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Thursday, 27 September 2018

Telegram uses SOCKS5 to share user/creds

Hi Internet,

Summary: Telegram is supposedly is a secure messaging application but it uses SOCKS5 to transmit user credential's, neither traffic nor credentials are encrypted in the SOCKS5 protocol, but this is how the SOCKS protocol works (see https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1929), SOCKS5 carries passwords in cleartext. Telegram team is aware with this and says its working has intended.
Img Src: https://telegram.org/img/tl_card_open.gif

Product affected: tdesktop 1.3.16 alpha, Browser Info: Firefox 62.0 (64 bit), Tested on: Ubuntu 18.04 LTS x64

Steps to reproduce the issue:
1. Open tdesktop
2. Go to Settings > Advanced Settings > Connection type
3. Open "Proxy Settings" check "Use proxy"
4. Put some random Hostname, Port, Username and Password
5. tdesktop tries to connect it, while it connects click on that line which is made of 3 small spots (On right hand side)
6. Click share, the link gets copied.

Example Link: https://t.me/socks?server=inputzero.io&port=22&user=dhiraj&pass=MystrongPassw0rd 

The link which gets generated have the password in plaintext, SOCKS5 is a transport protocol and by itself it is not encrypted. Requests transmitting such  credentials in plain text are considered as a bad security practice.

However, the URL which gets generated via telegram is in HTTPS but, URI producers should not provide a URI that contains a username or password that is intended to be secret.  URIs are frequently displayed by browsers, stored in clear text bookmarks, and logged by user agent history and intermediary applications (proxies).

Read this on oss sec-lists. Later CVE-2018-17613 was assigned to this issue.

Regards

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