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A Vulnerability in IBM WebSphere Application Server Could Allow for Remote Code Execution

MS-ISAC ADVISORY NUMBER:

2019-058

DATE(S) ISSUED:

05/24/2019

OVERVIEW:

A vulnerability has been discovered in IBM WebSphere Application Server that could allow for remote code execution. IBM WebSphere Application Server is a software framework and middleware that hosts Java-based web applications. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could allow an attacker to execute remote code in the context of the affected application. Depending on the privileges associated with the application, an attacker could install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. Failed exploitation could result in a denial-of-service condition.

THREAT INTELLIGENCE:

There are currently no reports of this vulnerability being exploited in the wild.

SYSTEMS AFFECTED:

  • WebSphere Application Server ND (Traditional and Hypervisor) version 9.0 through 9.0.0.11
  • WebSphere Application Server ND (Traditional and Hypervisor) version 8.5.0.0 through 8.5.5.15
  • WebSphere Virtual Enterprise version 7.0

RISK:

Government:
  • Large and medium government entities: HIGH
  • Small government entities: MEDIUM
Businesses:
  • Large and medium business entities: HIGH
  • Small business entities: MEDIUM
Home Users:
LOW

TECHNICAL SUMMARY:

A vulnerability has been discovered in IBM WebSphere Application Server that could allow for remote code execution. This issue occurs when serializing an object from an untrusted source. This could allow for a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on the system with a specially-crafted sequence of serialized objects.

Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could allow an attacker to execute remote code in the context of the affected application. Depending on the privileges associated with the application, an attacker could install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. Failed exploitation could result in a denial-of-service condition.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

We recommend the following actions be taken:

  • Upgrade to the latest version of IBM WebSphere Application Server immediately, after appropriate testing.
  • Verify no unauthorized system modifications have occurred on system before applying patch.
  • Apply the principle of Least Privilege to all systems and services.
  • Remind users not to visit websites or follow links provided by unknown or untrusted sources.

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