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Organizations Warned of Critical Vulnerability in Backstage Developer Portal Platform

Backstage, an open platform for building developer portals, is affected by a critical vulnerability whose exploitation could have a serious impact on a targeted enterprise, according to cloud-native application security firm Oxeye.

Backstage, an open platform for building developer portals, is affected by a critical vulnerability whose exploitation could have a serious impact on a targeted enterprise, according to cloud-native application security firm Oxeye.

Backstage was developed by Spotify and donated to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. It provides a catalog for managing all of the user’s software, software templates to make it easier to create projects, and open source plugins that can be used to expand its customizability and functionality.

The platform is used by many major organizations, including Netflix, American Airlines, Doordash, Palo Alto Networks, HP, Siemens, LinkedIn, and Booz Allen Hamilton.

Backstage is affected by a critical vulnerability related to a security hole found earlier this year by Oxeye in the popular sandbox library VM2. The VM2 flaw, dubbed SandBreak and tracked as CVE-2022-36067, can allow a remote attacker to escape the sandbox and execute arbitrary code on the host.

Backstage has been using VM2 and Oxeye researchers discovered that CVE-2022-36067 can be exploited for unauthenticated remote code execution in Backstage by abusing its software templates. An attacker who can successfully exploit the vulnerability could carry out various actions in the compromised organization’s network.

“Backstage can hold integration details to many organization systems, such as Prometheus, Jira, ElasticSearch, and others. Thus, successful exploitation has critical implications for any affected organization and can compromise those services and the data they hold,” Oxeye said in a technical blog post describing the vulnerability.

Oxeye reported its findings to Backstage developers through Spotify’s bug bounty program in mid-August and the flaw was fixed roughly 10 days later with the release of version 1.5.1, which includes a patched version of VM2.

“If you’re using a template engine in your application, make sure you choose the right one in relation to security. Robust template engines are extremely useful but might pose a risk to your organization,” the security firm recommended.

Related: U.S. Government, Tech Giants Discuss Open Source Software Security

Related: Academics Devise Open Source Tool For Hunting Node.js Security Flaws

Related: Critical Vulnerabilities Found in Device42 Asset Management Platform

Written By

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.

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