Cloudflare has been leaking custom HTTPS sessions


February 23rd, 2017

Cloudflare has been leaking custom HTTPS sessions

Cloudflare has reported that under certain circumstances their edge servers were running past the end of a buffer and returning memory that contained private information such as HTTP cookies, authentication tokens, HTTP POST bodies, and other sensitive data. And some of that data had been cached by search engines.

Tavis Ormandy from Google’s Project Zero first spotted the problem and reported this in the Chromium tracker:

It looked like that if an html page hosted behind cloudflare had a specific combination of unbalanced tags, the proxy would intersperse pages of uninitialized memory into the output (kinda like heartbleed, but cloudflare specific and worse for reasons I’ll explain later). My working theory was that this was related to their “ScrapeShield” feature which parses and obfuscates html – but because reverse proxies are shared between customers, it would affect all Cloudflare customers.

We fetched a few live samples, and we observed encryption keys, cookies, passwords, chunks of POST data and even HTTPS requests for other major cloudflare-hosted sites from other users. Once we understood what we were seeing and the implications, we immediately stopped and contacted cloudflare security.

Once Cloudflare was contacted they immediately jumped on the problem and reduced it down to their HTML parser that was used in email obfuscation, Server-side Excludes, and Automatic HTTPS Rewrites.

The issue is now fixed and rolled out to all customers and Cloudflare has a very detailed report on the background, the timeline of the fix, and how they fixed it. They also, worked with Google and other search engines directly to get to remove any cached HTTP responses.

If you’d like to see a list of sites running Cloudflare here is a list of some of the most popular domains.

UPDATE: Laravel News runs on Cloudflare and we received an email this morning saying this site was not affected. Here is a copy of the relevant information from that report:

In our review of these third party caches, we discovered exposed data on approximately 150 of Cloudflare’s customers across our Free, Pro, Business, and Enterprise plans. We have reached out to these customers directly to provide them with a copy of the data that was exposed, help them understand its impact, and help them mitigate that impact.

Your domain is not one of the domains where we have discovered exposed data in any third party caches. The bug has been patched so it is no longer leaking data. However, we continue to work with these caches to review their records and help them purge any exposed data we find. If we discover any data leaked about your domains during this search, we will reach out to you directly and provide you full details of what we have found.

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Eric L. Barnes

Eric is the creator of Laravel News and has been covering Laravel since 2012.