vCenter Server

VMware on Tuesday published a new bulletin warning of as many as 19 vulnerabilities in vCenter Server and Cloud Foundation appliances that a remote attacker could exploit to take control of an affected system.

The most urgent among them is an arbitrary file upload vulnerability in the Analytics service (CVE-2021-22005) that impacts vCenter Server 6.7 and 7.0 deployments. "A malicious actor with network access to port 443 on vCenter Server may exploit this issue to execute code on vCenter Server by uploading a specially crafted file," the company noted, adding "this vulnerability can be used by anyone who can reach vCenter Server over the network to gain access, regardless of the configuration settings of vCenter Server."


Although VMware has published workarounds for the flaw, the company cautioned that they are "meant to be a temporary solution until updates […] can be deployed."

The complete list of flaws patched by the virtualization services provider is as follows —

  • CVE-2021-22005 (CVSS score: 9.8) - vCenter Server file upload vulnerability
  • CVE-2021-21991 (CVSS score: 8.8) - vCenter Server local privilege escalation vulnerability
  • CVE-2021-22006 (CVSS score: 8.3) - vCenter Server reverse proxy bypass vulnerability
  • CVE-2021-22011 (CVSS score: 8.1) - vCenter server unauthenticated API endpoint vulnerability
  • CVE-2021-22015 (CVSS score: 7.8) - vCenter Server improper permission local privilege escalation vulnerabilities
  • CVE-2021-22012 (CVSS score: 7.5) - vCenter Server unauthenticated API information disclosure vulnerability
  • CVE-2021-22013 (CVSS score: 7.5) - vCenter Server file path traversal vulnerability
  • CVE-2021-22016 (CVSS score: 7.5) - vCenter Server reflected XSS vulnerability
  • CVE-2021-22017 (CVSS score: 7.3) - vCenter Server rhttpproxy bypass vulnerability
  • CVE-2021-22014 (CVSS score: 7.2) - vCenter Server authenticated code execution vulnerability
  • CVE-2021-22018 (CVSS score: 6.5) - vCenter Server file deletion vulnerability
  • CVE-2021-21992 (CVSS score: 6.5) - vCenter Server XML parsing denial-of-service vulnerability
  • CVE-2021-22007 (CVSS score: 5.5) - vCenter Server local information disclosure vulnerability
  • CVE-2021-22019 (CVSS score: 5.3) - vCenter Server denial of service vulnerability
  • CVE-2021-22009 (CVSS score: 5.3) - vCenter Server VAPI multiple denial of service vulnerabilities
  • CVE-2021-22010 (CVSS score: 5.3) - vCenter Server VPXD denial of service vulnerability
  • CVE-2021-22008 (CVSS score: 5.3) - vCenter Server information disclosure vulnerability
  • CVE-2021-22020 (CVSS score: 5.0) - vCenter Server Analytics service denial-of-service vulnerability
  • CVE-2021-21993 (CVSS score: 4.3) - vCenter Server SSRF vulnerability

Credited with reporting most of the flaws are George Noseevich and Sergey Gerasimov of SolidLab LLC, alongside Hynek Petrak of Schneider Electric, Yuval Lazar of Pentera, and Osama Alaa of Malcrove.


"The ramifications of [CVE-2021-22005] are serious and it is a matter of time – likely minutes after the disclosure – before working exploits are publicly available," VMware said in an FAQ urging customers to immediately update their vCenter installations.

"With the threat of ransomware looming nowadays the safest stance is to assume that an attacker may already have control of a desktop and a user account through the use of techniques like phishing or spear-phishing, and act accordingly. This means the attacker may already be able to reach vCenter Server from inside a corporate firewall, and time is of the essence," the company added.

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