

This meant any website rendered in JXBrowser by code employing the JavaScript-Java bridge could potentially take complete control of the client.

We privately reported this issue to TeamDev (the makers of JXBrowser), and they released a patch to support a whitelist of allowed properties/methods using the @JSAccessible annotation. Note that if an application doesn't use the @JSAccessible annotation anywhere the whitelist won't be enforced, and the exploit above will still work.

Enjoy - @garethheyes

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Bypassing CSP using polyglot JPEGs

James challenged me to see if it was possible to create a polyglot JavaScript/JPEG. Doing so would allow me to bypass CSP on almost any website that hosts user-uploaded images on the same domain. I gleefully took up the challenge and begun dissecting the format. The first four bytes are a valid non-ASCII JavaScript variable 0xFF 0xD8 0xFF 0xE0. Then the next two bytes specify the length of the JPEG header. If we make that length of the header 0x2F2A using the bytes 0x2F 0x2A as you might guess we have a non-ASCII variable followed by a multi-line JavaScript comment. We then have to pad out the JPEG header to the length of 0x2F2A with nulls. Here's what it looks like:

FF D8 FF E0 2F 2A 4A 46 49 46 00 01 01 01 00 48 00 48 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00....

Inside a JPEG comment we can close the JavaScript comment and create an assignment for our non-ASCII JavaScript variable followed by our payload, then create another multi-line comment at the end of the JPEG comment.

FF FE 00 1C 2A 2F 3D 61 6C 65 72 74 28 22 42 75 72 70 20 72 6F 63 6B 73 2E 22 29 3B 2F 2A

0xFF 0xFE is the comment header 0x00 0x1C specifies the length of the comment then the rest is our JavaScript payload which is of course */=alert("Burp rocks.")/*

Next we need to close the JavaScript comment, I edited the last four bytes of the image data before the end of image marker. Here's what the end of the file looks like:

2A 2F 2F 2F FF D9

0xFF 0xD9 is the end of image marker. Great so there is our polyglot JPEG, well not quite yet. It works great if you don't specify a charset but on Firefox when using a UTF-8 character set for the document it corrupts our polyglot when included as an script! On MDN it doesn't state that the script supports the charset attribute but it does. So to get the script to work you need to specify the ISO-8859-1 charset on the script tag and it executes fine.

It's worth noting that the polyglot JPEG works on Safari, Firefox, Edge and IE11. Chrome sensibly does not execute the image as JavaScript.

Here is the polyglot JPEG:
Polyglot JPEG
The code to execute the image as JavaScript is as follows:
<script charset="ISO-8859-1" src=""></script>

File size restrictions 

I attempted to upload this graphic as a phpBB profile picture but it has restrictions in place. There is a 6k file size limit and maximum dimensions of 90x90. I reduced the size of the logo by cropping and thought about how I could reduce the JPEG data. In the JPEG header I use /* which in hex is 0x2F and 0x2A, combined 0x2F2A which results in a length of 12074 which is a lot of padding and will result in a graphic far too big to fit as a profile picture. Looking at the ASCII table I tried to find a combination of characters that would be valid JavaScript and reduce the amount of padding required in the JPEG header whilst still being recognised as a valid JPEG file.

The smallest starting byte I could find was 0x9 (a tab character) followed by 0x3A (a colon) which results in a combined hex value of 0x093A (2362) that shaves a lot of bytes from our file and creates a valid non-ASCII JavaScript label statement, followed by a variable using the JFIF identifier. Then I place a forward slash 0x2F instead of the NULL character at the end of the JFIF identifier and an asterisk as the version number. Here's what the hex looks like:

FF D8 FF E0 09 3A 4A 46 49 46 2F 2A
Now we continue the rest of the JPEG header then pad with NULLs and inject our JavaScript payload:

FF D8 FF E0 09 3A 4A 46 49 46 2F 2A 01 01 00 48 00 48 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ... (padding more nulls) 2A 2F 3D 61 6C 65 72 74 28 22 42 75 72 70 20 72 6F 63 6B 73 2E 22 29 3B 2F 2A

Here is the smaller graphic:
Polyglot JPEG smaller


If you allow users to upload JPEGs, these uploads are on the same domain as your app, and your CSP allows script from "self", you can bypass the CSP using a polyglot JPEG by injecting a script and pointing it to that image.


In conclusion if you allow JPEG uploads on your site or indeed any type of file, it's worth placing these assets on a separate domain. When validating a JPEG, you should rewrite the JPEG header to ensure no code is sneaked in there and remove all JPEG comments. Obviously it's also essential that your CSP does not whitelist your image assets domain for script.

This post wouldn't be possible without the excellent work of Ange Albertini. I used his JPEG format graphic extensively to create the polygot JPEG. Jasvir Nagra also inspired me with his blog post about polyglot GIFs.



Mozilla are fixing this in Firefox 51

Enjoy - @garethheyes