Friday, September 4, 2009

Timing Weakness in Ruby on Rails

Posted by michael

There is a weakness in the code Ruby on Rails uses to verify message
digests in the cookie store. Because it uses a non-constant time algorithm to
verify the signatures an attacker may be able to determine when a forged
signature is partially correct. By repeating this process they may be able to successfully forge a digest.

Versions Affected:  2.1.0 and *all* subsequent versions.
Fixed Versions:     2.3.4, 2.2.3


Due to issues like network latency, non-deterministic GC runs and other
issues it is unlikely that this attack could be exploited in the wild
within a reasonable timeframe. However users should still upgrade as
soon as possible to remove the weakness.


The 2.3.4 and 2.2.3 releases will be made available shortly and will contain fixes for this issue amongst others.


In order to provide the fixes for users who are running unsupported
releases, or are unable to upgrade at present we have provided patches
against all affected stable release branches.

The patches are in a format suitable for git-am and consist a single
changeset which implements


Thanks to Coda Hale for reporting the bug to us, and helping us with the fixes.