Perl's HTTP::Tiny has insecure TLS default, affecting CPAN.pm and other modules
[CVE-2023-31486] HTTP::Tiny, is a http client included in
Perl (since v5.13.9) and also a standalone CPAN module. It does not verify TLS
certificates by default requiring users to opt-in with the
verify_SSL=>1 flag to verify the identity of the HTTPS server they are communicating with.
The module is used by many distributions on CPAN, and likely other open source and proprietary software.
NOTE: This post summarizes security problems caused by the insecure default and how it affects code relying on it for https. For a discussion on how this is being addressed upstream, please see RFC: Making SSL_verify safer
Affected CPAN Modules
After PSA: HTTP::Tiny disabled SSL verification by default! was posted on Reddit, we were reminded that this might be a bigger problem than first thought.
So we searched trough
to find distributions using HTTP::Tiny without specifying the cert verification
behaviour. Distros using it without mentioning
verify_SSL somewhere in the code was flagged. See hackeriet.github.io/cpan-http-tiny-overview for the full list.
Most distributions we found did not enable the certificate verification feature, potentially exposing users to machine-in-the-middle attacks via a CWE-295: Improper Certificate Validation weakness.
- [CVE-2023-31484] CPAN.pm v2.34 downloads and executes code from
https://cpan.orgwithout verifying server certs. Fixed in v2.35-TRIAL. (patch)
- [CVE-2023-31485] GitLab::API::v4 v0.26 exposes API secrets to a network attacker. (patch)
- Finance::Robinhood v0.21 is maybe exposing API secrets and financial information to a network attacker. (patch)
- Paws (aws-sdk-perl) v0.44 is maybe exposing API secrets to a network attacker. (patch)
- CloudHealth::API v0.01 is maybe exposing API secrets to a network attacker. (patch)
… and more. We have done a search of CPAN and generated a list of 381 potentially problematic distributions.
HTTP::Tiny has not provided a patch or mitigation. Suggestions to change the insecure default has been turned down several times over the years due to backwards compatibility concerns. For additional information, please see the upstream discussion in RFC: Making SSL_verify safer.
To mitigate the risk caused by the CWE-1188: Insecure Default Initialization of Resource weakness, you have some options:
Modify affected code using
Modify affected code to use a http client with secure defaults, like
HTTP::Tinyon your system with a proposed patch that changes the default to
- chansen/p5-http-tiny: RFC: Making SSL_verify safer #152
- chansen/p5-http-tiny: SSL environment controls, and warn about insecure connections #151
- hackeriet: cpan-http-tiny-overview
- reddit: PSA: HTTP::Tiny disabled SSL verification by default!
- NixOS/nixpkgs: perl: verify_SSL=>1 by default in HTTP::Tiny #187480
- Debian Bug #962407: libhttp-tiny-perl: Default to verifying SSL certificates
- Debian Bug #954089: perl: Default HTTP::Tiny to verifying SSL certificates
- Debian Proposed Patch: [PATCH] Enable SSL by default in HTTP::Tiny
- chansen/p5-http-tiny: verify_SSL being true by default (redux) #134
- chansen/p5-http-tiny: Shouldn’t verify_SSL be true by default? #68
- 2023-04-18: Add reference to fixed CPAN.pm v2.35-TRIAL
- 2023-04-29: Add CVE identifiers CVE-2023-31484, CVE-2023-31485, CVE-2023-31486