US CISA added critical Apache RocketMQ flaw to its Known Exploited Vulnerabilities catalog

US CISA added critical vulnerability CVE-2023-33246 in Apache RocketMQ to its Known Exploited Vulnerabilities catalog.

US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) added a critical flaw CVE-2023-33246 (CVSS score 9.8) affecting Apache RocketMQ to its Known Exploited Vulnerabilities Catalog.

Several components of Apache RocketMQ, including NameServer, Broker, and Controller, are exposed to the extranet and lack permission verification. Threat actors could exploit this vulnerability to execute arbitrary commands as the system users that RocketMQ is running. An attacker can trigger the flaw by using the update configuration function or by forging the RocketMQ protocol content

The vulnerability impacts Apache RocketMQ 5.1.0 and below, users are recommended to upgrade to version 5.1.1 above for using RocketMQ 5.x or 4.9.6 above for using RocketMQ 4.x .

The Apache’s advisory was published on May, but CISA added the issue to the Known Exploited Vulnerabilities Catalog after cybersecurtiy firm VulnCheck published technical details for the vulnerability.

CVE-2023-33246 is an easy to exploit vulnerability affecting Apache RocketMQ. The vulnerability allows a remote and unauthenticated attacker to update the RocketMQ broker configuration in order to abuse a command injection.” reads the analysis published by VulnCheck. “Juniper Networks has reported exploitation of this issue has been ongoing since June 2023.”

The researchers pointed out that exploitation occurs via a custom remoting protocol to the RocketMQ broker ports (by default 10909 and 10911). Both Shodan or Censys are not able to detect this protocol, making it hard to determine the actual scope of vulnerable systems in the wild.

The researchers explained that CVE-2023-33246 is only associated with one botnet, however, they believe that at least a few active threat actors are actively exploiting the issue in the wild. Experts recommend removing RocketMQ instance from the internet and examining the broker configuration for signs of exploitation.

According to Binding Operational Directive (BOD) 22-01: Reducing the Significant Risk of Known Exploited Vulnerabilities, FCEB agencies have to address the identified vulnerabilities by the due date to protect their networks against attacks exploiting the flaws in the catalog.

Experts recommend also private organizations review the Catalog and address the vulnerabilities in their infrastructure.

CISA orders federal agencies to fix this flaw by September 27, 2023.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, CISA)

Pierluigi Paganini

Pierluigi Paganini is member of the ENISA (European Union Agency for Network and Information Security) Threat Landscape Stakeholder Group and Cyber G7 Group, he is also a Security Evangelist, Security Analyst and Freelance Writer. Editor-in-Chief at "Cyber Defense Magazine", Pierluigi is a cyber security expert with over 20 years experience in the field, he is Certified Ethical Hacker at EC Council in London. The passion for writing and a strong belief that security is founded on sharing and awareness led Pierluigi to find the security blog "Security Affairs" recently named a Top National Security Resource for US. Pierluigi is a member of the "The Hacker News" team and he is a writer for some major publications in the field such as Cyber War Zone, ICTTF, Infosec Island, Infosec Institute, The Hacker News Magazine and for many other Security magazines. Author of the Books "The Deep Dark Web" and “Digital Virtual Currency and Bitcoin”.

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