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NordVPN for MacOS

Privilege Escalation






NordVPN for MacOS

Product version


Vulnerability Details

NordVPN for MacOS suffers from a root privilege escalation vulnerability. The vulnerability stems from its privileged helper tool's implemented XPC service. This XPC service is responsible for receiving and processing new openvpn connection requests from the main application. Unfortunately this XPC service is not protected, which allows arbitrary applications to connect and send it potentially malicious XPC messages. An attacker can send a crafted XPC message to the privileged helper tool requesting it to make a new openvpn connection. Because he or she controls the contents of the XPC message, the attacker can specify the location of the openvpn executable, which could point to something malicious they control located on disk. Without validation of openvpn executable, this will give the attacker code execution in the context of the privileged helper tool, which is running as root.

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Vendor response

NordVPN has released an update.

Disclosure timeline

03-09-2018 - Vendor disclosure via email
03-09-2018 - Vendor notified via Facebook
03-09-2018 - Vendor response via email
03-10-2018 - Vendor response: Sent to the development team
03-14-2018 - Vendor notified of disclosure schedule
03-19-2018 - Vendor response: Vulnerability resolved, update pending
03-19-2018 - VerSprite Security extends advisory release timeline
03-27-2018 - Vendor notified of the advisory release

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