August 13, 2019

Create Agent – Windows installer tampering while preserving Authenticode signature

Arduino Create Agent is a plug-in that was designed to help Arduino users connect their devices to the Arduino Create platform. The plug-in lets your browser communicate with your device’s serial port from a web application.

We chose Bitrock’s InstallBuilder, a powerful and easy to use cross-platform installer creation tool, for generating the Arduino Create Agent installers (Windows, macOS, Linux). Those binaries are then served through our global CDN.

Yesterday, Bitrock has published an important security advisory in which they stated that Windows binaries generated with InstallBuilder versions earlier than 19.7.0 are vulnerable to tampering even if they contain a valid Authenticode signature. A specially crafted payload can be appended to an existing installer and trick the installer initialization code to execute code included in it, while the existing signature remains valid.

The issue, originally reported to them by Youfu Zhang of Chaitin Security Research Lab (@ChaitinTech), got addressed by releasing an updated version of InstallBuilder so all their customers could re-build and re-release their installers. CVE-2019-5530 has been assigned to this issue (CVSSv3 score of 6.7).

Once we’ve been notified, and given the potential impact of this security issue, we worked around the clock to re-build and re-release our Agent’s Windows installer. Version 1.1.89 has now been released through our official channels.

Please note that all versions of the Windows installer before version 1.1.89 are vulnerable to CVE-2019-5530.

Because this issue can be exploited with existing binaries already released, we also want to remind all of you to only download installers from official sources.

If you have any questions regarding this security issue, or if you need any help with upgrading your installer, please do not hesitate to contact Arduino Support through e-mail at support@arduino.cc.

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