Researchers at breach and attack simulation firm SafeBreach discovered that the Forcepoint VPN Client for Windows is affected by a vulnerability that can be exploited to escalate privileges and for other purposes.
The flaw, tracked as CVE-2019-6145 and described as an unquoted search path issue, affects Forcepoint VPN Client for Windows versions prior to 6.6.1, which includes a patch.
The Forcepoint VPN Client provides a secure connection between endpoint devices and a gateway on the Forcepoint Next Generation Firewall (Forcepoint NGFW).
According to SafeBreach, when the client application is launched, a process named sgvpn.exe is executed with NT AUTHORITYSYSTEM privileges. This process then attempts to run several executable files from “C:” and the “C:Program Files (x86)Forcepoint” folder.
Some of the .exe files don’t exist, which allows an attacker who has administrator privileges to place their own malicious executables in these locations and they would be run when the Forcepoint application was launched.
This allows the attacker to execute malicious code with SYSTEM privileges, but SafeBreach has pointed out that it can be exploited for other purposes as well considering that the application starts automatically when the system boots, and that sgvpn.exe is signed by Forcepoint.
Since the exploited service is signed by Forecepoint, attackers could abuse it to evade detection or bypass application whitelisting mechanisms. And since the service is being loaded on every boot, malicious actors could also leverage the vulnerability to make their malware persistent on a compromised system, SafeBreach said.
The vulnerability was reported to Forcepoint on September 5 and it was patched on September 19 with the release of version 6.6.1. Alternatively, users can prevent exploitation by ensuring that non-administrator users cannot create or copy executable files in “C:” and “C:Program Files (x86)Forcepoint”. The vendor has pointed out that only admin users are allowed to write to these locations by default.
SafeBreach researchers previously found similar vulnerabilities in products from Bitdefender, Trend Micro and Check Point.
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