Security Experts:

VMware Patches Code Execution Flaw in AirWatch Agent

VMware has addressed a critical remote code execution vulnerability in the AirWatch Agent applications for Android and Windows Mobile.

The VMware Workspace ONE platform, which is powered by AirWatch unified endpoint management (UEM) technology, is designed to help organizations manage corporate endpoints and improve enterprise productivity.

Workspace ONE provides a File Manager application for Android and Windows Mobile/CE and Task/Registry Manager apps for Windows Mobile/CE. These apps use legacy technologies and they are separate from the ones available through the AirWatch platform.

VMware has published an advisory and a support article to warn users that these mobile applications are affected by a critical vulnerability tracked as CVE-2018-6968.

“Due to an authorization flaw in the real-time File Manager capability for Android and Windows Mobile devices and Registry Manager for Windows Mobile devices, it is possible for a remote attacker with knowledge of specific enrolled devices within an AirWatch instance to add or remove files from a device, remotely execute commands on the device, or modify or set Registry Key values for Windows Mobile devices that are configured to use AirWatch Cloud Messaging (AWCM),” VMware said.

“The attacker does not need access to the Workspace ONE UEM Console. Access to read and store files on Android devices is limited to files within the Agent sand­­box and other publicly accessible directories such as those on the SD card. Access to files on Windows Mobile/CE devices involves the entire device directory,” it added.

The security hole has been patched with the release of version 8.2 for Android and 6.5.2 for Windows Mobile. The iOS version of the agent is not impacted.

The updates address the problem by disabling the flawed file, task and registry management capabilities, and VMware says it plans on deprecating the functionality in future releases of the Workspace ONE console.

In late May, VMware informed customers of a vulnerability that allowed a local attacker to escalate privileges to root on Linux machines running VMware Horizon Client for Linux.

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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.