Cerner MobileCare Integer Conversion SQL Injection Leading to RCE

Public disclosure of a CVE found within the Cerner MobileCare Web Application v5.0.0.0

Cerner’s MobileCare application serves as a method for doctors to manage patients via a mobile device. Black Lantern Security (BLS) identified an unauthenticated SQL Injection vulnerability in the UserID parameter for the application’s login page. This injection was used to obtain the usernames, email addresses, and passwords for the medical staff that use this application. Additionally, remote code execution was obtained through the use of xp_cmdshell.


The root issue with this CVE is the inadequate filtering of special characters, in this case the “Fullwidth Apostrophe” (U+FF07) was used to achieve injection.

fullwidth Apostrophe error message Figure 1: Error Message Containing Fullwidth Apostrophe in the UserID Parameter.

Traditional SQL injection methods were not returning results from the database. The nature of this injection and the fact that it was a Sybase database lead Operators to the “integer conversion” method. Integer conversion works by inducing a verbose error message when attempting to convert a non integer value into an integer. For example, “foo ' and+1=convert(integer,(select+@@version))–” can be used to query the database version, and is reflected in Figure 3.

Integer Conversion Username Pulled Figure 2: First UserID Result in the Database Displayed in Error Message.

Integer Conversion Version Pulled Figure 3: Database Version Pulled.

Integer conversion was used to pull the usernames and passwords for several users, as well as the database version. The encrypted values returned when querying the passwords table varied in length. As a result Cerner appeared to be using reversible encryption methods and the encrypted values were being stored in hex. Ultimately, attempts to obtain the cleartext value for these passwords were rendered moot when it was discovered that xp_cmdshell was able to be used to give our Operators remote code execution on the server running this web application.

Remote Code Execution (Query Used in Address Bar) Figure 4: Remote Code Execution (Query Used in Address Bar)

Upon achieving code execution, our operators stopped conducting activity against this server and alerted our client to the vulnerability. The application was decommissioned and removed from the internet.

Cerner was notified regarding this vulnerability and stated that the product reached its end of life in December of 2020 and will not be receiving further security updates. The only current remediation for this vulnerability is to decommission instances of Cerner MobileCare.


email 2021-06-28 Contacted Cerner to report vulnerability email 2021-07-07 Contacted MITRE to request CVE check_box 2021-07-12 MITRE responded with CVE ID CVE-2021-36385 article 2021-08-16 Public Disclosure

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