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Cisco Patches Critical VM Escape in NFV Infrastructure Software

Cisco on Wednesday announced patches to address severe vulnerabilities in Enterprise Network Function Virtualization Infrastructure Software (NFVIS), including a critical bug that allows attackers to escape from a guest virtual machine (VM).

Tracked as CVE-2022-20777 (CVSS score of 9.9), the critical vulnerability impacts the Next Generation Input/Output (NGIO) feature of Enterprise NFVIS.

According to the tech giant, the issue is related to insufficient guest restrictions. An authenticated attacker could send an API call from a VM and have it executed on the NFVIS host with root-level privileges, leading to full compromise of the host.

Cisco’s advisory also describes two high-severity vulnerabilities in NFVIS, which an attacker could exploit to inject commands or leak system data.

[ READ: Cisco Patches 11 High-Severity Vulnerabilities in Security Products ]

Tracked as CVE-2022-20779 (CVSS score of 8.8), the first of the issues impacts the image registration process of Enterprise NFVIS and it could be exploited remotely, without authentication to inject commands to be executed with root privileges during the VM registration process.

Improper input validation allows an attacker to convince an administrator on the host to install a VM image. Crafted metadata in the image results in commands being executed with root-level privileges on the NFVIS host.

Cisco also patched CVE-2022-20780 (CVSS score of 7.4), a security flaw in the import function of Enterprise NFVIS that could allow a remote, unauthenticated attacker to leak data from the host.

“This vulnerability is due to the resolution of external entities in the XML parser. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by persuading an administrator to import a crafted file that will read data from the host and write it to any configured VM,” Cisco explains.

Cisco has addressed the issues with the release of Enterprise NFVIS 4.7.1. The company says the security defects impact the default configuration of its infrastructure software, encouraging customers to update to a fixed version as soon as possible.

The tech giant is not aware of any of these vulnerabilities being exploited in attacks.

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