Expert discovered it was possible to delete all projects in the Microsoft Translator Hub

Microsoft has addressed a serious vulnerability in the Microsoft Translator Hub that could be exploited to delete any or all the projects hosted by the service.

Microsoft has fixed a severe vulnerability in the Microsoft Translator Hub that could be exploited to delete any or all projects hosted by the service.

The Microsoft Translator Hub “empowers businesses and communities to build, train, and deploy customized automatic language translation systems—-”. 

The vulnerability was discovered by the security expert Haider Mahmood that was searching for bugs on the Translator Hub, he discovered that is was possible to remove a project by manipulating the “projectid” parameter in an HTTP request.

“POST request with no content and parameter in the URL (its kinda weird isn’t it?) the “projectid” parameter in the above request is the ID of the individual project in the database, which in this case is “12839“, by observing the above HTTP request, a simple delete project query could be something like:-” wrote the expert in a blog post.

The expert also discovered a Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) vulnerability that could be used by an attacker to impersonate a legitimate, logged in user and perform actions on its behalf.

An attacker with the knowledge of the ProjectID of a logged user just needs to trick victims into clicking a specifically crafted URL that performs the delete action on behalf of the user. Another attack scenario sees the attacker including the same URL in a page that once visited by the victim will allow the project to be removed.

“Wait a minute, if you take a look at the Request, first thing to notice is there is no CSRF protection. This is prone to CSRF attack.” continues the expert. “In simple words, CSRF vulnerability allows attacker to impersonate legit logged in user, performing actions on their behalf. Consider this:-

  • Legit user is logged in.
  • Attacker includes the URL in a page. (img tag, iframe, lots of possibilities here) “http://hub.microsofttranslator.com/Projects/RemoveProject?projectId=12839”
  • Victim visits the page, above request will be sent from their browser.
  • Requirement is that one should know the ProjectID number of logged in victim.
  • As it has no CSRF projection like antiCSRF tokens it results in the removal of the project.
  • Even if it has Anti-CSRF projection, here are ways to bypass CSRF Token protections.”

Further analysis allowed the expert to discover the worst aspect of the story.

Mahmood discovered an Indirect Object Reference vulnerability, which could be exploited by an attacker to set any ProjectID in the HTTP request used to remove project.

Theoretically, an attacker can delete all projects in Microsoft Translator Hub by iterating through project IDs starting from 0 to 13000.

“The project whose projectID I used in the HTTP request got deleted. Technically this vulnerability is called Indirect Object Referencenow if I just loop through the values starting from 0 to 13000 (last project), I’m able to delete all projects from the database.” continues the expert. “The vulnerability could have been avoided using simple checks, either the project that the user requested is owned by the same user, associating the project owner with the project is another way, but its Microsoft so….” 

Microsoft Translator Hub SecurityBulletin-1024x307

Mahmood reported the flaw to Microsoft in late February 2018 that addressed it is a couple of weeks,



Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – gaming, money laundering)


The post Expert discovered it was possible to delete all projects in the Microsoft Translator Hub appeared first on Security Affairs.

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