VMware patches critical flaws in vRealize AI platform

An image of a bandaid as a metaphor for a vulnerability patch
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VMware has patched a pair of vulnerabilities that could have given attackers access to admin credentials and file writing access.

The company stated that the first vulnerability, CVE-2021-21975, could allow a malicious actor with network access to the vRealize Operations Manager API to perform a Server Side Request Forgery attack to steal admin credentials.

VMware evaluated the danger of the issue and decided it was an “important” severity with a maximum CVSS base score of 8.5. CVSS is an open framework for communicating the characteristics and severity of software vulnerabilities and is marked between 0 and 10, with 10 being critical.

vRealize is the company’s AI-powered platform that delivers “self-driving IT operations management for private, hybrid and multi-cloud environments.”

The second vulnerability, CVE-2021-21983, meant that an authenticated malicious actor with network access to the vRealize Operations Manager API could write files to arbitrary locations on the underlying photon operating system. VMware evaluated the issue to be of an “important” severity as well and gave it a CVSSv3 base score of 7.2.

The company published a security advisory on Tuesday to inform customers of the two vulnerabilities, of which both were reported by Egor Dimitrenko of Positive Technologies. The products impacted are the VMware vRealize Operations, VMware Cloud Foundation and vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager.

A month ago it emerged that ransomware operators were exploiting VMware ESXi flaws by retooling their strains to exploit vulnerabilities. The flaws, which were patched by the company, included allowing hackers to execute commands on the underlying operating systems that hosts the VCenter Server.

In February, security researchers warned of two ESXi hypervisor flaws that ransomware gangs were using to encrypt virtual hard drives. Hackers reportedly encrypted 1,000 VMs at Brazil’s Superior Tribunal de Justicia, whereas other victims suffered as their VMs were shut down and datastores encrypted and left with a ransom note.

Zach Marzouk

Zach Marzouk is a former ITPro, CloudPro, and ChannelPro staff writer, covering topics like security, privacy, worker rights, and startups, primarily in the Asia Pacific and the US regions. Zach joined ITPro in 2017 where he was introduced to the world of B2B technology as a junior staff writer, before he returned to Argentina in 2018, working in communications and as a copywriter. In 2021, he made his way back to ITPro as a staff writer during the pandemic, before joining the world of freelance in 2022.