BlueKeep (CVE-2019-0708) – Fortune 500 External Exposure

Recently, Rob Graham shared a post detailing how he used Masscan + RDPscan to check for vulnerable hosts, finding that over 1 million hosts were vulnerable to BlueKeep (CVE-2019-0708). I was curious how many of these systems were corporate or enterprise systems, given that the awareness is often higher in organizations with dedicated patch and vulnerability management teams.

To explore this, using scan data gathered on the Fortune 500 from Intrigue.io, I pulled all systems with port 3389 open, finding a total of 1140 systems.

Using the same tooling (rdpscan) as Rob, i then checked to see if these hosts were were still exposed to Bluekeep. When attempting to connect to these systems to verify that they were in fact RDP, we found that only 286 responded with an RDP protocol . The difference can probably be attributed to firewalls and other network security devices that respond automatically (and erroneously) when scanned.

So, using the set of 286 systems verified to be RDP and returning results from RDPscan, we found that across 49 unique F500 organizations exposing a system, they could be broken into the following statuses:

71 Vulnerable
85 Mitigated (CredSSP/NLA required)
130 Patched (Target appears patched)

This is pretty good, in my opinion. Given that the vulnerability was announced on 05/14/2019, and this check was run on 05/31/2019, two weeks to patch or mitigate 75% of the vulnerable systems is incredible. I’d attribute this to the fact that there are often dedicated teams inside these large organizations that pay special attention to externally accessible systems, and often will apply a patch “out of cycle” in cases like this.  

Of those 71 vulnerable systems, they were spread across 17 organizations in the following sectors:

The organization with the most publicly-exposed RDP services was an Oil and Gas company, and it was interesting to see systems attributed to the same organization that were only partially patched or mitigated, with many still vulnerable. Patching, even in this case, where the update is available, and could theoretically be automatically applied, is still a time consuming and change-controlled process in larger organizations. Their systems were about 2/3 patched or mitigated, with 34 systems still externally exposed and vulnerable:

45 Patched – Target appears patched
34 Vulnerable
18 Mitigated – CredSSP/NLA required

The other 32 organizations with exposed RDP had clearly been working on the vulnerability with almost 2/3 patched.

130 Target appears patched
85 CredSSP/NLA required

Wrapping up, this was a quick look from a different perspective around this vulnerability, in an attempt to see how many of those million systems were “managed” systems, attributable to an organization. As suspected, there were few externally accessible F500 systems still vulnerable to Bluekeep two weeks out from the announcement of the vulnerability. This speaks to the processes inside these organizations to manage and remediate important vulnerabilities such as BlueKeep.

This data was gathered per-organization using Intrigue Core based on a set of “seeds” attributed to each organization, and thus may not be 100% complete. It does not attempt to account for internal hosts, where an RDP worm would likely wreak havoc in most organizations. I strongly suggest following Microsoft’s guidance and applying the patch, even if this requires an out of band update. Given that real attack surface is the internal corporate network, it’s likely we’ll see this vulnerability weaponized as part of a multi-tier attack, similar to how EternalBlue has been being used.

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