29 vulnerabilities fixed in multiple F5 products

One flaw scored 9.9 on CVSS scale, CISA issues warning

Application delivery networking company F5, has issued patches for 29 vulnerabilities in its products, including one that scored 9.9 on the CVSS scale.

The flaws were severe and numerous enough for CISA to warn administrators to update software as soon as possible.

The bugs affect the company’s BIG-IP and BIG-IQ ranges of products and have been issued as part of this month’s round of security updates.

In one flaw, assigned CVE-2021-23031, an authenticated user may perform a privilege escalation on BIG-IP Advanced Web Application Firewall (WAF)  and Application Security Manager Traffic Management User Interface (ASM TMUI). This bug has been given a CVSS score of 8.8. However, when the product is in “Appliance Mode,” it receives a secondary score of 9.9 (out of 10).

According to F5, the Appliance Mode is “designed to meet the needs of customers in especially sensitive sectors by limiting the BIG-IP system administrative access to match that of a typical network appliance and not a multi-user UNIX device.”

“When this vulnerability is exploited, an authenticated attacker with access to the Configuration utility can execute arbitrary system commands, create or delete files, and/or disable services. This vulnerability may result in complete system compromise,” F5 said in an explainer for this bug.

“As this attack is conducted by legitimate, authenticated users, there is no viable mitigation that also allows users access to the Configuration utility. The only mitigation is to remove access for users who are not completely trusted.”

The advisory doesn’t detail why there are two ratings, but it did say there’s a “limited number of customers” affected by the more severe variation of the flaw.

F5 said any customers running a version of the affected product could eliminate the vulnerability by installing a version listed in its advisory. To mitigate issues until a fixed version is installed, users can follow temporary measures that “restrict access to the Configuration utility to only trusted networks or devices, thereby limiting the attack surface.”

Other flaws mentioned in the notification range from denial of service, request forgery to cross-site scripting vulnerabilities and authenticated remote command execution.

F5 recommended its customers update or upgrade their BIG-IP appliances to at least BIG-IP 14.1.0 and their BIG-IP VEs to at least BIG-IP 15.1.0.

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