A recent major cybersecurity vulnerability, titled CVE-2022-36960, has been identified in the SolarWinds platform, putting countless networks at risk. Improper Input Validation, a process that checks and verifies user-submitted data before performing operations, was exploited in the SolarWinds Web Console. This security flaw enables valid users with remote access to the system to escalate their privileges within the platform.

The primary exploit occurs within the input validation process. When system users submit data, they expect the validation process to ensure that the data is correct and secure. However, a loophole was discovered where the input validation was deemed insufficient. This oversight created an opportunity for malicious users to supply data with potentially dangerous consequences.

To demonstrate this, let us examine an example code snippet

… (other code)...

public void UserInput(string userData)
    // This is the input validation process
    if (IsValidInput(userData))
        // Perform some operation with userData
        // Reject input and provide an error message

private bool IsValidInput(string input)
	// Here's where the validation is supposed to take place, but it's found to be insufficient or improper
  	// Input is allowed to pass through, even if it shouldn't!

… (other code)...

Though this is a simplified example, the core principle remains the same. If the input validation process isn't strict enough, it allows for possible exploits to take place.

To get into the nitty-gritty of CVE-2022-36960, the improper input validation on the SolarWinter Web Console allows remote adversaries to manufacture a specially crafted request. This request, when sent to a user with limited privileges, can undetectably escalate their access rights. This, in turn, grants access to potentially sensitive information and opens the door to other more destructive activities.

The disclosure of this vulnerability was first reported in the CVE Details page for CVE-2022-36960: CVE Details - CVE-2022-36960

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has further information and resources regarding this exploit: NIST CVE-2022-36960

The first news of this exploit was followed by the release of the official security advisory by SolarWinds themselves, acknowledging the vulnerability and its potential threat: SolarWinds Security Advisory

Upon receiving this information, the cybersecurity community has been working towards implementing patches and remediation methods addressing this critical vulnerability. SolarWinds users should ensure they have updated their systems to the latest version to protect themselves from unauthorized privilege escalation.

Actions to mitigate the potential risks include

1. Updating SolarWinds software to the latest version, which contains patches protecting against the vulnerability.
2. Limiting user access to the SolarWinds Web Console, particularly remote access, to only administrators and a select few with valid credentials.
3. Enforcing stricter input validation practices to protect against similar vulnerabilities in the future.

In conclusion, it is essential that users of the SolarWinds platform remains vigilant in employing security practices and keeping their software up-to-date to withstand future potential cybersecurity threats. The improper input validation vulnerability CVE-2022-36960 has been identified and is acknowledged by SolarWinds, which emphasizes the importance of being proactive in maintaining a secure network.


Published on: 11/29/2022 21:15:00 UTC
Last modified on: 08/03/2023 21:15:00 UTC