Security Experts:

Critical Flaws Found in Palo Alto Networks Security Platform

Updates released by Palo Alto Networks for the company’s PAN-OS security platform patch critical and high severity vulnerabilities that can be exploited for remote code execution and command injection.

The issue classified by the company as “critical” is actually a combination of vulnerabilities in the management interface that can be exploited by a remote and unauthenticated attacker to execute arbitrary code on affected firewalls.

PAN-OS 6.1.18, 7.0.18, 7.1.13, 8.0.5 and earlier versions are affected. Patches are included in PAN-OS 6.1.19, 7.0.19, 7.1.14 and 8.0.6, but attacks can also be blocked using vulnerability signatures made available by the company.

The flaws, collectively tracked as CVE-2017-15944, were reported to Palo Alto Networks by Philip Pettersson, who has released an advisory of his own this week. The expert said the security holes were reported to the vendor in July.

Pettersson’s advisory, which includes complete technical details, describes three vulnerabilities: a partial authentication bypass, an arbitrary directory creation issue, and a command injection bug. Combining these flaws allows an unauthenticated attacker to execute arbitrary code with root privileges through the web interface.

Palo Alto Networks has advised customers to avoid exposing the web interface of its devices to the Internet, but the Sonar and Shodan search engines show that it’s not uncommon for organizations to make it remotely accessible.

PAN-OS updates also address a high severity flaw in the web interface packet capture management component. The security hole, reported by researchers from Samsung and tracked as CVE-2017-15940, allows an authenticated attacker to inject arbitrary commands.

Palo Alto Networks has also informed customers of a low severity flaw discovered by a CrowdStrike researcher in the macOS version of the GlobalProtect Client. The vulnerability, identified as CVE-2017-15870, can be exploited by an attacker who has root privileges to the local system to achieve a certain level of persistence.

This issue affects GlobalProtect for macOS 4.0.2 and earlier, and it has been fixed with the release of version 4.0.3.

Related: Palo Alto Networks Fixes PAN-OS Vulnerabilities

Related: Palo Alto Networks Patches Flaws Found by Google Researcher

Related: Palo Alto Networks Unveils Big Product Updates, New Firewalls

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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.