Hash: SHA512  
SCHUTZWERK-SA-2023-004: Authentication Bypass via Password Reset   
Functionality in Visual Planning  
CVE reference  
Text-only version:  
Affected products/vendor  
All versions prior to Visual Planning 8 (Build 240207) by STILOG I.S.T.  
Unauthenticated attackers can exploit a weakness in the password reset   
functionality of the Visual Planning[0] application in order to obtain   
access to arbitrary user accounts including administrators. In case   
administrative (in the context of Visual Planning) accounts are   
compromised, attackers can install malicious modules into the   
application to take over the application server hosting the Visual   
Planning application.  
The application does not impose any limits on the number of guesses that   
can be made. Attackers can therefore initiate the reset for arbitrary   
users and automate the pin validation process until a valid pin is   
obtained. The vulnerability allows unauthenticated attackers to gain   
access to arbitrary user accounts including administrators.  
Failed pin validation attempts are not logged by the application which   
greatly increases the difficulty of detecting ongoing attacks.  
With administrative access to Admin Center, attackers can install   
malicious modules containing Java code that is executed on the   
application server, resulting in arbitrary command execution.  
The entire pin space can be enumerated in approximately one to two hours.  
During a recent red teaming assessment, Visual Planning was identified   
as part of the customers internet-facing assets. The software is   
developed by STILOG I.S.T. and provides resource management and   
scheduling features. A security assessment conducted by SCHUTZWERK found   
an authentication bypass in Visual Planning's password reset functionality.  
The application Admin Center (vpadmin) communicates with the server   
through an XML-based protocol that utilizes proprietary compression   
methods and is transmitted via HTTP. SCHUTZWERK implemented a custom   
proxy as part of an assessment in order to intercept and manipulate the   
messages exchanged between application and server.  
One of the first messages sent by the Admin Center application after   
launch is the following:  
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>  
<userSession isNull="true"/>  
In this request, the client asks the server whether it should display   
the "Forgot your password ?" button as part of the login form. During   
the assessment, the server responded as follows:  
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>  
<value class="java.lang.Boolean">false</value>  
By altering the value to "true", the password reset functionality   
becomes accessible in the application. At this point, attackers can   
provide the target username. This causes a request similar to the   
following to be issued:  
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>  
<userSession isNull="true"/>  
<value class="String">admin</value>  
While handling this request, the server generates a five digit numeric   
pin and tries to send it to the email address associated with the   
provided username. Regardless of whether the email could be successfully   
transmitted, the generated pin is stored in a attribute of the session   
used while performing the reset. It should be noted that the password   
reset request message can be sent directly without enabling the button   
in the GUI if the message format is already known.  
To complete the reset process, the correct pin (matching the pin stored   
in the session attribute) must be specified. A message similar to the   
following is issued by the application to validiate the provided pin:  
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>  
<userSession isNull="true"/>  
<value class="String">admin</value>  
<value class="String">58344</value>  
When an invalid pin is provided, the server responds with the following   
XML document:  
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>  
<value class="String">Invalid code.</value>  
In case the pin is valid, the server responds with a VPUser data   
structure similar to the following:  
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>  
<value class="">  
<comments>Super administrateur</comments>  
In addition, an empty password is set for the target username. Upon   
first login after reset, a new password must be set for this user.  
The vendor suggests to update to Visual Planning 8 (Build 240207)  
Disclosure timeline  
2023-11-01: Vulnerability discovered  
2023-11-09: Contact vendor in order to determine security contact  
2023-11-10: Received generic sales response from vendor  
2023-11-14: Contacted CTO of vendor directly  
2023-11-16: Vulnerabilities demonstrated in call with contact at vendor  
2023-11-24: CVE assigned by Mitre  
2023-11-24: Additional technical details provided to vendor  
2023-12-19: Vendor informed SCHUTZWERK that work on fixing the findings   
is in progress  
2024-01-30: Inquired about mitigation status regarding the reported   
2024-01-30: Vendor informed SCHUTZWERK that some of the issues were   
already fixed  
2024-03-08: Sent advisory drafts to vendor  
2024-03-28: Received patch information and release of advisory  
The vulnerability was discovered during an assessment by Lennert Preuth   
and David Brown of SCHUTZWERK GmbH.  
The information provided in this security advisory is provided "as is"   
and without warranty of any kind. Details of this security advisory may   
be updated in order to provide as accurate information as possible. The   
most recent version of this security advisory can be found at SCHUTZWERK   
GmbH's website ( ).  
Additional information  
SCHUTZWERK Advisories:  
SCHUTZWERK Advisory Policy:  
SCHUTZWERK GmbH, Pfarrer-Weiß-Weg 12, 89077 Ulm, Germany  
Zertifiziert / Certified ISO 27001, 9001 and TISAX  
Phone +49 731 977 191 0 /  
Geschäftsführer / Managing Directors:  
Jakob Pietzka, Michael Schäfer  
Amtsgericht Ulm / HRB 727391  
Datenschutz / Data Protection