RubyGems fixes unauthorized package takeover bug



The RubyGems package repository has fixed a vital vulnerability that would make it possible for any person to unpublish (“yank”) certain Ruby packages from the repository and republish their tainted or destructive versions with the similar file names and variation quantities.

Assigned CVE-2022-29176, the crucial flaw existed on, which is the Ruby-equivalent of, and hosts over 170,000 Ruby deals (gems) with almost 100 billion downloads served around its life time.

An preliminary audit from RubyGems reveals that the vulnerability has not been exploited in just the past 18 months to change any gems, but a further audit is still in progress with effects but to be introduced.

Hijacking a gem: yank, alter, republish

This 7 days, RubyGems announced that a critical bug could’ve enabled any consumer to yank versions of a gem that they did not have authorization for, and replace the gem’s contents with more recent documents.

Similar to npm for NodeJS packages, RubyGems is a offer manager for the Ruby programming language and gives a standardized format for distributing concluded Ruby artifacts (identified as “gems”). The registry is the community’s gem hosting assistance allowing for builders to immediately publish or put in gems and use a set of specialized APIs.

Ought to a threat actor grow to be informed of this kind of a flaw, they could quietly replace the contents of legitimate Ruby packages with malware—something which has echoes of npm’s popular ua-parser-js, coa, and rc libraries that were hijacked final 12 months to distribute crypto miners and password stealers.

Even though the npm hijacking incidents stemmed from maintainer account compromises rather than a vulnerability exploit, they wreaked havoc as libraries like ‘ua-parser-js’ have been used by more than a thousand initiatives, which include people used by Fb, Microsoft, Amazon, Instagram, Google, Slack, Mozilla, Discord, Elastic, Intuit, Reddit, and quite a few much more effectively-identified firms.

In Ruby’s situation, mass exploitation of these kinds of an exploit could induce widespread damage to the Ruby ecosystem and all round computer software provide chain security.

To exploit the vulnerability, RubyGems points out, the next conditions need to be achieved:

  • The gem becoming qualified has one or extra dashes in its identify, e.g. something-company.
  • The phrase that arrives just before the initial sprint represents an attacker-managed gem that exists on
  • The gem getting yanked/altered was either created inside of the previous 30 days or experienced not been updated in over 100 times.

“For example, the gem a thing-service provider could have been taken above by the operator of the gem some thing,” clarifies RubyGems.

“Corporations with many gems ended up not vulnerable as very long as they owned the gem with the identify right before the dash, for example owning the gem orgname secured all gems with names like orgname-provider.”

This vulnerability, assigned CVE-2022-29176, lurked in the “yank action” of RubyGems code and has now been preset.

Impartial developer and pentester, Greg Molnar has explained the flaw in a small additional technical depth.

At this time, maintainers do not believe the vulnerability has been exploited, in accordance to the outcomes of an audit that analyzed gem adjustments designed above the last 18 months on the system.

But the registry entrepreneurs condition that a further audit is ongoing and its results will comply with in the protection advisory published for this vulnerability, which also contains some mitigations.

“ sends an email to all gem entrepreneurs when a gem edition is posted or yanked. We have not gained any help e-mail from gem entrepreneurs indicating that their gem has been yanked with no authorization,” states the advisory.

RubyGem developers can audit their software historical past for attainable earlier exploits by examining their Gemfile.lock and exploring for gems that had their platform altered with variation figures remaining unchanged.

For example, viewing your gemname-3.1.2 gem renamed to gemname-3.1.2-java is one possible signal of the vulnerability getting been exploited.

User laursisask has been credited with reporting the vulnerability through HackerOne.


Could 8th, 5:17 PM ET: Added information on how to examine if your gem has been exploited by means of this flaw. 

May perhaps 8th, 5:35 PM ET: Included hyperlink to Molnar’s technological analysis of the flaw.


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