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[R1] HP Intelligent Management Center (iMC) Platform /imc/fault/accessMgrServlet Java Deserialization Remote Code Execution



During the process of writing a detection plugin for CVE-2016-4372 / HP c05200601, Tenable discovered this additional issue. CVE-2016-4372 describes the deserialization of Java objects associated with the Apache Commons Collections library leading to remote code execution. There are a few affected HP products, but our interest was in "HPE iMC PLAT before 7.2 E0403P04". We installed and tested "iMC PLAT 7.2 E0403P06" on a Windows 7 box to investigate further. Note that the PoC written for this advisory is Windows-centric. Don't judge us. Additionally, to anyone who ever tries to install iMC in the future: the database has some very specific settings that have to be set, just 34 pages worth.

Exploit Vector: RCE Through The Web Interface

While analyzing remotely reachable code, we were struck by an error in AccessMgrServlet.java. There is a common idiom in this code base to check if the client is logged in, and if not, throw a ‘PlatformException’ error message. AccessMgrServlet does verify if the client is logged in or not, but it ignores the result. Verbatim:

  public void doPost(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response)
    throws ServletException, IOException
    HttpSession session = request.getSession();
    OperatorLoginInfo operatorLoginInfo = null;
      operatorLoginInfo = OperatorLoginInfo.getLoginOperator(session);
      if (runLog.isTraceEnabled()) {
        runLog.trace("current operatorLoginInfo is " + operatorLoginInfo.getLoginName());
    catch (PlatformException e) {}
      Map> resources = operatorLoginInfo == null ? null : operatorLoginInfo.getResources();
      ObjectInputStream is = new ObjectInputStream(request.getInputStream());
      Object o = is.readObject();

Notice how immediately after the "user isn’t logged in" exception is ignored we go straight to deserialization of an object. Nice for us! The URL to hit this code is /imc/fault/accessMgrServlet. The web server also has these libraries on the class path:

  • Commons-Beanutils (RCE)
  • Commons-FileUpload (Remote file manipulation)
  • Jython (RCE)
  • JSON-lib (RCE)

Unfortunately, we did not find any new gadgets, but did write a PoC named exploit_accessMgrServlet.py, to exercise these vulnerabilities (usage information is available in the header, if you are ZDI or the vendor. Sorry!).


HPE has released HP Intelligent Management Center Platform 7.3 (E0504) to address this issue.

Disclosure Timeline

2016-08-05 - Issue discovered
2016-08-12 - Initial write-up
2016-08-15 - Submitted to ZDI for consideration, case bainesjr0012
2016-09-21 - Pinged ZDI for status
2016-09-21 - ZDI acks ping and indicates they will "nudge" this case.
2016-09-27 - ZDI requests the researcher's public key
2016-09-28 - Tenable sends the researcher's public key
2016-09-29 - ZDI reports having trouble with the PoC. Provides some debug info.
2016-09-29 - Tenable deduces the wrong PoC was provided. Resends the correct one.
2016-10-13 - ZDI confirms vulnerability and offers $1000
2016-10-14 - Tenable accepts
2016-11-03 - Vulnerability reported to vendor by ZDI
2017-03-07 - HP releases advisory HPESBHF03710
2017-03-11 - ZDI releases advisory ZDI-17-166

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Tenable takes product security very seriously. If you believe you have found a vulnerability in one of our products, we ask that you please work with us to quickly resolve it in order to protect customers. Tenable believes in responding quickly to such reports, maintaining communication with researchers, and providing a solution in short order.

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