A Vulnerability in Apache Synapse and Apache Commons Could Allow for Remote Code Execution

ITS Advisory Number: 
2017-128
Date(s) Issued: 
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Subject: 
A Vulnerability in Apache Synapse and Apache Commons Could Allow for Remote Code Execution
Overview: 

A vulnerability has been identified in both Apache Synapse and Apache Commons that could allow for remote code execution. Apache Synapse is an enterprise service bus (ESB) and mediation engine. Apache Commons is an Apache project focused on all aspects of reusable Java components. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could result in remote code execution in the context of the affected application. Depending on the privileges associated with the application, an attacker could install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. If this application has been configured to have fewer user rights on the system, exploitation of the most severe of these vulnerabilities could have less impact than if it was configured with administrative rights.

Systems Affected: 
  • Apache Commons Collections versions 3.2.1 and prior
  • Apache Synapse versions 3.0.0 and prior
RISK
GOVERNMENT
Large and medium government entities: 
High
Small government entities: 
Medium
BUSINESS
Large and medium business entities: 
High
Small business entities: 
Medium
Home Users: 
N/A
Description: 

A vulnerability has been identified in both Apache Synapse and Apache Commons that could allow for remote code execution. This vulnerability occurs when an attacker injects specially crafted objects to applications that de-serialize java objects from untrusted sources.

Note: Apache Synapse is vulnerable for remote code-execution due to the presence of Apache Commons Collection.

Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could result in remote code execution in the context of the affected application. Depending on the privileges associated with the application, an attacker could install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. If this application has been configured to have fewer user rights on the system, exploitation of the most severe of these vulnerabilities could have less impact than if it was configured with administrative rights.

Actions: 
  • Verify no unauthorized system modifications have occurred on the system before applying the patch.
  • After appropriate testing, immediately upgrade to one of the non-impacted versions of Apache products.
  • Frequently validate type and content of uploaded data.
  • Run all software as a non-privileged user (one without administrative privileges) to diminish the effects of a successful attack.