Security Experts:

VMware Patches Vulnerabilities in AirWatch Android Apps

VMware has released updates for some of its AirWatch Android applications to address a couple of important vulnerabilities related to local data encryption and rooted device detection.

In the first security advisory released in 2017, VMware informed customers that Finn Steglich from SySS GmbH discovered flaws in several components of the company’s AirWatch enterprise mobility management solution.

One of the security holes, tracked as CVE-2017-4895, affects AirWatch Agent for Android, which allows users to authenticate and enroll their devices in the system. During the enrollment process, the application checks if the smartphone has been rooted – AirWatch classifies rooted and jailbroken devices as “compromised.”

The AirWatch Agent vulnerability found by Steglich allows a device to bypass root detection during enrollment, which, according to VMware, could lead to the device having unrestricted access over local AirWatch security controls and data. The flaw was patched earlier this month with the release of version 7.0.

The second vulnerability patched by VMware affects the secure email client AirWatch Inbox and AirWatch Console on Android. This weakness allows a rooted device to decrypt the local data used by the app, which could result in disclosure of sensitive information.

Patches and workarounds have been made available to address the security hole tracked as CVE-2017-4896. VMware pointed out that Pin-Based Encryption (PBE), a feature introduced in AirWatch Console 9.0 FP1 and AirWatch Inbox 2.12, must be enabled in order to resolve the vulnerability.

VMware has only published one other security advisory for AirWatch products since it acquired AirWatch in early 2014. In December 2014, the company informed users of an AirWatch update that addressed information disclosure vulnerabilities which exposed sensitive IT-related organizational information.

Other flaws, including a root detection bypass issue, were discovered before VMware acquired AirWatch.

Related: Information Disclosure Flaws Patched in VMware Products

Related: Hackers Find Code Execution Flaw in VMware Workstation

Related: VMware Flaws Allow Security Bypass on Mac OS X

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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.