Flaw in Palo Alto VPN Solution Puts Uber and Other Enterprises at Risk




A critical vulnerability has been discovered in Palo Alto GlobalProtect SSL VPN software, the bug, somewhat unusual and is apparently said to be utilized by big enterprise companies over the globe, including the 'ride-hailing platform' Uber.

Used to make secure channels and Virtual Private Network (VPN) tunnels for remote workers - however was discreetly existing in more established adaptations i.e. the older adaptations, the bug has been fixed with the release of recent solutions.

Researchers depict the bug as format string vulnerability in the PAN SSL Gateway, which handles clients/server SSL handshakes.

The issue lies in how the gateway handles specific value parameters without legitimate sanitization, and an attacker sending a 'crafted request' to a vulnerable SSL VPN target is sufficient to trigger an exploit easily.

As per Palo Alto's security advisory, ‘the remote code execution flaw, tracked as CVE-2019-1579, is present in GlobalProtect portal and GlobalProtect Gateway products…’
The vulnerability in old renditions of the product was first discovered and revealed by Devcore researchers Orange Tsai and Meh Chang in a blog entry just a week ago, a further examination found that there was no assigned CVE.

The "silent fix" RCE was not replicable on the most recent rendition of GlobalProtect, regardless of the success with the older variations.

After investigation and exploring a bit the researchers revealed just about 22 Uber-owned servers utilizing a vulnerable version of GlobalProtect.

Nevertheless Uber tackled the issue as soon as it was made aware of it and further clarified that, “Palo Alto SSL VPN was not the primary VPN in use by the majority of staff members, and the software was hosted in AWS rather than embedded within core infrastructure and so the potential impacted was deemed ‘low’...”
A partial proof-of-concept (PoC) has likewise been released after the discoveries provoked Palo Alto to publish a warning and the vulnerability's CVE was then assigned.

Indeed, even after Uber's potential exposure may have been low as the older software was facilitated in AWS, yet that does not mean other enterprises and companies may not be vulnerable. It is therefore, prescribed that users update to a much recent version as fast as they could given the circumstances.

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