Multiple Vulnerabilities in phpMyAdmin Could Allow for Remote Code Execution

ITS Advisory Number: 
2016-216
Date(s) Issued: 
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Subject: 
Multiple Vulnerabilities in phpMyAdmin Could Allow for Remote Code Execution
Overview: 

Multiple vulnerabilities have been discovered in phpMyAdmin, the most severe of which could result in remote code execution. Successful exploitation of these vulnerabilities could result in an attacker gaining the same privileges as the logged on user. Depending on the privileges associated with the user, an attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than those who operate with administrative user rights.

Systems Affected: 
  • phpMyAdmin 4.6.x prior to 4.6.5

  • phpMyAdmin 4.4.x prior to 4.4.15.9

  • phpMyAdmin 4.0.x prior to 4.0.10.18

RISK
GOVERNMENT
Large and medium government entities: 
High
Small government entities: 
Medium
BUSINESS
Large and medium business entities: 
High
Small business entities: 
Medium
Home Users: 
Low
Description: 

Multiple vulnerabilities have been discovered in phpMyAdmin, the most severe of which could result in remote code execution. These vulnerabilities  can be exploited if an attacker crafts and sends a malicious request to the affected application. Details of the vulnerabilities are as follows:

  • A remote code execution vulnerability exists in the phpMyAdmin unserialize() function (CVE-2016-6620)

  • A elevation of privilege vulnerability exists when the phpMyAdmin function PMA_safeUnserialize() function is manipulated with an unknown input (CVE-2016-9865)

Successful exploitation of these vulnerabilities could result in an attacker gaining the same privileges as the logged on user. Depending on the privileges associated with the user, an attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than those who operate with administrative user rights.

Actions: 
  • After appropriate testing, upgrade to the latest version of phpMyAdmin.

  • Verify no unauthorized system modifications have occurred on system before applying patch.

  • Run all software as a non-privileged user (one without administrative privileges) to diminish the effects of a successful attack.