The puppetlabs-apt module was also audited by the Red team as a part of the PuppetLabs security program. Red team members try to find common vulnerabilities in software products, including open-source software, with the aim of discovering weaknesses that can be exploited by malicious actors. Red team members try to find the easiest way to gain unauthorized access to a system, and sometimes they find a vulnerability in publicly available software that can be exploited in a malicious manner. An example of this might be a software package that is downloaded from the official website or a package that is published in an open-source repository. An example of this vulnerability in the puppetlabs-apt package was discovered in a Red team assessment. The puppetlabs-apt module accepts a remote command injection vulnerability. A Red team member was able to provide a piece of input to the puppetlabs-apt module that was not being sanitized and was executed as a command line option. An attacker only needs to be able to provide a piece of input to the puppetlabs-apt module.

Overview of the puppetlabs-apt Module

The puppetlabs-apt module is used for installing packages on a remote machine. The package being installed is specified by a parameter in the command line. The module has several other purposes, but the main purpose of this module is to install packages on a remote machine.
A vulnerability was discovered in the module where it accepted an unchecked parameter that can be remotely executed as input. This is a remote command injection vulnerability where an attacker only needs to provide a piece of input and that input will be executed as the command line option.

PuppetLabs-Apt Module

The puppetlabs-apt module is a Ruby gem that is used to install and manage packages on a Debian-based Linux system. The puppetlabs-apt module uses sudo to perform administrative tasks, which means that it can be exploited by an attacker with root privileges.

Finding Vulnerabilities in Open-Source Software

It is important to note that Red Team assessments are not intended to be used for security purposes. In this case, the assessment was done as a part of the PuppetLabs Security Program. Red team members only discover vulnerabilities in publicly available software and other open-source products. The findings of these assessments are shared with the developers of the software so they can make updates to fix the vulnerability.


This article illustrates the best practices for finding and resolving vulnerabilities in your modules by providing a case study.
Vulnerabilities are an inevitable part of your software development lifecycle, but you can reduce the risk of exploitation by following best practices when evaluating and incorporating new modules into your infrastructure.
The article also references a number of resources that can help with identifying vulnerabilities and resolving them.


Published on: 10/07/2022 21:15:00 UTC
Last modified on: 10/11/2022 15:43:00 UTC