A new security vulnerability, CVE-2023-38148, has been recently identified in the Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) feature deployed in numerous internet-connected devices. This vulnerability allows attackers to remotely execute arbitrary code on affected devices, compromising their security and potentially leading to widespread exploitation. In this post, we will share details of the vulnerability, associated exploit, code snippets, and links to original references, along with mitigation strategies to secure your devices.

Vulnerability Overview

Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) is a widely-used feature that allows a device to share its internet connection with other devices on the network. Unfortunately, CVE-2023-38148 has identified a critical weakness in ICS implementation that enables attackers to remotely execute arbitrary code and compromise the security of affected devices.

Exploit Details

The exploit takes advantage of an insufficient input validation vulnerability in the ICS code, which allows hackers to send malicious payloads to the affected devices. Moreover, it permits the attackers to bypass security measures and execute arbitrary code on the targeted system with elevated privileges leading to complete system compromise.

Below is a simplified code snippet demonstrating the vulnerability

void process_packet(struct packet *p) {
   int len;
   char buf[1024];

   len = p->data_len;
   if (len > 1024) {
      error("Packet too large");

   memcpy(buf, p->data, len); // Vulnerable code snippet
   process_data(buf, len);

In this example, the attacker can craft a packet with a data length greater than 1024 bytes, which will cause a buffer overflow when memcpy is called, potentially leading to the execution of arbitrary code.

Original References

1. CVE-2023-38148 - Official CVE entry describing the vulnerability.
2. ICS Advisory - A detailed security advisory outlining the vulnerability, affected platforms, and possible risks.
3. ICS Exploit Analysis - A blog post providing an in-depth analysis of the exploit code and its technical aspects.

To protect your devices from this vulnerability, consider the following steps

1. Apply patches: Check for available security updates from device manufacturers or software vendors and apply them promptly to mitigate the vulnerability.

2. Input validation: Implement proper input validation in your software to prevent exploitation of this vulnerability. For instance, validate the data_len received in the packet to ensure it does not exceed the expected length.

3. Enable Network Address Translation (NAT): Configure NAT on your network to ensure no external packets can directly access the vulnerable device.

4. Firewall Rules: Implement appropriate firewall rules to restrict incoming traffic to the vulnerable device based on trusted IP addresses and ports.

5. Minimize the use of ICS: Disable ICS functionality when not in use and only enable it when absolutely necessary.


The CVE-2023-38148 vulnerability in Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) feature poses a significant risk to internet-connected devices. By understanding the vulnerability, the exploit, and available mitigation strategies, users can take appropriate actions to safeguard their devices from potential attacks. Stay vigilant, keep your software up-to-date, and follow best security practices to minimize the impact of this and other vulnerabilities.


Published on: 09/12/2023 17:15:00 UTC
Last modified on: 09/12/2023 19:38:00 UTC