Vulnerability Provided Access to Toyota Supplier Management Network

A severe vulnerability in the web portal of Toyota’s global supplier management network allowed a security researcher to gain access to sensitive information.

The issue was identified by US-based researcher Eaton Zveare in Toyota’s Global Supplier Preparation Information Management System (GSPIMS), a web portal that provides Toyota employees and suppliers with access to ongoing projects, surveys, information on purchases, and more.

The issue, Zveare says, was related to the implementation of JWT (JSON Web Token) authentication and could allow access to any account to anyone using a valid email address.

Essentially, JWT is a session token that is typically generated when logging in to a website, and which is then used to authenticate the user to secure sections of the website or APIs.

What the researcher discovered was that Toyota’s GSPIMS contained a function that would allow users to generate a JWT based on the provided email address, without requiring a password.

With corporate Toyota email addresses easy to guess – as they are using the format – the researcher was able to guess an email address by searching the internet for Toyota employees that might be involved in the supply chain.

Next, Zveare used that email address to generate a valid JWT and used it to access the GSPIMS. After some reconnaissance on the portal, he discovered an account with system administrator privileges and used the same method to access it.

The system admin account, the researcher says, provided access to everything on the portal, including information on over 14,000 user accounts, control over roles each account could have, details on all available projects, surveys, and various classified documents.

According to the researcher, the GSPIMS also provides the system admin with the option to log in as any of the available 14,000 users, to supervise their activities. The function that generates the JWT based on email address was apparently implemented to enable this option, but it also created a backdoor into the network.

An attacker with system admin access to GSPIMS could have created a rogue account for persistence, exfiltrated all available data, tampered with or deleted the data, and fetched the corporate email and roles of all 14,000 user accounts to target them in phishing attacks.

The researcher reported the vulnerability to Toyota on November 3, 2022. The car maker patched the issue shortly after.

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