The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) ID CVE-2022-23937 is assigned to a vulnerability discovered in Wind River VxWorks 6.9 and 7. The vulnerability involves an out-of-bounds read during the IKE (Internet Key Exchange) initial exchange scenario, which may allow attackers to crash the system or execute arbitrary code, ultimately compromising the security and stability of devices running these versions of Wind River's real-time operating system, VxWorks.

Exploit Details

The vulnerability arises when a specially crafted packet is sent to VxWorks during an IKE initial exchange scenario. The IKE protocol is used for authenticating and establishing a secure connection between two parties. An attacker with knowledge of this issue can exploit the vulnerability by crafting a malformed packet that triggers an out-of-bounds read in the system.

An excerpt from the affected code in the IKE implementation of VxWorks is shown below

void process_ike_packet(struct ike_packet *packet, size_t length) {
  int next_payload = packet->header.payload[];
  size_t cur_offset = sizeof(struct ike_packet);

  while (cur_offset < length) {
    switch (next_payload) {
      size_t key_exchange_length = packet->payload[cur_offset].length;
      process_key_exchange(&packet->payload[cur_offset + 1], key_exchange_length);

As per the code snippet above, when processing the incoming IKE packet, the payload is being read based on the provided value of cur_offset. If an attacker crafts the packet which specifies an incorrect value for the payload length, the code will attempt to read the next payloads out-of-bounds, potentially leading to a crash or even arbitrary code execution.

The official CVE entry for this vulnerability


The Wind River VxWorks security advisory

Wind River Security Advisory

Mitigations and Recommendations

To counter this vulnerability, Wind River has advised users to update their VxWorks systems to the latest versions. It is highly recommended for users of VxWorks 6.9 and 7 to apply the suggested patches as soon as possible.

Moreover, to reduce the risk of potential exploitation, it is essential for users to limit the exposure of their VxWorks devices to untrusted networks and ensure that only trusted parties can access their devices.


CVE-2022-23937 highlights the importance of safeguarding the security of real-time operating systems such as Wind River VxWorks. As connected devices become more pervasive and integral to critical infrastructures, it is crucial for vendors and users to stay informed of identified vulnerabilities, swiftly apply patches, and maintain secure configurations to minimize the risk of exploitation and ensure device security and stability.

Stay informed and keep your systems up-to-date to protect against CVE-2022-23937 and other vulnerabilities. Always follow security best practices, as even seemingly minor vulnerabilities have the potential to cause significant harm.


Published on: 03/29/2022 02:15:00 UTC
Last modified on: 04/05/2022 20:10:00 UTC