Hackers Exploit New Security Flaws in pfSense Firewall Software – Update Immediately

By Sharique

Understanding the Latest Security Vulnerabilities in pfSense

The open-source Netgate pfSense firewall solution, a popular tool for network security, has been found to contain multiple security vulnerabilities. These flaws, if exploited, could allow attackers to execute arbitrary commands on vulnerable devices.

Identifying the Flaws in pfSense

Recent findings from Sonar have revealed two key types of vulnerabilities in pfSense:

  • Reflected Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) Bugs
  • Command Injection Flaw

These vulnerabilities impact pfSense CE 2.7.0 and below, and pfSense Plus 23.05.1 and below. Security researcher Oskar Zeino-Mahmalat highlights the risks posed by these vulnerabilities, especially within local networks where security may be more relaxed.

Details of the Discovered Vulnerabilities

The specific vulnerabilities discovered in pfSense include:

  • CVE-2023-42325 (CVSS score: 5.4) – An XSS vulnerability that allows a remote attacker to gain privileges via a crafted url to the status_logs_filter_dynamic.php page.
  • CVE-2023-42327 (CVSS score: 5.4) – An XSS vulnerability that allows a remote attacker to gain privileges via a crafted URL to the getserviceproviders.php page.
  • CVE-2023-42326 (CVSS score: 8.8) – A lack of validation that allows a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code via a crafted request to the interfaces_gif_edit.php and interfaces_gre_edit.php components.

Reflected XSS attacks, also called non-persistent attacks, occur when an attacker delivers a malicious script to a vulnerable web application, which is then returned in the HTTP response and executed on the victim’s web browser.

Details of the Discovered Vulnerabilities

Mechanics of the Attacks

Reflected XSS attacks, also known as non-persistent attacks, involve delivering a malicious script to a vulnerable web application. The application then returns this script in the HTTP response, which is executed in the victim’s web browser. In pfSense’s case, attackers could manipulate these vulnerabilities by tricking an authenticated user into clicking a URL containing an XSS payload, leading to command injection.

Potential Impacts and Risks

These vulnerabilities could be used by attackers to spy on traffic or attack services within the local network. The severity is heightened by the fact that pfSense processes run as root, allowing executed system commands to have root-level access.

Response and Remediation

Following a responsible disclosure on July 3, 2023, the pfSense team addressed these issues in the releases of pfSense CE 2.7.1 and pfSense Plus 23.09. This proactive response underscores the importance of regular software updates and vulnerability management in maintaining network security.

Broader Context: Recent Trends in Software Security

The discovery in pfSense comes on the heels of other significant security findings, such as the remote code execution flaw in Microsoft Visual Studio Code’s npm integration (CVE-2023-36742, CVSS score: 7.8). These trends highlight the ongoing challenges in software security and the need for continuous vigilance by developers, administrators, and users.

Conclusion: Navigating the Evolving Landscape of Cybersecurity

The vulnerabilities found in pfSense serve as a reminder of the complexities in securing network infrastructure. With the landscape of cyber threats continually evolving, staying informed and proactive is crucial for network administrators and cybersecurity professionals. Regular updates, awareness of emerging threats, and adherence to best security practices remain key in safeguarding digital assets and infrastructure.

Leave a Comment