Experts at CheckPoint discovered that SQLite database can be abused by threat actors as an attack vector to execute malicious code in other apps, including Apple’s .
The experts presented the attack technique at the DEF CON security conference in Las Vegas.
“We discovered that simply querying a malicious SQLite database – can lead to Remote Code Execution. We used undocumented SQLite3 behavior and memory corruption vulnerabilities to take advantage of the assumption that querying a database is safe.” explained Omer Gull, security researcher at
The study conducted by the researchers demonstrated how to exploit memory corruption issues in SQLite just using the SQL language. The experts devised techniques of Query Hijacking and Query Oriented Programming to trigger the above issues in the SQLite engine. Gull showed the audience a couple of
The expert presented at Defcon how to use SQLite database to get a malware to be executed when the
An attacker could replace or edit the “AddressBook.sqlitedb” file injecting a malware inside an iPhone’s address book, then when
The researcher explained that Apple doesn’t sign SQLite data files, making it possible to easily replace the file and allowing attackers to gain persistence on both iPhones and
“Furthermore, the contacts
Experts reported their finding to Apple, the issues were assigned the following CVEs:
Apple addressed them in May, with the release of
Experts also investigated how to hack into a C2 server used to control an info stealer specifically designed to steal SQLite user data.
The attack leverages the fact that most of C&C servers are in PHP and the malware uses to parse the SQLite files to extract the user’s browser data and display them in the console of the C2
“Given the fact that SQLite is practically built-in to every major OS, desktop or mobile, the landscape and opportunities are endless. Furthermore, many of the primitives presented here are not exclusive to SQLite and can be ported to other SQL engines. Welcome to the brave new world of using the familiar Structured Query Language for exploitation primitives. ”
“Given the fact that SQLite is practically built-in to almost any platform, we think that we’ve barely scratched the tip of the iceberg when it comes to its exploitation potential. We hope that the security community will take this innovative research and the tools released and push it even further. A couple of options we think might be interesting to pursue are “
Apps that rely on SQLite include the likes of Skype, any web browser, any Android device, any iTunes instance, Dropbox sync clients, car multimedia systems, television sets and set-top cable boxes, and a bunch of other apps.