Facebook Google Plus Twitter LinkedIn YouTube RSS Menu Search Resource - BlogResource - WebinarResource - ReportResource - Eventicons_066 icons_067icons_068icons_069icons_070

Tenable Blog

Subscribe

CVE-2021-39144: VMware Patches Critical Cloud Foundation Vulnerability in XStream Open Source Library

VMware issues patches for end-of-life versions of Cloud Foundation Network Security Virtualization for vSphere (NSX-V) to address a critical vulnerability in an open source library.

Background

On October 25, VMware published VMSA-2022-0027, an advisory for multiple vulnerabilities in its VMware Cloud Foundation solution.

CVE Description CVSSv3
CVE-2021-39144 VMware Cloud Foundation XStream Library Deserialization of Untrusted Data Vulnerability 9.8
CVE-2022-31678 VMware Cloud Foundation XML External Entity (XXE) Vulnerability 5.3

Analysis

CVE-2021-39144 is a remote code execution vulnerability in XStream, an open source library used for object serialization. This vulnerability was originally patched on August 22, 2021 in XStream version 1.4.18. VMware Cloud Foundation uses XStream for input serialization in its Network Security Virtualization for vSphere (NSX-V) solution. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by targeting an unauthenticated endpoint in NSX-V to gain remote code execution privileges as root.

CVE-2022-31678 is an XXE vulnerability in VMware Cloud Foundation NSX-V. A remote, unauthenticated attacker could exploit this vulnerability to cause a denial-of-service condition or cause an unintended information disclosure. It is a moderately rated vulnerability, receiving a CVSSv3 score of 5.3.

VMware issues fix for end-of-life versions of NSX-V

In August 2021, VMware announced that general support for NSX-V would end on January 16, 2022 and that technical guidance would end on January 16, 2023. However, in its advisory, VMware notes that “due to the critical severity of NSX-V” a patch was made available to address both flaws.

While no specific details about CVE-2021-39144 were made public by VMware, the fact that they highlighted the attack vector as a “unauthenticated endpoint [...] in VMware Cloud Foundation (NSX-V)” coupled with the decision to release a patch for an end-of-life product, suggests that exploitation of this flaw is straightforward.

Supply chain attacks remain a major area of concern

The presence of this vulnerability in the XStream library and its use in VMware Cloud Foundation NSX-V evokes memories of Log4Shell. While CVE-2021-39144 is not the same caliber as Log4Shell, it serves as a reminder of the challenges supply chain vulnerabilities pose to an organization’s security posture.

Proof of concept

The discovery of both flaws are attributed to researchers Steven Seeley of Source Incite and Sina Kheirkhah of MDSec. A blog post was published on Source Incite that details their findings. The blog post includes a proof-of-concept exploit script that can be used to get a reverse shell on a vulnerable VMware Cloud Foundation NSX-V instance.

Solution

VMware Cloud Foundation 4.x is not affected by either CVE-2021-39144 or CVE-2022-31678. However, VMware’s advisory notes that VMware Cloud Foundation (NSX-V) versions 3.x are affected:

Affected Versions Patching Instructions
VMware Cloud Foundation prior to 3.9.1 Update to VMware Cloud Foundation 3.11.0.1 and above and apply workaround instructions
VMware Cloud Foundation 3.9.1 and above Follow workaround instructions

For customers using VMware Cloud Foundation versions prior to 3.9.1, VMware recommends updating to VMware Cloud Foundation 3.11.0.1 first. Once updated, customers are instructed to follow VMware’s workaround instructions in the Knowledge Base article, Applying NSX-V 6.4.14 patch on VMware Cloud Foundation 3.x (89809).

Identifying affected systems

A list of Tenable plugins to identify these vulnerabilities will appear here as they’re released. This link uses a search filter to ensure that all matching plugin coverage will appear as it is released. Additionally, plugin coverage specific to the XStream library (CVE-2021-39144) can be found here.

Get more information

Join Tenable's Security Response Team on the Tenable Community.

Learn more about Tenable, the first Cyber Exposure platform for holistic management of your modern attack surface.

Get a free 30-day trial of Tenable.io Vulnerability Management.

Related Articles

Are You Vulnerable to the Latest Exploits?

Enter your email to receive the latest cyber exposure alerts in your inbox.

tenable.io

Enjoy full access to a modern, cloud-based vulnerability management platform that enables you to see and track all of your assets with unmatched accuracy.

Your Tenable.io Vulnerability Management trial also includes Tenable Lumin, Tenable.io Web Application Scanning and Tenable.cs Cloud Security.

tenable.io BUY

Enjoy full access to a modern, cloud-based vulnerability management platform that enables you to see and track all of your assets with unmatched accuracy. Purchase your annual subscription today.

65 assets

Choose Your Subscription Option:

Buy Now

Try Nessus Professional Free

FREE FOR 7 DAYS

Nessus® is the most comprehensive vulnerability scanner on the market today. Nessus Professional will help automate the vulnerability scanning process, save time in your compliance cycles and allow you to engage your IT team.

Buy Nessus Professional

Nessus® is the most comprehensive vulnerability scanner on the market today. Nessus Professional will help automate the vulnerability scanning process, save time in your compliance cycles and allow you to engage your IT team.

Buy a multi-year license and save. Add Advanced Support for access to phone, community and chat support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Select Your License

Buy a multi-year license and save.

Add Support and Training

Tenable.io

Enjoy full access to a modern, cloud-based vulnerability management platform that enables you to see and track all of your assets with unmatched accuracy.

Your Tenable.io Vulnerability Management trial also includes Tenable Lumin, Tenable.io Web Application Scanning and Tenable.cs Cloud Security.

Tenable.io BUY

Enjoy full access to a modern, cloud-based vulnerability management platform that enables you to see and track all of your assets with unmatched accuracy. Purchase your annual subscription today.

65 assets

Choose Your Subscription Option:

Buy Now

Try Tenable.io Web Application Scanning

Enjoy full access to our latest web application scanning offering designed for modern applications as part of the Tenable.io platform. Safely scan your entire online portfolio for vulnerabilities with a high degree of accuracy without heavy manual effort or disruption to critical web applications. Sign up now.

Your Tenable Web Application Scanning trial also includes Tenable.io Vulnerability Management, Tenable Lumin and Tenable.cs Cloud Security.

Buy Tenable.io Web Application Scanning

Enjoy full access to a modern, cloud-based vulnerability management platform that enables you to see and track all of your assets with unmatched accuracy. Purchase your annual subscription today.

5 FQDNs

$3,578

Buy Now

Try Tenable.io Container Security

Enjoy full access to the only container security offering integrated into a vulnerability management platform. Monitor container images for vulnerabilities, malware and policy violations. Integrate with continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) systems to support DevOps practices, strengthen security and support enterprise policy compliance.

Buy Tenable.io Container Security

Tenable.io Container Security seamlessly and securely enables DevOps processes by providing visibility into the security of container images – including vulnerabilities, malware and policy violations – through integration with the build process.

Try Tenable Lumin

Visualize and explore your Cyber Exposure, track risk reduction over time and benchmark against your peers with Tenable Lumin.

Your Tenable Lumin trial also includes Tenable.io Vulnerability Management, Tenable.io Web Application Scanning and Tenable.cs Cloud Security.

Buy Tenable Lumin

Contact a Sales Representative to see how Lumin can help you gain insight across your entire organization and manage cyber risk.

Try Tenable.cs

Enjoy full access to detect and fix cloud infrastructure misconfigurations and view runtime vulnerabilities. Sign up for your free trial now.

Your Tenable.cs Cloud Security trial also includes Tenable.io Vulnerability Management, Tenable Lumin and Tenable.io Web Application Scanning.

Contact a Sales Rep to Buy Tenable.cs

Contact a Sales Representative to learn more about Tenable.cs Cloud Security and see how easy it is to onboard your cloud accounts and get visibility into both cloud misconfigurations and vulnerabilities within minutes.

Try Nessus Expert Free

FREE FOR 7 DAYS

Built for the modern attack surface, Nessus Expert enables you to see more and protect your organization from vulnerabilities from IT to the cloud.

Already have Nessus Professional?
Upgrade to Nessus Expert free for 7 days.

Buy Nessus Expert

Built for the modern attack surface, Nessus Expert enables you to see more and protect your organization from vulnerabilities from IT to the cloud.

Select Your License

Promotional pricing extended until December 31st.
Buy a multi-year license and save more.

Add Support and Training