Slay Ancient Bugs: CISA Urges Devs to Crush Pesky Directory Traversal Flaws

“Stop the cyber oopsie-daisy!” CISA pleads with devs to squash antiquated directory traversal bugs that let hackers do a data grab dance—because old-school errors in new-world tech are like, so ’90s. 🐛💃🚫 #SecureSoftwareDesign

Hot Take:

It’s 2023, and directory traversal vulnerabilities are still meandering through our digital back alleys like they’re stuck in a 90s hacker flick. CISA is flashing the cybersecurity equivalent of a neon “FIX ME” sign, and yet, we’re still playing whack-a-mole with bugs that are old enough to order a drink. Brace yourselves, devs; it’s time for some good old-fashioned code hygiene, or we’re all going to be in for a world of “I told you so.”

Key Points:

  • Directory traversal vulnerabilities are like digital zombies from the ’00s, stumbling around and causing havoc in critical infrastructure systems.
  • CISA’s giving out facepalms over the ConnectWise’s ScreenConnect “embarrassingly easy” exploit and a less dramatic Cisco AppDynamics Controller flaw.
  • Out of 1,104 known exploited vulnerabilities, 55 are directory traversals, which apparently still pack a punch against the nation’s backbone industries.
  • CISA’s advice for avoiding these digital dinosaurs includes using random identifiers for file names or limiting characters to alphanumerics.
  • The push for secure-by-design software is not just about squashing bugs but also about ditching memory-unsafe languages like C and C++ for shiny, safer options.
Title: Improper limitation of a pathname to a restricted directory (“path traversal”)
Cve id: CVE-2024-1708
Cve state: PUBLISHED
Cve assigner short name: cisa-cg
Cve date updated: 02/21/2024
Cve description: ConnectWise ScreenConnect 23.9.7 and prior are affected by path-traversal vulnerability, which may allow an attacker the ability to execute remote code or directly impact confidential data or critical systems.

Cve id: CVE-2024-20345
Cve state: PUBLISHED
Cve assigner short name: cisco
Cve date updated: 03/06/2024
Cve description: A vulnerability in the file upload functionality of Cisco AppDynamics Controller could allow an authenticated, remote attacker to conduct directory traversal attacks on an affected device. This vulnerability is due to insufficient validation of user-supplied input. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending a crafted request to an affected device. A successful exploit could allow the attacker to access sensitive data on an affected device.

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Back to Cybersecurity School

Imagine you're a software dev, and you've just been handed your report card by CISA. There, in big, bold red ink: "Must try harder to eliminate directory traversal vulnerabilities." It's not just a little oopsie; it's a major cybersecurity facepalm. CISA's been schooling the industry on secure design for years, but it seems like some devs skipped the classes on how to not let users play merry havoc with file paths.

Exploit Easy Mode

Then there's ConnectWise's ScreenConnect, which apparently threw up its hands and said, "Hack me, I'm yours," with a vulnerability so simple to exploit, it's making script kiddies feel like cyber overlords. It's not all about the high scores, though. Cisco's AppDynamics Controller got a "medium" severity rating, but let's be real - in cybersecurity, "medium" is like saying, "I only sort of left the door unlocked."

Old Bugs Never Die

Of the myriad bugs out there, directory traversal bugs are like that old band from high school that never quite made it big but refuses to retire. They're not the majority in CISA's hit parade of vulnerabilities, but they've got staying power, especially when they're picking on the infrastructure that keeps society ticking over, like hospitals and schools.

Pro Tips from the Cybersecurity Sage

So, what's the secret sauce to banishing these vulnerabilities to the shadow realm? According to CISA, it's about as groundbreaking as washing your hands. Stop trusting user input like it's your BFF, use random file names, and keep those characters alphanumeric. Oh, and make sure uploaded files can't just start executing themselves, because that's how you get a cyber-horror show.

Secure by Design or Bust

This isn't just about patching up old wounds; CISA's on a quest for the holy grail of secure-by-design software. Think of it like building a fortress instead of pitching a tent. They've been harping on about it for ages – kill off those default passwords, banish SQL injection into the abyss, and for the love of all things coded, can we please stop clinging to programming languages that are basically Swiss cheese in terms of security?

So, let's roll up our sleeves, because it's clear that the road to cybersecurity nirvana is paved with more than just good intentions. It's time to get serious about secure code, or we'll continue to be the laughingstock of the digital age, with CISA shaking its head and tsk-tsking in disappointment. Let's not wait for the next "I can't believe it's not secure" moment, shall we?

Tags: Cisco AppDynamics, ConnectWise ScreenConnect, critical infrastructure security, Directory Traversal, Secure Coding Practices, software vulnerabilities, software vulnerability mitigation