Figure 3.6: Changing the sender of the email in .NET

Print QR-Code in .NET Figure 3.6: Changing the sender of the email
Figure 3.6: Changing the sender of the email
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The hacker then drafts the email and sends it to a few email addresses. He needs to get the users to open an attached .tif file that will trigger the DoS attack. He takes advantage of the fact that it is common for faxes to be sent via email in a .tif format. Consequently, he drafts the email shown in Figure 3.7.
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Figure 3.7: Drafting the fake email
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Figure 3.8 shows how the email looks on a BlackBerry.
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Figure 3.8: View of the email on a BlackBerry
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How BlackBerrys Are Hacked, and How to Protect Them
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Without question, any person receiving the email would want to read the attachment and respond to it immediately. A big deal was on the line and they needed to be as responsive as possible. The actual exploit takes place as each addressee opens the attachment. Users think they are doing something as innocent as attempting to open an important file attachment, but in reality they are unknowingly causing a critical portion of their communication infrastructure to go down. Here s how it happens: The .tif file sent in the attachment is actually malformed. When someone attempts to open the attachment, it crashes the Attachment Service on the BlackBerry Enterprise Server. With the Attachment Service down, nobody in the company can receive any attachments. (Figure 3.9 illustrates how this takes place.) Because urgent, valid attachments need to be sent and received to help win the big deal, this poses a big problem to DA, Inc.
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Hacker sends an email with malicious, malformed .tif file
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Other BlackBerry users attempt to open their non-malformed attachments
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BlackBerry Attachment Service is shut down
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Mobile BlackBerry user receives email and attempts to view the malformed .tif attachment
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BlackBerry Attachment Service attempts to process the malformed .tif and is shut down
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Figure 3.9: Attempting to open the attachment crashes the Attachment Service on the BES
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Clearly, this was pretty easy to do. The only real challenge in figuring out how to perform this DoS revolved around finding out that there was a vulnerability that could be exploited in the first place. The hacker himself didn t discover the vulnerability; someone else did all of the legwork to determine that the malformed .tif would crash the server. The hacker merely found out the
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vulnerability existed and took advantage of it. This happens in a lot of cases. Technically savvy people spend a considerable amount of time trying to figure out how to break technology. Their goal may not even be malicious. Using their hard work, though, somebody with just a little bit of knowledge and malicious intent becomes very dangerous. He takes advantage of that intelligence and launches the exploit.
Protecting Against This Attack
There are numerous means by which the aforementioned exploit could have been prevented. In addition, there are steps that enterprises need to take to prevent future malware attacks from occurring. This section goes over ways to prevent this specific attack from occurring, as well as define ways to prevent future BlackBerry-related malware attacks. The malformed-.tif vulnerability is known to BlackBerry and they have provided a fix. BlackBerry refers to the vulnerability as Article Number KB-04757 Corrupt TIFF file may cause heap overflow resulting in denial of service in the BlackBerry Attachment Service. Specific information on this vulnerability is publicly available at http://www.blackberry.com/btsc/search.do cmd=
displayKC&docType=kc&externalId=KB04757&sliceId=SAL_Public&dialogID=6 613251&stateId=1%200%2012982050.
BlackBerry identifies the problem by saying the following: A corrupt Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) file sent to a user may stop a user s ability to view attachments. There is no impact on any other services (for example, sending and receiving messages, making phone calls, browsing the Internet, and running BlackBerry wireless device applications to access a corporate network). The BlackBerry Attachment Service automatically restarts either immediately or within a specified time period (the default is 25 minutes). The administrator can restart the Attachment Service at any time. You may notice the portion about the automatic, default restart of the Attachment Service after 25 minutes. In our example, the default restart is why mobile users were able to view attachments intermittently. The service would restart itself, then a different user would attempt to view the malformed .tif, only to inadvertently crash the Attachment Service again. To protect BlackBerry Enterprise Servers from this exploit, BlackBerry offers the following solutions: