Upcoming Security Audit

We have started the process of the second security audit of the F-Droid setup. The audit will be conducted by Radically Open Security, which is a natural partner for F-Droid since they share our focus on free software and open processes. Once we receive the results and have addressed any issues found, we will publish the full, unedited audit report here. Thanks to Open Tech Fund for covering the costs of hiring the auditor.

For more information about F-Droid’s security practices on in the documentation about the Security Model.

Looking back at the first security audit

We received an external audit in 2015 from Cure53, provided by the Open Tech Fund. This was the first full security audit of the core security practices of F-Droid. On top of the core, the focus on the audit was on the new, experimental features that opened up F-Droid as an ecosystem, moving away from the central server model.

This audit confirmed the security of core pieces, as listed on the top of this page. That is a little hard to see since the report only discussed the vulnerabilities that were discovered. This audit did find critical issues in the website, opt-in beta features, and some minor features like fdroid import, which is only used by a couple of people and never on core infrastructure. It is important to note that the website issues never meant that getting apps via the Android client app was affected. Most importantly, all of the security issues were fixed. The audit also demonstrated that building a system with user-generated inputs is hard to fully secure. Our focus is removing anything that opens up attack vectors to the external data sources like app source repos.

The normal way of using F-Droid was not affected. For example, regarding BZ-01-004 Command Injection Flaw, the root-based installation method was marked experimental, not widely used, and removed around not long after the report came out. The BZ-01-002 and BZ-01-003 TOFU issues never applied to the default app repos since the repo keys are built into the client app.

The serious issues that affected the ecosystem where:

  • BZ-01-005 App with WES Permission can replace APKs before Installation (fixed)
  • BZ-01-008 Multiple XSS Problems in WP-FDroid Plugin (we entirely removed Wordpress, the site is now statically generated using Jekyll)
  • BZ-01-011 Persistent XSS via SVG Upload in MediaWiki (bug fixed in MediaWiki, SVG upload disabled, and open wiki registrations disabled on f-droid.org)
  • BZ-01-014 RCE via fdroid checkupdates Command on Git Repository (fixed)

These only affected a few non-critical users or were parts of opt-in beta features:

  • BZ-01-002 TOFU Requests too easy to recognize and intercept (fixed)
  • BZ-01-003 Repository Fingerprint is not verified on first Fetch (fixed)
  • BZ-01-004 Command Injection Flaw in root - based Installation Method (only repo publisher could do this, removed root-based installation method)
  • BZ-01-012 Arbitrary Command Execution via fdroid import and SVN

The following issues all assume developer- or publisher-level access. We do not claim to protect against attackers with that level of access. People in those roles can always publish malicious code directly, without resorting to complicated exploits.

  • BZ-01-007 Malicious symlinked APK can lead to arbitrary File Read
  • BZ-01-013 Directory Traversal Exploit Potential caused by fdroid import
  • BZ-01-015 SVN Repository Access leaks Credentials to local Processes
  • BZ-01-017 Unauthorized Access to internal Network Resources

The audit report PDF from Cure53 is also cached on this site: pentest-report_fdroid.pdf.