Security Experts:

Atlassian Patches Critical Authentication Bypass Vulnerability in Jira

Atlassian last week announced that its popular issue and project tracking software Jira is affected by a critical vulnerability, and advised customers to take action.

The security flaw, identified as CVE-2022-0540, is an authentication bypass issue that affects Seraph, the web authentication framework of Jira and Jira Service Management. A remote, unauthenticated attacker could exploit this vulnerability to bypass authentication and authorization by sending a specially crafted HTTP request.

Many versions of Jira are affected, but the vendor noted that Jira Cloud and Jira Service Management Cloud are not impacted. Fixes are included in versions 8.13.18, 8.20.6 and 8.22.0 or newer.

CVE-2022-0540 can be leveraged to bypass authentication and authorization requirements in WebWork actions that use an affected configuration, but the attack only works if the action does not perform other authentication or authorization checks.

“Although the vulnerability is in the core of Jira, it affects first and third party apps that specify roles-required at the webwork1 action namespace level and do not specify it at an action level,” Atlassian explained in its advisory.

The company added, “Although app configuration is one factor that determines whether or not it is vulnerable, it is not the cause of the vulnerability. These apps are correctly using documented functionality that was previously implemented by Jira and Jira Service Management in a vulnerable way.”

Atlassian has listed two of its own apps as being affected — “Insight - Asset Management” and “Mobile Plugin for Jira” — as well as 200 applications from the Atlassian marketplace. In the case of the Insight app, an authenticated attacker could also exploit the flaw for arbitrary code execution.

Regardless of the applications they use, users are protected against attacks if they update Jira. Users who cannot immediately install the Jira patches can update the affected apps to a version that is not affected — if such a version is available — or they can disable impacted apps until a fixed version is released. Some app developers were made aware of this issue before it was publicly disclosed so they have already updated their code.

A researcher from Viettel Cyber Security has been credited for reporting the vulnerability.

In addition to an advisory, Atlassian has made available an FAQ document for CVE-2022-0540.

Threat actors exploiting vulnerabilities in Atlassian products is not unheard of. Last year, attempts to exploit a flaw in the Confluence enterprise collaboration product were spotted just one week after a patch was announced.

Related: Atlassian Patches Critical Code Execution Vulnerability in Confluence

Related: Atlassian Patches Critical Vulnerability in Jira Data Center Products

Related: Researchers Detail Exploit Chain for Hijacking Atlassian Accounts

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.