In the world of Node.js, ensuring safe and secure code execution is of the utmost importance. With CVE-2023-32002, a new vulnerability has been brought to light that could potentially bypass the experimental policy mechanism and allow loading modules outside the policy.json definition. In this post, we will dive into this vulnerability and its impact on active Node.js release lines.

Vulnerability and Exploit Details

At its core, the CVE-2023-32002 vulnerability lies in the use of Module._load() to bypass the policy mechanism. In other words, an attacker who is able to successfully complete this exploit can require modules outside of the policy.json definition for any given module.

This vulnerability is observed in all active release lines including 16.x, 18.x, and 20.x. It is important to remember that the policy itself is an experimental feature in Node.js, and therefore, may not have been as thoroughly tested and scrutinized as stable features. This underscores the severity of this vulnerability and the need for prompt action.

To better understand the impact of this vulnerability, let's look at an example code snippet showcasing the exploitation of CVE-2023-32002.

Example Code Snippet

// Import the 'Module' class from 'module'
const Module = require('module');

// Load the 'fs' module outside the policy.json definition
const fs = Module._load('fs');

// Now we can use the 'fs' module to perform unauthorized file operations
fs.readdir('./', (err, files) => {
  if (err) throw err;

In this snippet, the Module._load method is used to directly require the 'fs' module, notwithstanding the policy.json definition. This allows the user to bypass the policy mechanism and carry out unauthorized file operations.

Original References

- Node.js Policy:

- Node.js Release Lines:

Mitigation Steps and Recommendations

As this vulnerability affects an experimental feature in Node.js, users are recommended to avoid using the policy mechanism until a patch is released and the issue is fully resolved. Make sure to follow Node.js's official channels for updates on this vulnerability and its mitigation.


CVE-2023-32002 is a significant finding in the realm of Node.js security. By allowing potential attackers to bypass the policy mechanism via Module._load, this vulnerability opens up the possibility for unauthorized module requirements and potentially dangerous code execution.

While this vulnerability impacts users on the experimental policy mechanism in all active release lines: 16.x, 18.x, and 20.x, it's essential to remember that the policy is an experimental feature, and as such, is subject to potential issues.

Stay vigilant and keep track of Node.js updates to ensure the secure code execution and sustainable development environment that Node.js offers.


Published on: 08/21/2023 17:15:00 UTC
Last modified on: 08/24/2023 21:09:00 UTC