Threat Signal Report

Critical VMware vCenter Server vulnerability (CVE-2021-22005) being exploited in the wild

Description

FortiGuard Labs is aware that VMware disclosed a critical vulnerability (CVE-2021-22005) on September 21st, 2021 that affects vCenter Server versions 6.7 and 7.0. A malicious attacker with network access to port 443 on vCenter Server can exploit the vulnerability and can execute code on vCenter Server upon successful exploitation. The VMware advisory was updated on September 24th that the vulnerability is being exploited in the wild. In addition, exploit code is publicly available.


Why is this Significant?

VMware has one of the highest market shares in the server virtualization market so the vulnerability can have widespread affect. Also, some public reports indicate that CVE-2021-22005 is being exploited in the wild. With exploit code being publicly available, more attackers are expected to leverage the security bug. Because of the potential impact the vulnerability has in the field, CISA released an advisory on September 24th, 2021.


What are the Details of the Vulnerability?

Details of the vulnerability have not been disclosed by VMware.


Has VMware Released an Advisory for CVE-2021-22005?

Yes, the vendor released a cumulative advisory on September 21st, 2021. See the Appendix for a link to VMSA-2021-0020.1. The vendor also released a supplemental blog post and an advisory. See the Appendix to a link to "VMSA-2021-0020: What You Need to Know" and "VMSA-2021-0020: Questions & Answers".


Has the Vendor Released a Patch?

Yes. VMware released a patch on September 21st, 2021.


Any Mitigation and or Workarounds?

VMware provided workarounds in a blog. See the Appendix to a link to "Workaround Instructions for CVE-2021-22005 (85717)".


What is The Status of Coverage?

FortiGuard Labs is investigating for IPS protection. This Threat Signal will be updated with protection information as it becomes available.


Definitions

Traffic Light Protocol

Color When Should it Be used? How may it be shared?

TLP: RED

Not for disclosure, restricted to participants only.
Sources may use TLP:RED when information cannot be effectively acted upon by additional parties, and could lead to impacts on a party's privacy, reputation, or operations if misused. Recipients may not share TLP:RED information with any parties outside of the specific exchange, meeting, or conversation in which it was originally disclosed. In the context of a meeting, for example, TLP:RED information is limited to those present at the meeting. In most circumstances, TLP:RED should be exchanged verbally or in person.

TLP: AMBER

Limited disclosure, restricted to participants’ organizations.
Sources may use TLP:AMBER when information requires support to be effectively acted upon, yet carries risks to privacy, reputation, or operations if shared outside of the organizations involved. Recipients may only share TLP:AMBER information with members of their own organization, and with clients or customers who need to know the information to protect themselves or prevent further harm. Sources are at liberty to specify additional intended limits of the sharing: these must be adhered to.

TLP: GREEN

Limited disclosure, restricted to the community.
Sources may use TLP:GREEN when information is useful for the awareness of all participating organizations as well as with peers within the broader community or sector. Recipients may share TLP:GREEN information with peers and partner organizations within their sector or community, but not via publicly accessible channels. Information in this category can be circulated widely within a particular community. TLP:GREEN information may not be released outside of the community.

TLP: WHITE

Disclosure is not limited.
Sources may use TLP:WHITE when information carries minimal or no foreseeable risk of misuse, in accordance with applicable rules and procedures for public release. Subject to standard copyright rules, TLP:WHITE information may be distributed without restriction.