reddit hackernews mail facebook facebook linkedin


Enumerating and attacking Java Remote Method Invocation services.
#java   #rmi  

RMI (Remote Method Invocation) services often expose dangerous functionality without adequate security controls, however RMI services tend to pass under the radar during security assessments due to the lack of effective testing tools. In 2008 Adam Boulton spoke at AppSec USA and released some RMI attack tools which disappeared soon after, however even with those tools a successful zero-knowledge attack relies on a significant brute force attack (~64-bits/9 quintillion possibilities) being performed over the network.

The goal of BaRMIe is to enable security professionals to identify, attack, and secure insecure RMI services. Using partial RMI interfaces from existing software, BaRMIe can interact directly with those services without first brute forcing 64-bits over the network.

BaRMIe is capable of performing three types of attacks against RMI services. A brief description of each follows. Further technical details will be published in the near future at In addition to this, I presented the results of my research at 44CON 2017 and the slides can be found here: BaRMIe - Poking Java's Back Door.

- Attacking Insecure Methods:
The first and most straightforward method of attacking insecure RMI services is to simply call insecure remote methods. Often dangerous functionality is exposed over RMI which can be triggered by simply retrieving the remote object reference and calling the dangerous method.

- Deserialization via Object-type Parameters:
Some RMI services do not expose dangerous functionality, or they implement security controls such as authentication and session management. If the RMI service exposes a method that accepts an arbitrary Object as a parameter then the method can be used as an entry point for deserialization attacks.

- Deserialization via Illegal Method Invocation:
Due to the use of serialization, and insecure handling of method parameters on the server, it is possible to use any method with non-primitive parameter types as an entry point for deserialization attacks. BaRMIe achieves this by using TCP proxies to modify method parameters at the network level, essentially triggering illegal method invocations.