FortiFiasco: Critical FortiClient Flaw Leaves Enterprises Exposed!

In a world where cyber villains frolic in SQL fields, Fortinet’s FortiClient EMS whispers “patch me” to fend off attacks exploiting CVE-2023-48788. Who knew database defenses could be this dramatic?

Hot Take:

When life gives you SQL injections, make… remote code execution? Nope, that’s not how the saying goes, but it seems like the cyber baddies didn’t get the memo. The latest FortiOopsie has everyone from the NCSC to RCE enthusiasts on their toes, proving once again that the only thing more infectious than a viral TikTok dance is an unpatched vulnerability in the wild.

Key Points:

  • FortiClient EMS has an SQL injection vulnerability (CVE-2023-48788) that’s the hot ticket for unauthenticated attackers wanting SYSTEM privileges.
  • Attackers can turn this vulnerability into remote code execution fiestas, without even needing user interaction. Party over here!
  • Fortinet was initially hush-hush about the attacks, but then updated their advisory to confirm the exploit’s VIP status in the cybercrime club.
  • Horizon3’s Attack Team dropped a PoC exploit that’s like a party invite to Hackerville, but you’ll need to BYOB (Bring Your Own xp_cmdshell).
  • Over 440 FortiClient EMS servers might be throwing their doors wide open for uninvited guests, mostly in the good ol’ USA.
Cve id: CVE-2023-48788
Cve state: PUBLISHED
Cve assigner short name: fortinet
Cve date updated: 03/12/2024
Cve description: A improper neutralization of special elements used in an sql command ('sql injection') in Fortinet FortiClientEMS version 7.2.0 through 7.2.2, FortiClientEMS 7.0.1 through 7.0.10 allows attacker to execute unauthorized code or commands via specially crafted packets.

Cve id: CVE-2024-21762
Cve state: PUBLISHED
Cve assigner short name: fortinet
Cve date updated: 02/09/2024
Cve description: A out-of-bounds write in Fortinet FortiOS versions 7.4.0 through 7.4.2, 7.2.0 through 7.2.6, 7.0.0 through 7.0.13, 6.4.0 through 6.4.14, 6.2.0 through 6.2.15, 6.0.0 through 6.0.17, FortiProxy versions 7.4.0 through 7.4.2, 7.2.0 through 7.2.8, 7.0.0 through 7.0.14, 2.0.0 through 2.0.13, 1.2.0 through 1.2.13, 1.1.0 through 1.1.6, 1.0.0 through 1.0.7 allows attacker to execute unauthorized code or commands via specifically crafted requests

Need to know more?

SQL Injection: Not Just for Databases Anymore

It's like finding out your Swiss Army knife can also make julienne fries. This SQL injection flaw is the kind of multitool that hackers dream about: it's versatile, requires low effort, and doesn't need pesky user interaction to crash the party. It's also got a taste for SYSTEM privileges, which is like having the keys to the kingdom, if the kingdom were made of sensitive data and despair.

The Silent Scream of a Patch Update

Fortinet's initial response to the vulnerability was to whisper sweet nothings into the void, aka not telling anyone it was being exploited. But just like that friend who quietly updates their relationship status and hopes nobody notices, Fortinet had to eventually fess up. The 'exploited in the wild' badge of shame was duly pinned to CVE-2023-48788's chest.

How to Host an RCE Bash: A Tutorial by Horizon3

Horizon3 basically published the party planner's guide to exploiting this vulnerability. Their PoC exploit is like a treasure map, where X marks the spot for potential RCE. But they left out the final step, because it's not a real party unless you figure out how to use xp_cmdshell to pop open a command shell like a bottle of champagne.

Unpatched and Exposed: The FortiClient Story

Imagine throwing a house party and leaving your doors unlocked with a sign that says "Free Stuff Inside." That's pretty much what over 440 FortiClient EMS servers are doing right now. And Shadowserver's got the guest list, showing that most of these vulnerable shindigs are happening in Uncle Sam's backyard.

Deja Vu All Over Again

This isn't Fortinet's first rodeo with vulnerabilities used for nefarious purposes. In fact, it's like they're running a subscription service for cybercriminals: "Sign up now and get your monthly zero-day exploit!" With a track record of being the go-to for ransomware and cyber espionage, Fortinet's security holes are becoming the gift that keeps on giving—just not the kind of gifts anyone wants.

And there you have it, folks: the cybersecurity equivalent of a soap opera, complete with drama, intrigue, and that one character who keeps making the same mistakes. Stay patched, stay safe, and maybe don't RSVP to any parties thrown by FortiClient EMS servers for a while.

Tags: CVE-2023-48788, FortiClient EMS, Fortinet Vulnerability, Proof-of-Concept Exploit, Remote Code Execution, SQL Injection, Zero-Day Exploits