Unauthorized RCE in VMware vCenter

Since the PoC for the VMware vCenter RCE (CVE-2021-21972) is now readily available, we’re publishing our article covering all of the technical details.

In fall of 2020, I discovered couple vulnerabilities in the vSphere Client component of VMware vCenter. These vulnerabilities allowed non-authorized clients to execute arbitrary commands and send requests on behalf of the targeted server via various protocols:

  • Unauthorized file upload leading to remote code execution (RCE) (CVE-2021- 21972)
  • An unauthorized server-side request forgery (SSRF) vulnerabilities (CVE-2021-21973)

In this article, I will cover how I discovered the VMware vSphere client RCE vulnerability, divulge the technical details, and explain how it can be exploited on various platforms.

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Swarm of Palo Alto PAN-OS vulnerabilities

Palo Alto Networks next-generation firewall (NGFW) is one of the leading enterprise firewalls used by companies around the world to protect against various cyber-attacks. It runs on its own operating system «PAN-OS».

In this article, we will analyze the vulnerabilities that lead to:

Using these vulnerabilities, an attacker can gain access to sensitive data, disrupt the availability of firewall components or gain access to internal network segments.

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Vulnerabilities in McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator

This August, I discovered three vulnerabilities in McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO) version 5.10.0.  McAfee ePO is software that helps IT administrators unify security management across endpoints, networks, data, and compliance solutions from McAfee and third-party solutions. McAfee ePO provides flexible automated management capabilities for identifying, handling, and responding to security issues and threats.

The login page of McAfee ePO

My testing uncovered three vulnerabilities:

  • A CSRF + SSRF + MITM chain that, if successfully exploited, allows an attacker who is not logged in to perform remote code execution on the server
  • Remote code execution by a logged-in user as the result of a ZipSlip attack
  • Reflected XSS
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Remote Code Execution in F5 Big‑IP

This is Big-IP, an application delivery and security services platform by F5 Networks, namely its Traffic Management User Interface (TMUI). In this article I will show how I’ve managed to discover CVE-2020-5902, an Unauthenticated Remote Command Execution vulnerability, in its web interface.

The CVE-2020-5902 vulnerability has been assigned a CVSS score of 10, the highest possible. According to the Threat Intelligence Services of Positive Technologies, before the fixes there were more than 8,000 devices available on the Internet and vulnerable to this issue.

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Remote Code Execution in Citrix ADC

Many of you have probably heard of the CVE-2019-19781 vulnerability that I discovered at the end of last year. It is a critical vulnerability in Citrix ADC that allows unauthorized users to execute arbitrary operating system commands.

It caused quite a stir when Citrix released its guidelines for addressing the vulnerability since approximately 80,000 companies from around the globe were threatened by the problem. Another reason why the vulnerability attracted so much attention because Citrix ADC is installed on the border between external and internal organization networks. Thus, when a hacker exploits the CVE-2019-19781 vulnerability, he or she simultaneously gains access to the targeted company’s internal network and is able to develop attacks on the private segment of the network.

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