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Recently Patched IBM Aspera Faspex Vulnerability Exploited in the Wild

A vulnerability affecting IBM’s Aspera Faspex file transfer solution, tracked as CVE-2022-47986, has been exploited in attacks.

Organizations using IBM’s Aspera Faspex file transfer solution have been warned that a recently patched vulnerability is being exploited in the wild.

The security hole, tracked as CVE-2022-47986 and classified as ‘high severity’, is a YAML deserialization flaw that can be exploited by a remote attacker for arbitrary code execution using specially crafted API calls. 

The issue was discovered by researchers at attack surface management firm Assetnote and reported to IBM in October 2022. IBM released a patch and informed customers about its existence in January 2023.

On February 2, roughly a week after IBM’s advisory was published, Assetnote published a blog post detailing the vulnerability, explaining that an unauthenticated attacker can exploit CVE-2022-47986 to execute arbitrary commands on the targeted Aspera Faspex server. 

Assetnote also made exploit code available. Soon after, exploits were published on various websites and integrated into vulnerability scanners. 

A threat hunter who uses the online moniker N3sfox reported seeing the first exploitation attempts on February 3 and made available indicators of compromise (IoCs) a few days later. 

The non-profit cybersecurity organization Shadowserver Foundation has also reported seeing exploitation attempts, observing attacks on February 3 and 4, and then again starting on February 11. 

Some of the observed exploitation attempts are likely triggered by security researchers and companies looking for vulnerable systems. It’s unclear how many of the attacks are malicious and what the threat actors are doing on compromised systems. 

A Shodan search shows more than 100 internet-exposed Aspera Faspex servers, mostly located in the United States and the United Kingdom. 

Aspera Faspex is not the only enterprise file transfer solution targeted in attacks in recent weeks. A vulnerability in the GoAnywhere managed file transfer (MFT) software has been exploited for at least two weeks, and victims have started coming forward to disclose significant impact

Related: CISA Says Two Old JasperReports Vulnerabilities Exploited in Attacks

Related: IBM Patches Severe Vulnerabilities in MQ Messaging Middleware

Related: IBM Patches High-Severity Vulnerabilities in Cloud, Voice, Security Products

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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