Open source software security

Drupal Twitter Module Credential Exposure

30 November -0001

Description of Vulnerability:

Drupal (http://drupal.org) is a robust content management system (CMS) written in PHP and MySQL that provides extensibility through hundreds of third party modules. The Twitter Module (http://drupal.org/project/twitter) suffers from potential vulnerability due to the fact that it could expose stored Twitter account credentials to theft or exposure.

Systems affected:

Drupal 6.15 with Twitter Module 6.x-2.6 was tested and shown to be vulnerable.

Impact :

The Drupal Twitter module handles credentials in an unsafe manner, allowing anyone with read access to the Drupal database, or with access to network traffic between the Drupal server and the Twitter API, to observe the full Twitter username and password for Twitter user configured through the module.

Mitigating factors:

Twitter module must be installed and configured with user account credentials.

Technical discussion and proof of concept:

The Drupal Twitter contravenes many of the stated Twitter "Secure Best Practices." (http://apiwiki.twitter.com/Security-Best-Practices)

The module stores Twitter credentials unobscured in the Drupal database. Both user specific passwords and the global site Twitter account credentials are stored. The global passwords can be found in the Drupal variable table:

mysql> select * from variable where name like 'twitter_global%';
+-------------------------+--------------------------+
| name                    | value                    |
+-------------------------+--------------------------+
| twitter_global_name     | s:16:"Twitter username"; |
| twitter_global_password | s:16:"Twitter password"; |
+-------------------------+--------------------------+
2 rows in set (0.00 sec)

User specific credentials can be found in the twitter_user table:

mysql> select * from twitter_user;
+-----+--------------+-----------+--------+
| uid | screen_name  | password  | import |
+-----+--------------+-----------+--------+
|   3 | twitter_name | twit_pass |      1 |
+-----+--------------+-----------+--------+
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

The inclusion of the full credentials in the database exposes these credentials to theft by anyone with read access to the database. This includes anyone with sufficient permissions to craft PHP through Drupal, which is a native function of many of the core and extended third party modules.

Additionally when the module updates the twitter feed status or verifies account credentials it utilizes base 64 encoded, but unencrypted connections to pass credentials and update status messages rather than the OAuth facility provided by Twitter (http://apiwiki.twitter.com/OAuth-FAQ).